Global warming on trial and the elementary error of physics that caused the global warming scare

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

This will be a long posting, but it will not be found uninteresting.

Global warming on trial: Global warming goes on trial at 8.00 am this Wednesday, 21 March 2018, in Court 8 on the 19th floor of the Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco. Court 8 is the largest of the courtrooms in the Federal District Court of Northern California. They’re clearly expecting a crowd. The 8 am start, rather than the usual 10 am, is because the judge in the case is an early bird.

The judge: His Honor Judge William Haskell Alsup, who will preside over the coyly-titled “People of California” v. British Petroleum plc et al., is not to be underestimated. Judge Alsup, as the senior member of the Northern California Bench (he has been there for almost two decades), gets to pick the cases he likes the look of. He is no ordinary, custard-faced law graduate. Before he descended to the law (he wanted to help the civil rights movement), he earned a B.S. in engineering at Mississippi State University.


Don’t mess with me: His Honor Judge Alsup flourishing a tract by his mentor, the Supreme Court justice whom he once served as Clerk.

Six years ago, in an acrimonious hearing between Oracle and Google, the two Silicon-Valley giants were arguing about nine lines of computer code, which Oracle said Google had filched for its Android cellphone system. In preparation for the case, Oracle had tested 15 million lines of Android code, and had found that just nine lines – a subroutine known as rangeCheck – had been copied keystroke for keystroke. Oracle’s case was that these nine lines of code, though representing only 0.00006% of the Android software, were a crucial element in the system. Judge Alsup did not buy that argument.

Rumors gather about great men. In hushed tones, those who talk of Judge Alsup say he taught himself the Java programming language so that he could decide the rangeCheck case. In fact, he is not familiar with Java, but he does write computer code using qBasic, which used to be bundled free with MS-DOS. On the vast desk in his book-lined office sits a 2011-vintage Dell laptop, the only one he has that will still run qBasic. He has written programs for his ham-radio hobby, for the Mastermind board game, and for his wife’s bridge game.


The 18-year-old Bill Alsup at his ham radio console in Mississippi.

This, then, is that rarest of creatures, a tech-savvy judge. And he has taken the very rare but commendable step of ordering both parties to answer nine scientific questions about climate change in preparation for what he has called a “tutorial” on the subject next Wednesday.

Hearing of this case, and of Bill Alsup’s starring role, I wondered what line of argument might convince a scientifically literate judge that the plaintiffs, two Californian cities who want the world’s five biggest oil corporations to pay them to adapt to rising sea level, that there is no cause for alarm about manmade global warming.

Judge Alsup might well be moved to dismiss the plaintiffs’ case provided that the defendants were able to establish definitively that fears of global warming had been very greatly exaggerated.

Two propositions: If the following two propositions were demonstrated, His Honor might decide – and all but a few irredentists would be compelled to agree – that global warming was not a problem and that the scare was over.

1. It can be proven that an elementary error of physics is the sole cause of alarm about global warming – elementary because otherwise non-climatologists might not grasp it.

2. It can be proven that, owing to that elementary error, current official mid-range estimates of equilibrium sensitivity to anthropogenic activity are at least twice what they should be.

Regular readers will know that my contributions here have been infrequent in the past year. The reason is that I have had the honor to lead a team of eminent climatological researchers who have been quietly but very busily investigating how much global warming we may cause, known as the “equilibrium-sensitivity” question.

We can now prove both points itemized above, and we have gone to more than customary lengths to confirm by multiple empirical methods what we originally demonstrated by a theoretical method. The half-dozen methods all cohere in the same ballpark.

Three days before His Honor posted up his list of questions on climate science, my team had submitted a paper on our result to a leading climatological journal (by convention, I am bound not to say which until publication).

The judge’s question: When I saw His Honor’s eighth question, “What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?”, I contacted my eight co-authors, who all agreed to submit an amicus curiae or “friend-of-the-court” brief.

Our reply: Our amicus brief, lodged for us by a good friend of the ever-valuable Heartland Institute, concludes with a respectful recommendation that the court should reject the plaintiffs’ case and that it should also order the oil corporations to meet their own costs in the cause because their me-too public statements to the effect that global warming is a “problem” that requires to be addressed are based on the same elementary error as the plaintiffs’ case.

In effect, the oil corporations have invited legal actions such as this, wherefore they should pay the cost of their folly in accordance with the ancient legal principle volenti non fit injuria – if you stick your chin out and invite someone to hit it, don’t blub if someone hits it.

The judge has the right to accept or reject the brief, so we accompanied our brief with the usual short application requesting the court to accept it for filing. Since the rules of court require the brief to be lodged as an exhibit to the application, the brief stands part of the court papers in any event, has been sent to all parties, and is now publicly available on PACER, the Federal judiciary’s public-access database.

Therefore, I am at last free to reveal what we have discovered. There is indeed an elementary error of physics right at the heart of the models’ calculations of equilibrium sensitivity. After correcting that error, and on the generous assumption that official climatology has made no error other than that which we have exposed, global warming will not be 3.3 ± 1.2 K: it will be only 1.2 ± 0.15 K. We say we can prove it.

The proof: I shall now outline our proof. Let us begin with the abstract of the underlying paper. It is just 70 words long, for the error (though it has taken me a dozen years to run it to earth) really is stupendously elementary:

Abstract: In a dynamical system, even an unamplified input signal induces a response to any feedback. Hitherto, however, the large feedback response to emission temperature has been misattributed to warming from the naturally-occurring, non-condensing greenhouse gases. After correction, the theoretically-derived pre-industrial feedback fraction is demonstrated to cohere with the empirically-derived industrial-era value an order of magnitude below previous estimates, mandating reduction of projected Charney sensitivity from clip_image006 to clip_image008.

Equations: To understand the argument that follows, we shall need three equations.

The zero-dimensional-model equation (1) says that equilibrium sensitivity or final warming ΔTeq is the ratio of reference sensitivity or initial warming ΔTref to (1 – f ), where f is the feedback fraction, i.e., the fraction of ΔTeq represented by the feedback response ΔT(ref) to ΔTref. The entire difference between reference and equilibrium sensitivity is accounted for by the feedback response ΔT(ref) (the bracketed subscript indicates a feedback response).

ΔTeq = ΔTref / (1 – f ). (1)

The zero-dimensional model is not explicitly used in general-circulation models. However, it is the simplest expression of the difference between reference sensitivity before accounting for feedback and equilibrium sensitivity after accounting for feedback. Eq. (1), a simplified form of the feedback-amplification equation that originated in electronic network analysis, is of general application when deriving the feedback responses in all dynamical systems upon which feedbacks bear. The models must necessarily reflect it.

Eq. (1) is used diagnostically not only to derive equilibrium sensitivity (i.e. final warming) from official inputs but also to derive the equilibrium sensitivity that the models would be expected to predict if the inputs (such as the feedback fraction f ) were varied. We conducted a careful calibration exercise to confirm that the official reference sensitivity and the official interval of the feedback fraction, when input to Eq. (1), indeed yield the official interval of equilibrium sensitivity.

The feedback-fraction equation (2): If the reference sensitivity ΔTref and the equilibrium sensitivity ΔTeq are specified, the feedback fraction f is found by rearranging (1) as (2):

f = 1 – ΔTref / ΔTeq. (2)

The reference-sensitivity equation (3): Reference sensitivity ΔTref is the product of a radiative forcing ΔQ0, in Watts per square meter, and the Planck reference-sensitivity parameter λ0, in Kelvin per Watt per square meter.

ΔTref = λ0 ΔQ0. (3)

The Planck parameter λ0 is currently estimated at about 0.3125, or 3.2–1 K W–1 m2 (Soden & Held 2006; Bony 2006, Appendix A; IPCC 2007, p. 631 fn.). The CO2 radiative forcing ΔQ0 is 3.5 W m–2 (Andrews 2012). Therefore, from Eq. (3), reference sensitivity ΔTref to doubled CO2 concentration is about 1.1 K.

The “natural greenhouse effect” is not 32 K: The difference of 32 K between natural temperature TN (= 287.6 K) in 1850 and emission temperature TE (= 255.4 K) without greenhouse gases or temperature feedbacks was hitherto imagined to comprise 8 K (25%) base warming ΔTB directly forced by the naturally-occurring, non-condensing greenhouse gases and a 24 K (75%) feedback response ΔT(B) to ΔTB, implying a pre-industrial feedback fraction f ≈ 24 / 32 = 0.75 (Lacis et al., 2010).

Similarly, the CMIP3/5 models’ mid-range reference sensitivity ΔTS (= 3.5 x 0.3125 = 1.1 K) and Charney sensitivity ΔT (= 3.3 K) (Charney sensitivity is equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2), imply a feedback fraction f = 1 – 1.1 / 3.3 = 0.67 (Eq. 2) in the industrial era.

The error: However, climatologists had made the grave error of not realizing that emission temperature TE (= 255 K) itself induces a substantial feedback. To correct that long-standing error, we illustratively assumed that the feedback fractions f in response to TE and to ΔTB were identical. Then we derived f simply by replacing the delta values ΔTref, ΔTeq in (2) with the underlying entire quantities Tref, Teq, setting Tref = TE + ΔTB, and Teq = TN (Eq. 4),

f = 1 –Tref / Teq = 1 – (TE + ΔTB) / TN

= 1 – (255.4 + 8) / 287.6 = 0.08. (4)

Contrast this true pre-industrial value f = 0.08 with the CMIP5 models’ current mid-range estimate f = 1 – 1.1 / 3.3 = 0.67 (Eq. 2), and with the f = 0.75 applied by Lacis et al. (2010) not only to the 32 K “entire natural greenhouse effect” but also to “current climate”.

Verification: We took no small trouble to verify by multiple empirical methods the result derived by the theoretical method in Eq. (4).

Test 1: IPCC’s best estimate (IPCC, 2013, fig. SPM.5) is that some 2.29 W m–2 of net anthropogenic forcing arose in the industrial era to 2011. The product of that value and the Planck parameter is the 0.72 K reference warming (Eq. 3).

However, 0.76 K warming was observed (taken as the linear trend on the HadCRUT4 monthly global mean surface temperature anomalies, 1850-2011).

Therefore, the industrial-era feedback fraction f is equal to 1 – 0.72 / 0.76. or 0.05 (Eq. 2). That is close to the pre-industrial value f = 0.08: but it is an order of magnitude (i.e., approximately tenfold) below the models’ 0.67 or Lacis’ 0.75.

There is little change that some feedbacks had not fully acted. The feedbacks listed in IPCC (2013, p. 818, table 9.5) as being relevant to the derivation of equilibrium sensitivity are described by IPCC (2013, p. 128, Fig. 1.2) as having the following durations: Water vapor and lapse-rate feedback hours; Cloud feedback days; Surface albedo feedback years.

The new headline Charney sensitivity: Thus, Charney sensitivity is not 1.1 / (1 – 0.67) = 3.3 K (Eq. 1), the CMIP5 models’ imagined mid-range estimate (Andrews 2012). Instead, whether f = 0.05 or 0.08, Charney sensitivity ΔTeq = 1.1 / (1 – f ) is 1.2 K (Eq. 1). That new headline value is far too small to worry about.

Test 2: We sourced mainstream estimates of net anthropogenic forcing over ten different periods in the industrial era, converting each to reference sensitivity using Eq. (3) and then finding the feedback fraction f for each period using Eq. (2).

The mean of the ten values of f was 0.12, somewhat higher than the value 0.05 based on IPCC’s mid-range estimate of 2.29 W m–2 net anthropogenic forcing in the industrial era. The difference was driven by three high-end outliers in our table of ten results. Be that as it may, Charney sensitivity for f = 0.12 is only 1.25 K.

Test 3: We checked how much global warming had occurred since 1950, when IPCC says our influence on climate became detectable. The CMIP5 mid-range prediction of Charney sensitivity, at 3.3 K, is about equal to the original mid-range prediction of 21st-century global warming derivable from IPCC (1990, p. xiv), where 1.8 K warming compared with the pre-industrial era [equivalent to 1.35 K warming compared with 1990] is predicted for the 40-year period 1991-2030, giving a centennial warming rate of 1.35 / (40 / 100) = 3.3 K.

This coincidence of values allowed us to compare the 1.2 K Charney sensitivity derived from f on [0.05, 0.12] in Eq. (4) with the least-squares linear-regression trend on the HadCRUT4 monthly global mean surface temperature anomalies over the 68 years 1950-2017. Sure enough, the centennial-equivalent warming was 1.2 K/century:


The centennial-equivalent warming rate from 1950-2017 was 1.2 K/century

Test 4: We verified that the centennial-equivalent warming rate in the first 17 years (one-sixth) of the 21st century was not significantly greater than the rate since 1950. We averaged the monthly global mean surface and lower-troposphere temperature anomalies from the HadCRUT4 terrestrial and UAH satellite datasets and derived the least-squares linear-regression trend (the bright blue line on the graph below).

The satellite data were included because they cover a five-mile-high slab of the atmosphere immediately above the surface, and have a coverage greater than the terrestrial measurements. The trend was found to be clip_image012, equivalent to clip_image014/century:


Test 5: To confirm that we had understood feedback theory correctly, one of my distinguished co-authors, a hands-on electronics engineer, heard of our result and built a test rig in which we were able to specify the input signal (i.e., emission temperature TE) as a voltage, and also the direct-gain factor μ to allow for direct natural or anthropogenic forcings, and the feedback fraction β (we were using the more precise form of Eq. 1 that is usual in electronic network analysis). Then it was a simple matter directly to measure the output signal (i.e. equilibrium sensitivity ΔTeq).

The most crucial of the many experiments we ran on this rig was to set μ to unity, implying no greenhouse forcing at all. We set the feedback fraction β to a non-zero value and then verified that the output signal exceeded the input signal by the expected margin. Not at all to our surprise, it did. This experiment proved that emission temperature, on its own, induced a feedback response that climatology had hitherto overlooked.

This is where the elementary error made by climatologists for half a century has had its devastating effect. Look again at Eq. (1). The input signal is altogether absent. Although it is acceptable to use Eq. (1) to derive equilibrium sensitivities from reference sensitivities, the mistake made by the modelers was to assume, as Lacis et al. (2010) and many others had assumed, that the entire difference of 32 K between the natural temperature TN in 1850 and the emission temperature TE was accounted for by the natural greenhouse effect, comprising a direct greenhouse warming ΔTB = 8 K and a very large feedback reponse ΔT(B) = 24 K to ΔTB.

However, in truth – this is the crucial point – the emission temperature TE (= 255 K), even in the absence of any greenhouse gases, induces a large feedback response ΔTE. This feedback response to the input signal is entirely uncontroversial in electronic network analysis and in control theory generally, but we have not been able to find any acknowledgement in climatology that it exists.

Just as Lacis (2010) did, the modelers assumed that the industrial-era feedback fraction must be every bit as large as the pre-industrial feedback fraction that they had erroneously inflated by adding the large feedback response induced by emission temperature to the small feedback response induced by the presence of the naturally-occurring greenhouse gases.

It was that assumption that led the modelers to assume that there must be some very strongly positive feedbacks, chief among which was the water-vapor feedback. However, although the Clausius-Clapeyron relation indicates that the space occupied by the atmosphere can carry near-exponentially more water vapor as it warms, there is nothing to say that it must.

Suppose there were a water-vapor feedback anything like as large as that which the models have assumed (and they have assumed a very large feedback only because they are trying to explain the large but fictitious feedback fraction consequent upon their erroneous assumption that emission temperature of 255 K somehow induces no feedback response at all, while the next 8 K of warming magically induces a 24 K feedback response). In that event, atmospheric dynamics requires that there must be a tropical mid-troposphere “hot spot” [I had the honor to name it], where the warming rate should be twice or thrice that at the tropical surface. However, the “hot spot” is not observed in reality (see below), except in one suspect dataset that Dr Fred Singer scrutinized some years ago and determined to be defective.


Models predict the tropical mid-troposphere “hot spot” (top, IPCC 2007, citing Santer 2003; above left, Lee et al. 2008; above right, Karl et al., 2006).

However, the “hot spot” is not observed in reality (see below). Our result shows why not. The “hot spot” is an artefact of the modelers’ error in misallocating the substantial feedback response induced by emission temperature by adding it to the very small feedback response induced by the naturally-occurring greenhouse gases.


The model-predicted “hot spot” is not observed in reality (Karl et al. 2006).

Test 6: Even after we had built and operated our own test rig – as far as we know, this is the first time anyone has tried to test climatological feedback theory empirically rather than simply modeling it – we were not satisfied that anything other than tests performed under rigorous conditions at a government laboratory would be found widely acceptable.

Accordingly, based on the results of our in-house test rig, we drew up a more sophisticated specification for a new rig, together with four test groups comprising 23 sets of three quantities – the input signal, the direct-gain factor and the feedback fraction. Armed with the specification, I commissioned a government laboratory to carry out the experiments.

However, a problem at once arose – indeed, it was a problem with which our own engineer had wrestled. So very small were the feedback responses predicted by long-established control theory that even the presence of the operator in the same room as the test rig tended to bias the results.

Accordingly, I worked for months with a patient and amiable scientist at the government laboratory. Eventually, by somewhat altering the initial-state values specified for the 23 tests, I was able to give the scientist values that would yield results to the required precision but without loss of experimental integrity.

In due course the laboratory reported, and the results of all 23 tests – to within one-tenth of a Kelvin – were exactly as we had been able to predict theoretically. Again, the most important results were for the group of tests in which the direct-gain factor was set to unity, so that we could reassure ourselves that control theory was correct in predicting that, in the presence of a non-zero feedback fraction, even an unamplified input signal would induce a feedback response that would either amplify or attenuate it.

Another snag arose. When I had originally approached the laboratory, I had not mentioned that the research had anything to do with climate change, because all I wanted to do was to establish that we had understood the relevant control theory correctly.

When the laboratory reported, I sent it a copy of our draft paper, in which the lab results were mentioned. The laboratory panicked and said we were not allowed to use its report.

However, I had written into the contract a term to the effect that we intended to include the laboratory’s results, and a discussion of them, in an academic paper. A compromise was reached, by which we are free to include the laboratory’s results in our paper, as long as we do not mention either the name of the laboratory or the name of the scientist there who built and ran the high-specification rig for us.

The laboratory also kindly confirmed that we had represented its results fairly in our paper and had drawn justifiable conclusions from them. Furthermore, much to our pleasure, it promoted the scientist who had assisted us. He wrote us a charming letter to say that he had not allowed, and would not allow, politics to intrude into the work he had carried out for us.

With these results from a national laboratory (we cannot even mention which country it was in) we were at last content that we had established our conclusion with sufficient rigor.

The true picture: How should the 32 K difference between emission temperature and natural temperature be apportioned? Approximately 23.4 K of the 32 K is the feedback response to emission temperature; 8 K is the directly-forced warming from the presence of the natural greenhouse gases; and just 0.7 K is feedback response to that 8 K warming (panel b):


(a) Erroneous apportionment of the 32 K difference between natural temperature in 1850 and emission temperature in the absence of any greenhouse gases, given in Lacis et al. (2010).

(b) Corrected apportionment of the 32 K, allowing for the feedback response (blue) to emission temperature; the directly-forced warming from the naturally-occurring, non-condensing greenhouse gases (yellow); and the feedback response to that greenhouse warming (red).

Looking at it the other way about, if the feedback fraction were really as large as the 0.75 imagined by Lacis et al. (2010), then the Earth’s emission temperature of 255.4 K would induce a feedback response of 766.2 K, and the 8 K greenhouse warming would induce a feedback response of 24 K, so that the pre-industrial or natural temperature in 1850 would be 255.4 + 766.2 + 8 + 24 ≈ 1054 K, about three and a half times the true value of 287.6 K.

We also considered whether non-linearities in individual feedbacks might vitiate our result. However, to obtain even the 1.5 K minimum Charney sensitivity predicted by IPCC one would need to multiply at least fivefold the empirically-derived industrial-era feefdback fraction f = 0.05.

The reason why even a very large nonlinearity in the feedback sum and consequently in the feedback fraction makes little difference to equilibrium sensitivities is that the curve of equilibrium sensitivities in the presence of various feedback factors is a rectangular hyperbola (see below). Our result shows that the sensitivity calculation is not done, as now, rather close to the singularity at f = 1 (note in passing that for f > 1 Eq. (1) predicts cooling); instead, it is done at the left-hand end of the curve, where the sensitivity increases very slowly with f:


The rectangular-hyperbolic curve of Charney sensitivities in response to feedback fractions f, showing current predictions compared with the corrected result.

The outcome of the case: What will His Honor make of all this? My guess is that he will allow our amicus brief to be filed. With his engineering background, he will have no difficulty in understanding why we say that the notion of catastrophic rather than moderate global warming is rooted in the elementary physical error we have discovered.

Therefore, we hope His Honor will ask all parties to provide formal responses to our brief. On any view, it plainly raises a serious question about whether global warming matters at all – a question that strikes right to the heart not only of the case before him but of numerous other such cases now arising in several jurisdictions – and showing some evidence of careful co-ordination.

The parties will not be able to dismiss our result lightly. To refute it, they would have to show that our pre-industrial feedback fraction f = 0.08, obtained by theoretical means rooted in mainstream control theory, is incorrect; that our industrial-era value f = 0.05, obtained empirically from IPCC’s estimate of the net anthropogenic forcing to date and from the HadCRUT4 temperature record, is also incorrect; that our campaign of ten empirical calculations giving a mean feedback fraction f = 0.12, is incorrect; that the rate of observed warming over the past 68 years is either incorrect or irrelevant; that the rate of observed warming this century to date is also either incorrect or irrelevant; that the results from our test rig are inapplicable; that the results from a government laboratory are likewise inapplicable; and, above all, that it is justifiable to assume that control theory is wrong and that, per impossibile. 255.4 K of emission temperature generates no feedback at all, while the next 8 K of warming suddenly causes 24 K of feedback, as if by magic.

We do not believe in magic.

Conclusion: The anthropogenic global warming we can now expect will be small, slow, harmless, and even net-beneficial. It is only going to be about 1.2 K this century, or 1.2 K per CO2 doubling. If the parties are not able to demonstrate that we are wrong, and if His Honor accepts that we have proven the result set out publicly and in detail here for the first time, then the global warming scare was indeed based on a strikingly elementary error of physics.

The avowedly alarmist position too hastily adopted by governments and international bureaucratic entities has caused the most egregious misallocation of resources in history.

Ladies and gentlemen, we call time on a 50-year-old scam, in which a small number of corrupt and politicized scientists, paid for by scientifically-illiterate governments panicked by questionable lobby-groups funded by dubious billionaires and foreign governments intent on doing down the West, and egged on by the inept and increasingly totalitarian news media, have conspired to perpetrate a single falsehood: that the science was settled.

Well, it wasn’t.


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I don’t see the court case coming to any conclusion. To-date and imho there has never been any case brought by pro-cAGW causes that they wouldn’t take forward knowing that they’d win before they even started.
Expect delays, obfuscation and eventual abandonment with the pro- side claiming victory.
With absolute certainty, unless the pro-cAGW side is victorious you’ll see and hear nothing in the media about it either.
Much as I’ll be taking an interest it’s yet another waste of time and resources.

Davd_G underestimates Judge Alsup. He will have before him an amicus curiae brief from numerous professors and doctors of science as well as the likes of me. That brief points out an elementary and serious error without which there was and is no basis for alarm about global warming. The error is fundamental and irreparable. The scare was based on that error. Without it, there is no scare. The judge cannot and will not ignore that. He will lay himself open to an embarrassing appeal unless he accepts the brief. He will probably order all parties to respond to it. And the parties will not be able to flannel him because he has a degree in engineering and thus speaks the language of science, which is mathematics.
Do not underestimate what is happening here.

John M. Ware

Typo, early on in the article: “There is no change” should, I think, be “There is no chance”.


Lord Monckton, I must disagree. While Judge Alsup may be “technically literate”, he seems to have little appreciation for the US Constitution or US law. He is the same judge who decided that President Trump did not have the legal authority to rescind, by executive order, the DACA, itself an unconstitutional executive order. The idea that a federal judge may restrict the authorized actions of a duly elected POTUS does not bode well for a rational ruling in this case.
The judge seems much more interested in pushing his own prejudices than actual law.

Joel Snider

‘He is the same judge who decided that President Trump did not have the legal authority to rescind, by executive order, the DACA, itself an unconstitutional executive order. ‘
That is not encouraging.

I have been careful not to discuss Judge Alsup’s prejudices. He is a Clinton appointee, and in the Sunstroke State at that. But he has shown interest in scientific matters in the past, and shows interest in climate science by raising the questions one of which we answer in our amicus brief. He will know that if we are right he cannot long hold on to his scientific reputation or his judicial reputation if he ignores our result or refuses to file the amicus brief. In the end, the plaintiffs are purporting to base their case on science, and it is open to us to present scientific arguments that demonstrate the falsity of their scientific position. We think the judge will be interested in our arguments and will ask both parties to comment on it. Even if he ignores our brief and refuses to file it, it has cost us little to submit it. One can either sit and debate these matters with oneself or one can go into the public arena and argue a sound scientific case. We have chosen the latter.

joe - the non climate scientist

Any hope that Judge Bill Alsup will be keen on an honest evaluation of the science is likely misplaced
He is an appointee of Bill Clinton
he clerked for Douglas, Whose reputation is far worse that even Stevens or Ginsburg.
He is in San Fran – the court is in the 9th circuit.
He blocked the dismantling of DACA, completely misapplying the law and legal standards
Even though an engineer by degree, the inability to apply correct legal standards should reflect on his ability to ascertain the science. (not)
I cant find any comments he has made on Daubert – though pro AGW scientists likely to get free pass, while Monckton is likely not to meet the Daubert standard since his views “dont conform to accepted science” (97% consensus).
numerous rulings appear to be based on politics instead of the facts and the law. AGW is very much a political issue with the prominent proponents being progressives
see comments of attorney in his court. 4.3 rating out of 10.

paul courtney

I see Joel Snider and others make the point that J. Alsup found a right in the constitution for dreamers. I hope Monckton is right, but if he learned con law from William O. Douglas, he has too much to unlearn. Most likely he has pulled this case onto his docket so he can issue a series of progressive tomes with juust a patina of science and law. If he thinks an unlawful exec. order can create constitutional rights, he’s not much of a judge.


I am not the lawyer, nor fond of DACA, but, there ARE some legal reasons a president could NOT rescind a rule written by a former president, even if you think the former president had no right to edict the said rule. You just need the said rule to be a direct consequence of current legislation, that is, the former president did not really edicted the rule, he just wrote it but it already existed in the current legislation, and took care that this legislation was indeed enforced as it should.
Said otherwise and for instance: the understanding of the Constitution by Judge Alsup is that President Lincoln could have had abolished slavery by executive order, and no president afterward could have rescinded such an executive order.
Is that so unconstitutional? I don’t think so.
Now, you may argue, with some reason, that DACA is not such a rule. Obviously Judge Alsup think it is, and he has the upper hand over you.
Legal matters ARE complicated. More than climate, and this says something.

paul courtney

paqy: Your comment is not even wrong, but I would not be surprised if you have correctly described Alsup’s reasoning. Law can be complicated, but not in this instance. Lincoln’s exec order was issued during an open insurrection, and would have been unlikely to survive after that insurrection was ended (ie, after reconstruction). If no insurrection, Lincoln had no more power to abolish slavery than current execs, who cannot “abolish” car ownership. After reconstruction (and assuming no 13th Amendment), a federal court would have been obliged to find Lincoln’s order no longer in effect, and restore the southerner’s property to him. This is so whether or not it was “rescinded”. IF Alsop used Lincoln as precedent (I have not read his decision), then he is further lost than I thought.

joe - the non climate scientist

paqyfelyc March 19, 2018 at 1:19 pm
I am not the lawyer, nor fond of DACA, but, there ARE some legal reasons a president could NOT rescind a rule written by a former president, even if you think the former president had no right to edict the said rule. You just need the said rule to be a direct consequence of current legislation, that is, the former president did not really edicted the rule, he just wrote it but it already existed in the current legislation, and took care that this legislation was indeed enforced as it should.
Under Article 1 of the US Constitution, only the legislative branch can write law. An executive order which doesnt conform to law passed by congress can be rescinded by executive order.

joe - the non climate scientist

I previously mentioned that Alsup clerked for Douglas. Having known several former clerks of scotus justices, one very common theme is the deep admiration for whomever they have clerked for, both professional and judicial philosophy. Alsup has adopted some of Douglas’s worst traits.


States exercising their legal right to leave the union is not an insurrection.

Tom Halla

Lets not refight the Civil War, but Jefferson Davis lost on that point.

Hot under the collar

Whether the Judge understands the science, or not, will not decide the case. Most cases are decided on the pre-determined prejudice of the Judge, politics and how well the case is presented. In fact with ‘climate change’ if your case is technical and complicated all that will happen is the alarmists will appeal to emotion and likely win.
I do hope I’m wrong!


Monckton of Brenchley
I’m no scientist, a layman in fact, but I think most of us recognise that an engineering degree, or any other degree for that matter, is just a piece of paper saying one has passed an examination.
The real value, and test of an engineers qualities are in field; observational evidence of their abilities if you like. Brunel’s reputation was built on his achievements, not his qualifications. Has Judge Alsup any meaningful field experience, or demonstrated any meaningful engineering achievements?
And forgive me if I’m wrong, but I understand US judges are political appointees, as opposed to the UK system of judge selection which is independent of politics.
The problem, as I see it is, that whilst your evidence is 100% correct, it may be a momentary success, before the debate moves on rapidly, to emotional appeals, the polar bears, seals, penguins etc.
I was a policeman in Glasgow many moons ago, and I can’t count the number of stonewalled cases I had slip through my fingers, and some very nasty people were all but acquitted when the emotional card was played.
I wish you all the best and should you prove successful in this endeavour, you can rampage through Britain and Europe, and halt the determined, blind march into totalitarianism. I believe that is, largely unwittingly, what the British public voted for with Brexit.
Pile on the coals Chris (pun intended) I’m sure sceptics across the world wish you as much luck as I do.

Nigel S

joe – March 19, 2018 at 12:47 pm: First, thanks to Lord Monkton for a great ‘why did nobody spot that before?’ moment. Thanks to you for the link. I liked these comments from the ‘the robingroom’. The low scores seem to be from people who lost, were badly pepared or misbehaved. Encouraging I think.
‘Assumes the worst of lawyers appearing in his courtroom.’
‘Be prepared, play everything straight, and you can stand up to him when he tries to bully you, which he actually kind of likes.’
‘Appears to delight in torturing the attorneys that appear before him. A view shared by both sides of the bar.’


The side with the most guns usually wins, and then writes history to justify it’s actions.


The best strategy is to pursue as many options as you are capable of pursuing in hopes that one of them will be successful.
Since this is a fight that was forced on the oil companies by various states, it’s best to try and win it. Ignoring it is not an option.


The judge’s qu. #8 was not a public invitation for every man and his dog to send his own pet hypothesis to the court.
His question was: what is the SOURCE of the heat causing the INCREMENTAL rise in global temperatures? The use of the word incremental suggests he has got a grip on what is going on and does not need or want to be treated like the last kid into the class room. Sceptic bloggers and others seem to be universally taking this condescending attitude to the judge, which will not go down well.
The sort answer to #8 is , of course, the sun, not PhD thesis submission on feedbacks.

I would imagine that a technically literate judge who asks a specific question wants an answer to that question, not someone ( everyone ) taking it as a chance to tell him what he really MEANT to ask was something else, and by the way here is my pet theory as an answer to the new question.

He is a judge sitting on a technical case. No one seems to have considered that he may actually be trying establish the ground rules of the case by getting the position of each side on some fundamental questions down on paper before starting. He probably really did mean to ask: what is the SOURCE of the heat ?

joe - the non climate scientist

MarkW March 19, 2018 at 3:56 pm
States exercising their legal right to leave the union is not an insurrection.
FWIW – No state has the legal right to leave the union.

Greg presumes to know the mind of the judge. He assumes that all the judge wants to be told is that the source of most of the heat in the coupled ocean-atmosphere climate system is the Sun. But that interpretation cannot be correct, because the judge is asking about “incremental” heat – in other words, why has global mean surface temperature been rising? Since the solar constant has been – well – very close to constant, it is not the Sun that is causing the “incremental” element in the heat within the climate system.
In fact, there are two main possibilities, neither of them the Sun. First, there is the natural, internal variability of the climate system, which is quite enough on its own to have caused the rather small warming that has been observed since 1850. Secondly, there are the anthropogenic enrichments of the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, and the feedbacks consequent thereupon. Our research has recently focused on the last of these influences – the feedbacks. And we have reported to the judge that official cllmatology has made a serious error in its calculations, leading to a considerable overstatement of the influence of greenhouse gases on global temperature. Our research, therefore, is directly relevant to the judge’s question.

Yogi Bear

“In fact, there are two main possibilities, neither of them the Sun. First, there is the natural, internal variability of the climate system..”
In fact infernal variability, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation is strongly solar driven.

HotScot: “I was a policeman in Glasgow many moons ago”


One shouldn’t crow that the AGW monster is now dead Christopher. Their are other physicists out there and you have yet to get peer review.

The anonymous “WTF” presumes to preach that I should not express any pleasure at our result because it has not yet been sanctified by peer review. The question, however, is not whether our paper will pass peer review but whether the error we have discovered is indeed the error we say it is. At several points in this thread I have made it clear that the delight that many less pietistic commenters are expressing is contingent upon our result being found correct. However, quite enough is set out in the head posting to allow people to come to their own view on whether it is correct.


joe – the non climate scientist March 20, 2018 at 9:09 am
That was by no means settled law in 1860 and remains unsettled today.
Regardless of the constitutional legality of state secession from the Union, people at the time however did recognize the right of revolution embodied in the Declaration of Independence.

Jean Paul Zodeaux

“To-date and imho there has never been any case brought by pro-cAGW causes that they wouldn’t take forward knowing that they’d win before they even started.”
In October of 2012, the Climate Accountability Institute held a seminar to discuss strategies in how to do to oil companies what anti-tobacco groups managed to do to tobacco companies. Here are some relevant quotes from that seminar:
“A few principles emerged from the long fight for tobacco control. First, any legal strategies involving court cases require plaintiffs, a venue, and law firms willing to litigate—all of which present significant hurdles to overcome. Robert Proctor generalized about the history of tobacco-related litigation by noting that tobacco
opponents typically won with simplicity but lost in the face of complexity. As he noted, it is worth remembering that, “The industry can win by making plaintiffs have to pass a thousand hurdles, any one of which can derail
the whole effort.” Second, public victories can occur even when the formal point is lost. In one effort that sought to stop tobacco research at Stanford University, for instance, no formal ban was enacted but the public outcry led the Philip Morris company to stop its external research programs anyway.”
“First, lawsuits are not the only way to win the release of documents. As one participant noted, congressional hearings can yield documents. In the case of tobacco, for instance, the infamous “Doubt is our product” document came out after being subpoenaed by Congress.11 State attorneys general can also subpoena documents, raising the possibility that a single sympathetic state attorney general might have substantial success in bringing key internal documents to light. In addition, lawyers at the workshop noted that even grand juries convened by a district attorney could result in significant document discovery.”
“The suit [Kivalina v ExxonMobile] was dismissed by a U.S. district court in 2009 on the grounds that regulating global warming emissions is a political rather than a legal issue that needs to be resolved by Congress and the executive branch rather than the courts. An appeal was filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in November 2009, but was rejected in September 2012. The plaintiffs have yet to determine whether to take further legal action, either by calling for an en banc review of the appeal verdict or by re-filing the case in state court.”
“Richard Ayres, an experienced environmental attorney, suggested that the RICO Act, which had been used effectively against the tobacco industry, could similarly be used to bring a lawsuit against carbon producers.
As Ayres noted, the RICO statute requires that a claimant establish the existence of a “criminal enterprise,” and at least two acts of racketeering (with at least one having occurred within the past four years). It is not even clear, he added, whether plaintiffs need to show they were actually harmed by the defendant’s actions. As Ayres put it, “RICO is not easy. It is certainly not a sure win. But such an action would effectively change the subject to the campaign of deception practiced by the coal, gas, and oil companies.”
““Even if your ultimate goal might be to shut down a company, you still might be wise to start out by asking for compensation for injured parties.”
Their endgame isn’t winning lawsuits. If they win the lawsuit, that’s a bonus, but even if they lose, they win…or at least this is what they believe.

The RIGHT conclusion
about the future climate,
is “no one knows”,
but few people, besides
me, want to say: “I don’t know”.
People are conditioned to believe
“smart” people always know,
and always have an “answer”,
and they think a fast answer
stated with great confidence,
is better than an answer
that includes uncertainty,
or even “worse”:
Saying you need to think
about a question for a while,
and look up data,
before you try to
answer the question.
In general, people talk about many
subjects and are usually not that smart
about more than one subject or two.
(the maximum warming estimate)
of “Transient Climate Sensitivity”
to CO2 alone,
is about +1 degree C.
per doubling of CO2,
assuming ALL the warming
in the weather satellite era,
since 1979,
was caused by CO2
(but do remember that
there is NO PROOF that
any of the warming was
actually caused by CO2).
(Christy and McNider 2017)
(the minimum warming estimate)
is near zero warming from
CO2 since 1979.
+ 1 degree of warming
in 200 years (harmless),
if CO2 rises +2 ppm per year
… or + 1 degree of warming
in 133 years (harmless),
if CO2 rises +3 ppm per year.
Both estimates assume a lot of fossil fuel
use in the future, which is a guess too.
“Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity”
makes no sense to me,
since our planet has never been
in thermodynamic equilibrium,
and we have no idea what
CO2 feedbacks are,
not even if they
are negative or positive
(although climate history
reconstructions have no evidence
of any positive feedback ,
with no “runaway” warming or cooling
… and much evidence of a
relatively stable climate,
suggesting negative feedback(s) ).
What any judge needs to know,
is that the demonization of CO2
is not based on any real science.
One wild guess of the future climate,
whether based on a wild guess
in 1979 (Charney), which is the
foundation for climate models
that have wrong for 30 years, so far,
is just as good as anyone’s wild guess
= all wild guesses are worthless.
The era of rising CO2, since 1940,
has had three DIFFERENT CO2
average temperature correlations:
NEGATIVE from 1940 to 1975,
POSITIVE from 1975 to 2000, and
NO CORRELATION from 2000 to 2015 (before the El Nino)
For the effect of CO2,
that all adds up to:
“I don’t know”.
Sometimes the man who says
“I don’t know”,
is the smartest man in the room !
My climate change blog
for people with common sense,
which excludes leftists, of course:

Lance Wallace

Delightful description, as always. You mention a draft paper. Do you plan on publishing it?

Mike Burcke

Did you even read the last paragraph of the section labeled “Two propositions” early in the article? Apparently not. The paper is being reviewed, prior to publication.

In response to Mr Wallace, by convention the underlying paper cannot be circulated until it has been reviewed. However, anyone who wants a copy of the amicus curiae brief setting out the argument, or who would like a one-page summary of the argument for circulation to friends, should write to me at monckton[at]


Hasn’t this “review” process being going on for about 18 months now?

Greg seems determined not to get to grips with the science in the head posting. Our research has certainly been going on for 18 months. In fact, for two of the co-authors it has been going on for 12 years. The question is not whether the research has been slow and careful or quick and brilliant: it is whether our conclusions are correct. So far, none of the almost 500 comments in this thread has landed a blow on our result. Perhaps Greg would avoid the yah-boo and try to contribute an original scientific thought to this thread.

Kristi Silber

“We averaged the monthly global mean surface and lower-troposphere temperature anomalies from the HadCRUT4 terrestrial and UAH satellite datasets and derived the least-squares linear-regression trend (the bright blue line on the graph below).’
Lord Monckton, I don’t understand why these datasets were averaged. Do I understand correctly that surface and lower troposphere temperatures were averaged together? What is the rationale behind this?
“So far, none of the almost 500 comments in this thread has landed a blow on our result.”
That has no bearing on whether it’s correct.
“However, quite enough is set out in the head posting to allow people to come to their own view on whether it is correct.”
This is only true if readers can both follow what was said AND compare it to mainstream climate models to ascertain that they are in fact wrong. This is too much to ask of laymen, and indeed too much to ask of someone with an engineering degree. The argument outlined here must be reviewed by a few people who are able to assess these things before it is taken as correct or constructive.
Somehow I find it hard to believe that all the groups of modelers independently made the same grievous error. Until that proves to be the case through this or other evidence, there is no reason to abandon the models. This is a question for scientists to work out. Posting this here seems to be a way to garner popular support from people who mostly can’t really evaluate the results.
“Eventually, by somewhat altering the initial-state values specified for the 23 tests, I was able to give the scientist values that would yield results to the required precision but without loss of experimental integrity”
This is the kind of thing that skeptics would jump on if this were written by a mainstream scientist, denouncing the whole model as “fake.” For that matter, any model is seen as worthless. It is hypocritical to blindly accept these results just because they support one’s beliefs.
“When I had originally approached the laboratory, I had not mentioned that the research had anything to do with climate change” This seems very odd to me.
“When the laboratory reported, I sent it a copy of our draft paper, in which the lab results were mentioned. The laboratory panicked and said we were not allowed to use its report.
“… A compromise was reached, by which we are free to include the laboratory’s results in our paper, as long as we do not mention either the name of the laboratory or the name of the scientist there who built and ran the high-specification rig for us.”
Where’s the transparency here? Why is this a secret? What was the lab afraid of? This alone is enough to be alarming. Why was this an issue?
Being a true skeptic would mean not taking this at face value without adequate review by someone who is experienced with climate modeling.

Kristi Silber wonders why we took the mean of the surface and lower-troposphere temperature anomaly datasets. The reason is that the anomalies are broadly similar, so that we cover both more latitudes and more altitudes, giving a fairer picture of change. But one could also take each result separately. There are no rules about this.
Likewise, a question is raised about how so many modelers got it wrong. The chief reason is that, one the Party Line had been promulgated, dissent was not a career-enhancing move. This error would have been identified long ago if its identification had not been a career-ending threat to any scientist who dared to dig where we have dug.
As to the question about how the laboratory tests were conducted, all of the tests are readily replicable, and the details of what was done and why are fully documented in the supplemental material annexed to our paper currently under review.

richard verney

There are many reasons to suspect that if only we were to measure temperature properly, and carry out a like for like comparison, with unadjusted historic records, we would find that the temperature today, on a point for point basis, is no warmer than it was in the late 1930s/early 1940s.
This is notwithstanding that since the late 1930s./early 1940s approximately 97% of all manmade CO2 emissions have taken place, and this suggests that climate sensitivity to CO2, if any at all, may be very close to zero.
Until we obtain a proper handle on temperature measurements, which will enable us to carry out a meaningful like for like comparison, we will never be able to properly evaluate climate sensitivity.

Thomas Homer

Richard verney: “Until we obtain a proper handle on temperature measurements, which will enable us to carry out a meaningful like for like comparison, we will never be able to properly evaluate climate sensitivity.”
Exactly right! All of the quibbling over historical temperature data set validity, corrections, coercions, etc. is an exceptionally tedious exercise in futility.

Neither Mr Verney nor Mr Homer has grasped the theoretical method by which we derived a pre-industrial feedback fraction one-tenth of the currently canonical mid-range estimates. The method does not depend on finely-tuned temperature measurements. It depends on measuring only two values that are now generally agreed after multiple measurements: the incoming radiance from the Sun and the fraction of that irradiance that is reflected harmlessly back to outer space. With those two measurements and the Stefan-Boltzmann constant one can derive the 255.4 K emission temperature of the Earth directly.
We have some idea of today’s surface temperature. It is about 288.4 K. And we have some idea that there has been about 0.8 K global warming (however caused) since 1850. Therefore, the mean surface temperature in 1850 was about 287.6 K, about 32 K greater than the emission temperature that would prevail at the Earth’s surface in the absence of any greenhouse gases or of any feedback.
Now, assume ad argumentum that the naturally occurring greenhouse gases induced no radiative forcing at all. In that event, the entire 32 K difference between the natural temperature in 1850 and the emission temperature is the feedback response to emission temperature itself. That is simply 1 – 255.4 / 287.6, or 0.11, That is the maximum theoretically-possible pre-industrial feedback fraction. You can vary both the warming since 1850 and today’s surface temperature quite a bit without much altering that impossible maximum value of the pre-industrial feedback fraction.
Much the same goes for the industrial-era feedback fraction. IPCC (2013) has a mid-range estimate of 2.29 Watts per square meter of net anthropogenic forcing from all sources up until 2011. Divide that by 3.2 to convert it to a net anthropogenic warming of 0.72 K over the period. The measured warming from 1850-2011 was around 0.76 K (HadCRUT4). So the industrial-era feedback fraction is 1 – 0.72 / 0.76, or 0.05. Suppose there had been, say, 1 K warming from 1850-2011. Then the feedback fraction would be 1 – 0.72 / 1, or 0.28. That value would be more than five times the 0.05 we have just derived. Yet Charney sensitivity – i.e., equilibrium sensitivity to CO2 doubling – would still be only 1.1 / (1 – 0.28), or 1.5 K, right at the bottom of IPCC’s interval of predictions.
The result outlined in the head posting is, therefore, a good deal more robust than it may appear at first blush, and – for the reason carefully explained in the exposition of the rectangular-hyperbolic curve of Charney sensitivities in the presence of various feedback fractions – even quite large increases in the feedback fraction compared with the 0.05-0.12 estimated in the head posting make very little difference to Charney sensitivity.
Above all, the current method of deriving Charney sensitivity is based upon the elementary and significant physical error of assuming that the Earth’s large emission temperature induces no feedback response whatsoever, while the next few Kelvin of temperature forced by the presence of the naturally-occurring greenhouse gases is imagined to induce a large feedback. That contradiction is untenable. For half a century, climate science has simply been wrong.

Lord M, your just above comment, last paragraph, is the logical core essence of your ‘discovery’. It deserves to be widely dissminated, including to the judge.

J Mac

Lord Monckton,
Thank you for the additional examples stated just above. It illustrated and clarified much, for me.

Mr Istvan is of course correct: the logical core of our argument is that one cannot assume that an emission temperature of 255.4 K induces no feedback response, while simultaneously assuming that a directly-forced temperature of 8 K from the presence of the naturally-occurring, non-condensing greenhouse gases suddenly, as if by magic, induces a feedback response of 24 K. The point is indeed explicitly made in the argument we submitted to the judge.

With due respect, and this is not detrimental to the argument presented here, but 255.4K is a theoretical minimum temperature, not representing reality.
The figure of 255.4 maximises ΔT due to the greenhouse effect because of this.
In reality, in 1850 around 80% of emissions came from the atmosphere, as it does today, and the weighted mean emissivity over all radiative angles for blue sky is 0.85, which is popularly accepted. This coupled with average cloud emissivity at a similar level significantly reduces the Earth’s total emissivity to significantly below 1, and raises the actual temperature as might be measured by real world instruments.
As a result of this the temperature calculated as Earth’s emission temperature as a real number, not a theoretical minimum is more like 265K (ε=0.87) rather than 255.4K (for fictional ε=1). This significantly reduces ΔT by around 10K for the sum of forcings and feedback parameters irrespective of mechanism.

Thomas Homer

Indeed, with due respect – do we have the ability to measure this ‘greenhouse gas’ property? If yes then it answers itself, if not we need to consider why we can’t. How do we know it exists if it can’t be measured?
The greenhouse gas property is today’s celestial spheres. Celestial spheres were introduced to explain the orbital patterns of planets as if the Earth were the center of the universe. These spheres functioned quite well, but does that determine their existence? Your argument above is that there is an amount of Earth’s temperature that can’t be explained, and ‘greenhouse gases’ are introduced to fill that gap. That means the property exists? Measuring this property would be very persuasive, just as the inability to measure it is.


“Mr Istvan is of course correct” , as he so often is. However, I fear that his “lordship” has failed to get the sense of Riscan’s comment.

Greg still seems to have no scientific point to make. Mr Istvan has recommended that a particular part of our argument should be drawn to the attention of Judge Alsup in our amicus curiae brief. It has been.

Greg March 20, 2018 at 9:16 am

“Mr Istvan is of course correct” , as he so often is. However, I fear that his “lordship” has failed to get the sense of Riscan’s comment.

Why on earth are you being so impenetrable? Not one comment of yours that I have seen here actually contains any serious physical argument, it’s all innuendo and put-downs. E.g. the scare quotes around “lordship”, when we know very well that Christopher is indeed a lord. And as well, he didn’t sign his post with “lord” in any case. I think you are just a mischief maker, and, by the absence of any solid argument, an ignorant one in the bargain. And your lack of any details as to how Christopher “failed to get the sense”. Oh, and your anonymity… what a specimen!

Alan Tomalty

Christopher said
“Now, assume ad argumentum that the naturally occurring greenhouse gases induced no radiative forcing at all. In that event, the entire 32 K difference between the natural temperature in 1850 and the emission temperature is the feedback response to emission temperature itself. ”
Christopher ,
You will be laughed out of court with arguments like the above. A feedback has to have some actual physical meaning. Any feedback has to either involve sound, electromagnetic light waves either seen or not or pressure of some sort. There has to be some phsical process. So when you are talking about gases in the atmosphere they change temperature because of some physical process. Any feedback from that temperature change also has to involve a physical movement of some kind of energy through some medium. A temperature cannot change a temperature. A temperature doesnt exist. It is only a measuring tool of mankind, not a physical entity. So what you really mean is that the initial temperature change was caused by reflected IR being absorbed by greenhouse gases which caused more evaporation and enabled more IR to be trapped as a feedback. You cannot have a temperature change without having a net (incoming – outgoing to space) IR amount being trapped.
But this is where the alarmists are wrong. The real graph should be around 31.4 K for the clouds and water vapour part with the rest being CO2 for about 0.8K. The 1st key thing is that in the beginning there wasnt any clouds and water vapour in the atmosphere but there was CO2 and a lot of it. Therefore the temperature rose from the emission temperature 255.4 to the equilibrium temperature of 287.6. That initiated evaporation from the oceans enabling clouds and water vapour to form for the 1st time and thus an equilibrium temperature was reached. The 2nd key thing is that there is always enough water vapour in the air to absorb the net difference in IR. And when the amount gets saturated, precipitation happens and the amount drops back. Thus the total global level of H2O vapour in the atmosphere has never really changed from the beginning. Thus when the CO2 levels went down 325 million years ago because of increased plant growth ( the plants really got started big time around 325 million years ago) the temperature also dropped. There can never be a feedback (ie increased water vapour) from increased CO2 because the levels of CO2 since then by itself cannot cause a large enough temperature change. So when you talk about feedbacks you need large amounts of CO2 as in 8000ppm like the atmosphere had 530 million years ago. So the initial feedback to create the clouds and water vapour in the 1st place is really the only big feedback that has occurred. If mankind was to put 1000’s of ppm CO2 into the air we could get the temperature up but we would have to burn every last piece of carbon in the ground. dont forget that since 1980 mankind has burned 75% more fossil fuels but has only increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2 by 21%. The alarmists have no answer for that statistic.

Mr Tomalty asks about the physical processes by which feedbacks operate. The principal feedbacks relevant to the derivation of equilibrium sensitivity are the water vapor / lapse rate feedback, the albedo feedbacks and the cloud feedback. If it were assumed, per impossibile, that there are no greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today, then all 32 K of the difference between emission temperature of 255 K and the 287 K natural temperature in 1850 would be attributable to the feedback response to emission temperature, arising from the operation of these feedbacks.

You’re So Wrong
… For So Long,
T. Homer:
The temperature measurements
could be perfectly accurate
(really +/- 0.1 degrees,
margin of error,
not just haphazard
surface measurements
falsely claimed to be that accurate)…
… and we would still NOT know
how much, IF ANY,
of the warming since 1940,
(the era of man made CO2)
… with most of the warming from
the early 1990s to early 2000s,
as I read the charts,
… was caused by CO2.
So climate sensitivity
would still be a mystery,
(although perhaps a worst
case warming from CO2
ESTIMATE would be slightly different
than the +1 degree C. estimated today
using satellite data since 1979,
if we had perfectly accurate measurements
and global average compilations.
I think the result
would be the same:
= CO2 is harmless
(in my opinion,
based on real science,
adding CO2 to the air,
with cleanly-burned fossil fuels,
is very beneficial for
our low-CO2 planet,
causing no harm at all.)


And since we can never know with the same accuracy what the temperature was pre-industrial for the base scenario then we can never use temperature data to separate out the “natural warming” from “man-made warming”. Climate change never will be capable of allowing true science – replicated experiments using a control case that can be falsified.

richard verney

You have no basis for saying:

Neither Mr Verney nor Mr Homer has grasped the theoretical method by which we derived a pre-industrial feedback fraction one-tenth of the currently canonical mid-range estimates.

i fully understand and appreciate the point you make :

the current method of deriving Charney sensitivity is based upon the elementary and significant physical error of assuming that the Earth’s large emission temperature induces no feedback response whatsoever, while the next few Kelvin of temperature forced by the presence of the naturally-occurring greenhouse gases is imagined to induce a large feedback. That contradiction is untenable.

But whilst that is interesting, it does not answer the fundamental issue whether the Earth’s atmosphere actually has a climate sensitivity to the presence of varying amounts of CO2. That can only be ascertained by measuring the system in operation, and its actual and real response to varying levels of CO2. That observational test cannot be done without knowing properly the temperature and temperature changes that have TRULY taken place, and we simply do not have data that is fit for purpose to enable us to carry out that task.
Many posters on this blog, I included, have repeatedly pointed out that there is a fundamental misunderstanding as to what constitutes feedbacks, and that if there is a water vapour feedback then that is a facet of temperature, not forcing. I, like many posters, have pointed out that in the paleo record this planet has been 10 degC, possibly at times 18 deg C, warmer today and that there would have been runaway warming if water vapour was the positive feedback as posited by the GHG conjecture. What we know of the paleo record establishes

the next few Kelvin of temperature forced by the presence of the naturally-occurring greenhouse gases is imagined to induce a large feedback. That contradiction is untenable.

It seems that Mr Verney and I are in agreement after all,. But we have found a method of proving that our argument is correct and that, therefore, Charney sensitivity cannot much exceed 1.2 K. What is more, that proof depends upon the exposure of a material error of physics in official climatology. That is a very definite result. If we are correct, then IPCC and others will be compelled to take full account of our result. If we are right, this is game over.


But Christopher,
You’re still using as a baseline the 1.1C of so-called ‘no-feedback’ surface warming, which is wrong.

Alan Tomalty

According to your calculations the maximum value for “f” = 0.112 Plugging that value into equation 1 gives a maximum value of deltaT eqi = 1.23 K so your chart to the right of f= 0.112 should be shaded with a legend of impossible.

Alan Tomalty

Okay RW but what you are arguing is directly against the CAGW science and you may well be perfectly correct but Christopher is simply using the CAGW science as is and proving that even their basic equation is untenable. If we win on Christopher’s basic argument we don’t need any further arguments. CAGW will be dead in the atmosphere.

richard verney

I am not seeking in any way to downplay the significance of your paper.
You are putting some meat on the bone, and in a manner that a Judge, with an engineering background, ought to both readily understand and to appreciate its significance.
But one area where Climate Science gets a free pass, is whether warming is bad, and if so at what level? The 2 degC figure is an arbitrary figure which was simply plucked out of thin air, with no assessment having been undertaken as to what impact say each 0.25 degC of warming will cause both benefits and detriments.
We have already recently seen that the 2 degC danger figure has now become 1.5 degC. How long will it be that this figure is further reduced, say perhaps to 1.2 degC, and then below that?
Further, at one time it was thought that the dangerous warming was from the 1970s when the alarm first arose, but now it is from the pre-industrial era. This revision means that the natural warming pre 1950, is now included in the danger zone.
Yet further, anyone who has seen the numerous revisions to the temperature record, well knows that the past is being cooled and the present warmed which is also produces an (apparent) increase in the overall warming from the pre-industrial era. See for example:
The upshot of this revisionary stance is that very soon, we will have seen 1.2deg C warming from the pre-industrial era such that any further warming, however small, will exceed even your assessment.

Alan Tomalty

What you forget is that they cant adjust the CO2 figures. And based on Christopher’s finding they cant argue that the max temp diff will be any more than 1.23K for a doubling. The one thing that Christopher will have to work out is the response parameterization of Temp diff to doubling at all points on the CO2 scale. Obviously depending on where you start on the CO2 scale a doubling will have different consequences depending on the initial value of CO2. It makes sense to me that a doubling of CO2 from 1ppm to 2 ppm will not produce the same temperature change as from 310ppm to 620ppm I take 1950 as the benchmark that Christopher did as when industry fossil fuel burning really took off. That was the year I was born so I am a product of the fossil fuel burning age Blame me cause when “I came out of the womb I was shouting I want all those plastic XMas toys that you are gonna give me growing up to become a teenager”. So I take this global warming hoax personally. Thus in 1950 the CO2 level was at 310ppm. we have yet to see a doubling . So if we have had 0.8K increase since 1950 that means in another 33 years we will see another 0.4 K till the year 2050 based on a 1.2K increase per century as in Christopher’s thesis. However I doubt that we will see a CO2 level of 620 ppm in 2050. It only seems to be increasing about 1/2 % a year so I figure based on that rate we will only hit 489 ppm as of 2050. So that wont even be a doubling . So that must mean that the forcing factor is much lower than the maximum of .112 and much closer to Christopher’s 0.08.

verney sez:
“But one area where Climate Science gets a free pass,
is whether warming is bad, and if so at what level?
The +2 deg C figure is an arbitrary figure
which was simply plucked out of thin air,”
Modern climate “science”
is almost entirely
plucked out of thin air !
There is no real science
beyond simple lab experiments,
using closed systems, to show
that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas”.
Beyond that is no real science at all.
Warming caused by CO2,
assuming it’s large enough to measure
= a wild guess
+2 degree tipping point
= a silly wild guess
Water vapor positive feedback theory
= a sillier wild guess
There has already been AT LEAST +2 degrees C.
of warming since the late 1600s cold period,
during the Maunder Minimum, in the Little Ice Age
— and people LOVED the warming that followed,
per anecdotal written evidence.
The minor warming since 1750
have been accompanied by HUGE
productivity, and
health (lifespan).
Where is ANY evidence of ANY harm
caused by +1 degree of warming since 1880?
( +/- 1 degree C., in my opinion )
Let me answer:
No harm at all !
More CO2 in the air is a blessing,
not a curse — the over-emotional leftists
are wrong … as usual.
My climate blog
Over 15,000 page views so far:

100% richard. You hit the nail on the head.

Yes, the Forces of Darkness can tamper with the temperature record: but they can’t escape from the fact that they have made a strikingly elementary error of physics in not realizing that some 23.4 K of the 32 K difference between emission temperature and 1850 temperature is a feedback not to the 8 K directly-forced warming from the naturally-occurring, non-condensing greenhouse gases but to the pre-existing 255 K emission temperature. Once the penny drops on that one, the scare will be over and there will be no point in their trying to continue to tamper with the temperature record. The tampering only arises from their desperate attempts to make the temperature record fit their theory. But now that their theory has been proven materially in error, that’s that.

Alan Tomalty

The alarmist graph is correct if you consider that it represents the situation 4.6 billion years ago when there were no clouds or water vapour in the air buts gobs of CO2. Then there was enough CO2 to iniitiate a large temperature change to initiate evaporation and thus clouds and H2O vapour. But since then the CO2 levels dropped drastically so that as of 1850, 31.4K of the equilibrium difference in temperature is because of H2O and clouds and 0.8 because of CO2. Once the levels of CO2 dropped 325 million years ago there hasnt been enough CO2 to force anything. So the only thing that CO2 does is increase the temperature a tiny bit. We will never be able to burn enough fossil fuels to worry about it. The whole theory of CO2 forcing more water vapour only occurred more than 325 million years ago when there was up to 8000 ppm CO2. Since then there hasnt been enough. We need more CO2 not less.

I agree with Mr Tomalty that more CO2 would be a lot better than less CO2. And I agree that in a reasonable world not dominated by totalitarian ideologues his version of events might well be readily accepted. But the totalitarians have adopted a Party Line on climate, and they do not allow it to be debated, and they direct hate speech at those of us who dare to ask questions.
That is why it is necessary for us, having found a major and significant error in their calculations, to draw that error to the attention of the scientific community. If we are found to be in substance correct, then the totalitarians will lose the entire debate and that will be that. Game over.

Dave Yaussy

Court proceedings, while far from perfect venues for discerning the truth, at least offer the opportunity for a fair presentation of the evidence, and robust give-and-take. It sounds like this judge might be unusually capable of understanding the science and giving skeptics a fair hearing.


Court cases typically include the process of discovery, which has been avoided by the CAGW crowd like the plague. I seriously doubt the Climate Cabal will ever pursue a full court case to defend their meme.

Mr Yaussy is correct. The judge is scientifically literate. He will understand the argument in the amicus curiae brief, and he will soon detect any evasion or flannel on the part of the parties replying to it.

Alan Tomalty

It is too late unless they withdraw the case. This is the alarmists’ biggest strategical mistake. It will be the 1st time that there has been a worldwide debate on this.


Monckton writes: “Mr Yaussy is correct. The judge is scientifically literate. He will understand the argument in the amicus curiae brief, and he will soon detect any evasion or flannel on the part of the parties replying to it.
Your submission contains a number of references to the scientific literature. What happens when the authors you cite tell the judge how you have mis-applied their findings? Drs. Lacis, Soden, Bony, and Held certainly aren’t going to say that the values from their work that you cite were meant to be applied in the equations you used.

In answer to Frank, a game that has often been played by the climate fanatics in the past is to take a result cited by me and then contact the scientist, misstate what I said about the result and then get the scientist to express hostility. No doubt that approach will be wheeled out yet again this time. But there will be a difference. Now that we have identified the large error without which there is no climate problem, the only legitimate method of preventing our argument from prevailing is to demonstrate, fairly and objectively, that we are incorrect. The fraud authorities of several nations are now watching. If there is any repetition of past activity by self-appointed busybodies misrepresenting what we have said and inviting third-party scientists to comment on those misrepresentations, the busybodies concerned will face fraud charges.
Let me be very clear. The tactics of the climate fanatics have steered dangerously close to fraud in the past, and in one or two cases the fraud authorities have come very close to prosecuting. We are keeping them abreast of developments from now on. If there is anything genuinely amiss with our results, peer review – which we can expect to be hostile – will expose it. If we are wrong, we are wrong and that is that. But if we are right and false methods are used in a dishonest and corrupt attempt to make out that we are wrong when we are right, there will now be prosecutions. I should make it plain that those prosecutions will not be instigated by me but by the public authorities in several jurisdictions.


The judge is scientifically literate. He will understand the argument in the amicus curiae brief, and he will soon detect any evasion or flannel on the part of the parties replying to it.

No one will need to “reply” CoB’s friendly interference in the proceedings unless directly instructed to do so by the judge. That is most unlikely IMO and he will probably simply ignore it or dismiss it, as Ristvan suggests.
The judge is expecting an answer to HIS question, not to be told he is too stupid to ask the right question and needs a lesson from *SNIP* No personal attacks allowed. Maintain respectful discourse. — Mod

I am going to ask the moderators to remove the comment from the furtively anonymous “Greg” that describes me as “Monckey”. The site’s rules are quite clear: unless your full name is on your posting, you may not make personall attacks on those of us who have the courage to say who we are.

DC Cowboy

I removed the offensive wording and left a warning for Greg. He and other posters should know what was out of line.


Lord Monckton wrote: “a game that has often been played by the climate fanatics in the past is to take a result cited by me and then contact the scientist, misstate what I said about the result and then get the scientist to express hostility. No doubt that approach will be wheeled out yet again this time. But there will be a difference. Now that we have identified the large error without which there is no climate problem, the only legitimate method of preventing our argument from prevailing is to demonstrate, fairly and objectively, that we are incorrect.”
Your “large errors” will be meaningless when climate scientists whose values for lambda_zero and F_2x you cite say it is inappropriate to use those values in linear models to describe phenomena that are inherently non-linear over the range you use. Which it is.
The worst problems is that courtrooms are not the appropriate forum for deciding these issues. Especially if a jury is involved. The idea that ordinary citizens or even a judge can understand these issues is totally insane. Even you can’t or won’t go back to the fundamental physics and understand when a linear approximation is appropriate and when it isn’t.

In response to Frank, nonlinearities apply just as much to the present estimates of Charney sensitivity as they do to ours. But our estimates of Charney sensitivity will inevitably be lower than the present estimates.
Also, we allowed for nonlinearities by testing the explicitly linear zero-dimensional-model equation by informing it with the official imputs – reference sensitivity and the feedback fraction. We were able to reproduce the official CMIP5 interval of Charney sensitivities exactly, even though the ZDM is linear and the GCMs of the CMIP ensemble are not. Besides, the smaller the fedabck fraction the less any nonlinearities will matter.


Courts can and sometimes do, especially in controversial civil cases, take notice that some particular thing is TRUE. Therefore, no argument or evidence of any kind that said pronouncement is not correct is allowed. Your entire defense is based on a shelf load of published historical or scientific literature showing that something else is the case? Too bad; looks like you lose before you get started.
In criminal cases courts can, and often do, interpret the law to the jury. Sometimes, especially in sensitive cases that might challenge a government position, no evidence, such as the wording of the law itself, that their interpretation might be flawed is allowed to be presented.

John V. Wright

Don’t you just love this guy? I saw him once in action and his delivery – and knowledge base – were absolutely compelling. Thank you Christopher Monckton – the incredible effort you and your colleagues have put into this proof deserves the admiration and applause of sceptical scientists everywhere.

I am most grateful to Mr Wright for his very kind words. Many commenters here seem to have been taken by surprise on realizing that a proof of large error on the part of official climatology now exists. Yet we submit that, though one might nibble at the proof around the edges, it is fundamentally sound. To use a tired cliche,. if we are right our result is a game-changer, for 1.2 K global warming per CO2 doubling is nothing like enough to worry about. It is too little and too slow to do harm. End of scare.

My application of best subsets regression to the Central England Temperature record since 1850 suggests a heating effect of 0.006K per ppm of additional CO2 to the atmosphere.
Statistical process control methods to examine the trends is a better guide to the behaviour of these types of time series, as all months and even the annual data show periods of temperature falls and stability. This behaviour is due to trends in teleconnections over periods of time, and acts to override any CO2 effect in the short term.

Phil's Dad

As stated above (by Mr Verney I think) if, indeed, it will be only 1.2 ± 0.15 K and the vested interests are unable to prove otherwise then it will not be long before they announce that disaster will follow from just 1 degree of warming.
This was exactly what happened in Paris, downgrading the end of the world delta from 2 degrees to 1.5 degrees when it was realised that we will come in under 2 degrees on a business as usual basis.
Thank you, Lord Monckton and welcome back.

Chris Wright

As another Wright – and another Christopher to boot! – I would like to say I agree 100% with John.
I wish you the very, very best of luck in this venture – if luck is actually needed!
I’ll need to read your post again very carefully before I fully understand. But it does have the ring of truth to it.
What an mazing thought: that this whole catastrophic failure of science can be tied to a simple equation that is provably wrong!
Many thanks and good luck.

The problem with Mr Robinson’s approach is that it is not easy to allocate the observed warming as between natural and anthropogenic effects. That is why, in my submission, the best approach is to demonstrate that an elementary error of physics has been perpetrated.
I am grateful to the second Mr Wright for his kind comments.

Three Cheers for Monckton.
Maybe even four.
Keep up the good work.
Judge the quality by the amount
of flak you get from
those always angry leftists.
Lefts are usually stupid-heads,
but they seem to know who
to character attack (their only skill).
I want more CO2 in the air
to green the earth,
and optimize the growth
of plants used for food
by people and animals.
If more CO2
causes any nighttime warming
at high latitudes,
that’s even better!
So let’s go,
to 1,000 ppm CO2,
to green the Earth,
based on real science!

Regarding “There is little change that some feedbacks had not fully acted. The feedbacks listed in IPCC (2013, p. 818, table 9.5) as being relevant to the derivation of equilibrium sensitivity are described by IPCC (2013, p. 128, Fig. 1.2) as having the following durations: Water vapor and lapse-rate feedback hours; Cloud feedback days; Surface albedo feedback years.”: There is warming that is still “in the pipeline” because the upper ocean’s response takes decades due to its thermal mass.


Let us suppose for a moment that the climate model projections are in fact correct, and that it was agreed that all emissions of CO2 had to be eliminated as soon as possible. In the event that such a herculean task were successfully carried out, would the climate cease to change? If not, what is the point of it all?

Tebla sez:
“Let us suppose for a moment that the climate model projections are in fact correct”.
My comment:
The climate (GCM) models
have been grossly inaccurate for 30 years,
except one Russian Model,
that is obviously colluding with Trump,
so we can ignore that one,
meaning that 97% were wrong.
Are we supposed to ignore the 97%
being wrong for three decades … so far ?
Modern climate “science” is the “Assume Science”.
If you assume something, then it’s true!


The response of the upper oceans would matter more to the coastlines than it would to deep interiors of continents.
Beyond that, this is the weakest of all the feedbacks, slowing the alleged temperature rise by only a few thousandths of a degree or less per decade.

The response of the upper oceans affects the temperature of everything above them including the ocean surface, which affects the amount of water vapor everywhere.


Yes, the oceans do affect the temperature of the oceans, however the level of impact drops of sharply after the first hundred miles or so.

In reply to Mr Klipstein, ocean overturning introduces a nonlinearity into the feedback response, but the overturning cycle is of order centuries to millennia. The ocean thus acts as a giant heat-sink. Besides, the amicus brief, and the head posting, make specific allowance for quite large nonlinearities in the feedback sum and therefore in the feedback fraction.

There is a lot of upper ocean that is not heatsunk by the lower ocean except by the overturning that takes centuries-plus to do so and slower-still heat conduction to the lower ocean. Dr. Roy Spencer has used simplified climate models that neglect the lower ocean and comes up with response taking decades. I think he’s close to right there. The difference is that there is still a small amount of warming remaining in the pipeline until centuries-plus have passed so that overturning warms the lower ocean.

In response to Mr Klipstein’s further point, our derivation of the pre-industrial feedback fraction is obviously not disturbed by ocean overturning, which would have to exercise a far larger influence than was evident in the pre-industrial era before it would greatly increase the equilibrium sensitivity we have derived.

Ocean overturning’s effect on warming from past GHG increase being in the pipeline for centuries-plus to an extent that may be insignificant does not negate significance of warming from past GHG increase being in the pipeline for decades.
I hereby note a paper with your name being one of its 4 named authors, at
Especially its Table 2.
Assuming ECS without IPCC-named feedbacks (IPCC-favored) is 1.1 degrees C per 2x CO2 (using IPCC-favored effect of CO2 change before the feedbacks that they name, of 3.7 W/m^2 per 2xCO2) and the figure above of 1.2 degrees C per 2xCO2 are correct, this means .1 degree C per 2xCO2 being from positive feedback to an extent of .33-.34 W/m^2 per degree C of surface temperature change. I expect this means about 2/3 of the 35% (100%-65% for positive feedback factor of .5 W/m^2 per 2xCO2 if I understand this correctly) of the ultimate warming that gets achieved after 25 years (22% by a somewhat conservative calculation). This means about 78% of warming due to an increase of CO2 happening within 25 years, about 22% taking longer than 25 years.
For that matter, I take issue with time lag being zero if the IPCC-named feedbacks are net-zero or negative.

Alan Tomalty

David Klipstein said
” I expect this means about 2/3 of the 35% (100%-65% for positive feedback factor of .5 W/m^2 per 2xCO2 if I understand this correctly) of the ultimate warming that gets achieved after 25 years (22% by a somewhat conservative calculation). This means about 78% of warming due to an increase of CO2 happening within 25 years, about 22% taking longer than 25 years.
For that matter, I take issue with time lag being zero if the IPCC-named feedbacks are net-zero or negative.”
Explain this so us morons can understand it please.

Lord M,
“our derivation of the pre-industrial feedback fraction is obviously not disturbed by ocean overturning”
Yes, it is disturbed. You say
“some 2.29 W m–2 of net anthropogenic forcing arose in the industrial era to 2011. The product of that value and the Planck parameter is the 0.72 K reference warming (Eq. 3)”
The argument is that 0.72K warming would be required to provide a balancing flux to the 2.29 forcing (should it be 2.9?). But the 2.29 flux only needs to be balanced if it has nowhere to go. And for a very long time, it can flow into the sea, leaving only a fraction that needs to be balanced by warming.

In reply to Mr Stokes, let us examine the pre-industrial era and assume that by 1850 the climate was approximately in equilibrium following the accumulation over geological time of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The pre-industrial feedback fraction, assuming an albedo 0.293, is then 1 – (255.4 + 8) / 287.6 = 0.084,, where 255.4 K is the emission temperature, 8 K is the additional forcing-driven temperature from the presence of the non-condensing greenhouse gases and 287.6 K is natural temperature in 1850.
Given that today’s feedback fraction works out at 1 – (2.29 * 0.3125) / 0.76 = 0.05, not much different from 0.08, what difference in the behaviour of the oceans between the pre-industrial era and today justifies a very much larger feedback fraction than that? The oceans, like any heat sink, absorb incident heat quickly and release it very slowly.
Even if one assumed that the oceans were absorbing as much warming as has been observed, the feedback fraction would be 1 – 0.72 / 1.5, giving a feedback fraction of 0.52, and warming of 2.2 K per CO2 doubling, still only two-thirds of even the mid-range estimate made by the CMIP5 models.

Regarding “The pre-industrial feedback fraction, assuming an albedo 0.293, is then 1 – (255.4 + 8) / 287.6 = 0.084,, where 255.4 K is the emission temperature, 8 K is the additional forcing-driven temperature from the presence of the non-condensing greenhouse gases and 287.6 K is natural temperature in 1850.”:
Although 8% (8.4%) of the absolute temperature here is from feedback, radiation (incoming and outgoing equaling each other) are proportional to temperature to the 4th power (assuming equilibrium and constant emissivity). This means 70.4% of the radiation being received is what would warm the world to (255.4+8) Kelvin without condensing GHGs and 29.6% is from feedbacks, assuming constant albedo of .293. Keep in mind that a 263.4 K world has much higher albedo than a 287.6 K one, but then again also some condensing GHG.


The oceans, like any heat sink, absorb incident heat quickly and release it very slowly.

Where does that little gem of thermodynamics come from?

It is not my place to educate the ineducable Greg on ocean overturning.


The CO2 change has been occurring since industrialisation. The forcing function is logarithmic so earlier ppm increases in CO2 had more forcing than present ppm increases. In fact since the 1980s the increase in CO2 has been almost linear so the rate of increase in forcing has been diminishing in the last decade compared with the 1980s.
The thermal mass of the oceans adds inertia to the climate system so the temperature rise is much slower than it would otherwise be without that inertia. The ocean temperature in the top 2000m is showing a gradual upward trend since measurements have been available. This trend is much steadier than measurements in the troposphere.
A simple ocean model that takes a logarithmic forcing with rising CO2 and the thermal inertia of the top 2000m of oceans yields a TOTAL forcing coefficient of 3.1W/sq.m to match the historic rise in ocean temperature and projects to 0.31C further rise from present to 2100.
Of course if CO2 only rises linearly then its forcing will diminish as the ocean temperature rises by virtue of logarithmic forcing function of CO2 and fourth power cooling with temperature. On the other hand the ocean temperature continues to rise almost linearly and is 0.6C warmer in 2250 than in 1980. BUT that is hardly alarming.

Donald K,
“There is warming that is still “in the pipeline” because the upper ocean’s response takes decades due to its thermal mass.”
Yes. The supposed timings of feedback are irrelevant. The 0.72K Planck “reference warming” of Test 1 assumes that the warming has to counter the flux of 2.29 W/m2 that would be otherwise emitted to space. That is the basis for the arithmetic. But when the flux 2.29 first comes into existence. it is not available to be emitted. Most is absorbed in warming the ocean. That tapers gradually over many decades. Only when the oceans are not absorbing nay more can you equate the 2.29 forcing with the temperature required to emit it to space, via Planck.

Bob boder

Silliness again for Co2 to cause the ocean warming the atmosphere has to first warm otherwise there is no insulating effect and no oceanic warming.

In reply to Mr Stokes, given that the pre-industrial feedback fraction 0.08 is not affected by ocean overturning that is yet to manifest itself, why should the industrial-era feedback fraction be substantially greater?

“why should the industrial-era feedback fraction be substantially greater”
The issue is that you compare a theoretical response with a supposed observed response. The Planck response, 0.72K is the calculated equilibrium response to a forcing of 2.29 W/m2. The 0.76K by which it is divided in Test 1 is the total warming response observed to date, which awaits ocean equilibration. One number is equilibrium by fiat, one is transient and will change.

Mr Stokes complains that comparing the feedback fractions obtainable theoretically for the pre-industrial era and empirically for the industrial era is not comparing like with like, because the climate can be presumed to have been in equilibrium in 1850, at least as far as the temperature effects of the naturally-occurring, non-condensing greenhouse gases are concerned, but that in response to our recent perturbation of the climate the system has not yet settled back to equilibrium because the oceans have taken up much of the heat we have generated, so that it does not yet appear in the surface but will do so in a few decades’ time.
However, he has not explained why it is that one should expect a substantially larger feedback fraction in the industrial era than that which can be shown to have obtained in the pre-industrial era. The pre-industrial feedback fraction is only 0.08. That fraction, applied in the industrial era, would give a global warming of just 1.2 K per doubling of CO2. What mechanism is there by which the current climate should exhibit a substantially larger feedback fraction than the pre-industrial climate? After all, Lacis (2010) finds the two values the same (albeit an order of magnitude too large).

“Mr Stokes complains that comparing the feedback fractions obtainable theoretically for the pre-industrial era and empirically for the industrial era is not comparing like with like”
The theoretical calculation is not for the pre-industrial era. The 2.29W/m2 is the calculated heat flux (rate) added by the GHGs that have accumulated during the industrial era. The Planck parameter gives the temperature rise that would accompany emission of that whole 2.29 W/m2 to space. That would happen at equilibrium. But what happens in the meantime is that a large part of the 2.29 W/m2 is not emitted to space. It goes into warming the ocean. The 0.76°C rise observed so far, is not associated with an emission of 2.29 W/m2 to space, but a much smaller fraction. As time goes on, the fraction being emitted to space will increase as flux into the ocean tapers, and the temperature will rise. That happen would even if there were no further increase in GHG.

Bob Boder: Greenhouse gases can warm the ocean by absorbing thermal radiation from it and sending thermal radiation back to the ocean. Greenhouse gases are part of the insulating nature of the atmosphere.

” But when the flux 2.29 first comes into existence. it is not available to be emitted.”
Of course it is. It is travelling at the speed of light.

Mr Stokes has misunderstood the head posting. The theoretical calculation for the pre-industrial era is based on the difference between natural temperature as it stood in 1850 and emission temperature. There is then an empirical calculation for the industrial era. The two feedback fractions thus derived are both small.

“The theoretical calculation for the pre-industrial era is based on the difference between natural temperature as it stood in 1850 and emission temperature.”
Let’s go through it again. The calculation of the 0.72°C multiplies
a. 2.29 W,/m2, the calculated radiative forcing resulting from the changes in GHG and aerosols, but mainly CO2, between 1850 and now, and
b. The Planck factor 3.2 W/m2/K, which is basically Stefan-Boltzmann for emission to space, and doesn’t belong to any particular period
No mention of “emission temperature” there. And it assumes that the entire 2.29 W/m2 is indeed emitted to space, which means that the fraction going into the sea has tapered to zero.

error – the forcing is divided by the Planck factor to get 0.72°C

In response to Mr Stokes, see my reply to Frank below.

Alan Tomalty

We have had almost 7 decades since 1950. Old man ocean is slow but I didn’t know he was that slow.

Geoff Sherrington

I cannot follow your thermal mass logic. If there is heat in the ocean pipelines, where is it? What factors liberate it, and over how long?
The same argument applies to those who argue that the last 100 ears of warming have been a natural recovery from the Little Ice Age. To succeed with this argument, they have to show the mechanism. Has there been stored heat that has been dribbled out over the past 100 years? i doubt it, so there must be another mechanism. What is it? Geoff.


The thermal inertia of the oceans delays the temperature response to any increase in net surface heat flux. Heating water from the top down is a slow process. In a time scale of interest to humans, the heat in the top 2000m of the ocean appears to matter. The input to my model is the thermal response in this layer since 1980 to present time.
In the 1980s the heat imbalance at the ocean surface was around 1.12W/sq.m to achieve the thermal response experienced. Wind/wave mixing near the surface and deep thermohaline currents transport the heat to greater depths over a long period of time. The average temperature of the water column was 0.25C cooler in 1980 than that required for thermal equilibrium.
With almost constant rise in CO2 from the 1980s the oceans are getting closer to thermal equilibrium because the heating function is logarithmic with CO2 while the cooling function is 4th power of surface temperature. At the present time the net heat flux imbalance is down to 1.1W/sq.m. By 2100 it will be down to 0.88W/sq.m. By 2250 the imbalance will be only 0.6W/sq.m and that would require an increase of 0.16C to achieve thermal equilibrium.
So after almost 300 years of warming the ocean temperature has risen by 0.6C and is now 0.18C from thermal equilibrium compared with 0.25C 300 years earlier. Of course if the CO2 continues to rise at a constant rate there will never be equilibrium but equilibrium is always getting closer.
I have not taken the model beyond 2250.
There are implicit assumptions in my model. The first is that CO2 is the sole factor in causing ocean temperatures to rise and its forcing is a logarithmic function. The second is that the top 2000m of the oceans is the sole energy store in the climate system. The third is that heat loss from the planet is the 4th power of surface temperature. The fourth is that the ocean thermal gradient is static over the time frame of interest.

Geoff Sherrington

There are such big uncertainty errors in you assumptions that you cannot possibly rely on the effects of an N x 0.1 K temperature change.
Are you certain that oceans can effectively absorb incident IR so quickly r efficiently that some of it does not report elsewhere? Who d crees when an ocean is indeed in thermal equilibrium with the air?
Etc etc. Geoff.


I’ve not seen your model but I like your clear statements of the assumptions made. Very Feynmann like.

RickWill’s comment is most helpful. Since the ocean is almost at thermal equilibrium, there is not much in the way of “missing heat” to come back and interfere with our empirical derivation of the feedback fraction in the industrial era.

“ocean is almost at thermal equilibrium, there is not much in the way of “missing heat” to come back”
It isn’t a matter of missing heat. The ocean takes time to warm in response to a warming of the atmosphere. A long time. And while the heat flux to do that is passing into the ocean, it isn’t being emitted to space, and can’t be included in the Planck calculation which leads to the 0.72°C.

In response to Mr Stokes, the ocean takeup of heat from the atmosphere will make some difference to our numbers, but not a lot. Even if one were to multiply the industrial-era feedback fraction by a factor 5 to allow for this phenomenon, Charney sensitivity would barely reach 1.5 K.


Donald K: There is a simple way to approach the warming that remains in the pipeline. The current forcing is approximately 2.5 W/m2. According to ARGO, the current radiative imbalance is 0.7 W/m2. That means that the Earth has warmed enough to “emit” an additional 1.8 W/m2 to space. (Here “emitted energy” can refer to both emission of LWR through the TOA and reflection of SWR.) So 72% of the radiative imbalance created by rising GHGs has already been eliminated by warming. That means equilibrium warming will be 40% more than we have experienced so far.

In response to Frank, let us suppose ad argumentum that the warming of 0.76 K from 1850-2011 should be increased by 40% to attain equilibrium. In that event, the industrial-era feedback fraction will be 1 – (2.29 / 3.2) / (0.76 * 1.4) = 0.32, in which event equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2 concentration will be (3.5 / 3.2) / (1 – 0.32), or about 1.6 K, instead of the 1.2 K we found.

michael hart

“The zero-dimensional model is not explicitly used in general-circulation models.”

Therein lies what I suspect the responses will be. When they do occasionally come down the steps of the ivory towers, it usually seems to be to say that their critics are not criticising what they do, just what they think they do.
And maybe that is not untrue. That is the inbuilt advantage they have: you usually have to be one of the in-group to make any telling criticisms about their mechanisms (and machinations). Few have the time, will, and ability to gainsay that. However, criticising the outcome of the models does not require technical knowledge of how they work. The failings are there to see, for all who choose to look.

In reply to Mr Hart, however much the climatological establishment may wriggle, the fact is that the use of official inputs in the zero-dimensional model (it is in IPCC 2007, for instance, at p. 631 fn.) does faithfully reproduce the interval of official outputs in the form of the Charney-sensitivity interval 3.3 [2.0, 4.5] K. We conducted a careful calibration exercise, as mentioned in the head posting, to ensure that the ZDM is of diagnostic value even though the general-circulation models do not use it. They do not use it, but they must reflect it.


The reason why even a very large nonlinearity in the feedback sum and consequently in the feedback fraction makes little difference to equilibrium sensitivities is that the curve of equilibrium sensitivities in the presence of various feedback factors is a rectangular hyperbola (see below).

Actually, there is darn little about the climate that is Linear-Time-Invariant (LTI). Everyone uses linear methods. I suspect it’s because that’s what they learned in school. I bet they can’t formally justify their use of linear methods.
In systems analysis, we use linear methods as a simplifying assumption. For well understood systems, we can get away with that. Otherwise, it’s pretty dodgy.


You can also generally only use them over short spans.

In response to “Commie Bob”, the head posting makes explicit allowance for nonlinearities in the feedback sum, and it also demonstrates, using mainstream data and methods, that the pre-industrial and industrial-era feedback fractions cohere on the narrow interval [0.05, 0.12], suggesting that, because the feedback fraction is so small, nonlinearities therein will not make very much difference to equilibrium sensitivity.


… the feedback fraction is so small, nonlinearities therein will not make very much difference to equilibrium sensitivity. …

The transient sensitivity can be confirmed by the observed data. IMHO, the reason ‘they’ invoke the equilibrium sensitivity is that the transient sensitivity is, observably, not enough to worry about.
My problem is with the calculation of the equilibrium sensitivity. The time constants, of the processes that make equilibrium sensitivity different than transient, are measured in decades, centuries, and millennia. The more complete quote is:

The reason why even a very large nonlinearity in the feedback sum and consequently in the feedback fraction makes little difference to equilibrium sensitivities is that the curve of equilibrium sensitivities in the presence of various feedback factors is a rectangular hyperbola (see below).

I will accept that a very large nonlinearity in the feedback sum and consequently in the feedback fraction makes little difference to the equilibrium sensitivities. It doesn’t matter. The calculation of the equilibrium sensitivity, even without feedback, as far as I can tell, depends on unwarranted LTI assumptions. ‘They’ might, or might not, be able to get away with that but, as far as I can tell, ‘they’ don’t seem to have justified their approach.
We bang back and forth between glaciations and interglacials. The system is observably not LTI.


A judge w/an engineering background is one in a billion. If he hasn’t forgotten his engineering, he can be trusted to make rational decisions.

Hurrah! Beng has understood why we bothered to submit an amicus curiae brief when a number of commenters here would not have bothered. The judge will have little difficulty in understanding our argument. His chief doubt will be whether the premises are sufficiently mainstream. And his quickest way to find that out is to ask all parties to comment, indicating specifically which of the premises they disagree with, and why.

Alan Tomalty

Christopher I think you have to directly answer Nick Stokes post above. He is under the impression that the time scale of heat sinks for the globes ocean will come back to bite us in a 100 years. What Nick is forced to realize is that he cannot argue with the amount of direct forcing nor with the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. He cant fudge those 2 figures. His only argument now is that the ocean heat sink scale is in centuries. It cannot be decades or else we would have seen more forcing water vapour feedback by now. However as you will explain to him , the amount of latent heat released from precipitation from water vapour feedback forcing due to evaporation from the oceans can not all end up in the atmosphere. If that happened
there would be runaway global warming without any CO2. Nick will argue that the evaporation latent heat will be much more than the feedback surface radiation. However the oceans have had 4.6 billion years to absorb all the heat they can. Obviously there is a limit to how much heat they will absorb before boiling away. But then the sea wouldn’t be rising then would it. It would be falling fast. So the oceans are a heat sink and also give off heat before the boiling process starts (which is what has been happening for 4.6 billion years. Therefore how would an extra small fraction of CO2 produced heat cause the oceans to evaporate any more than they usually do? If it takes a century for the oceans to retain the heat and then release it, by what physical mechanism are the oceans releasing the heat other than through evaporation? The answer is that there is no other physical method of the oceans releasing the heat except by evaporation. unless Nick wants to argue that the heat sneaks its way down to the bottom and then travels to the centre of the earth and back up through the land . Ha Ha Ha If the oceans are a heat sink and a heat releaser only through evaporation as proved above and which Nick Stokes agrees to then how can they evaporate any more water than they usually do unless they are boiling away? We know that both the ocean and the atmosphere get colder in the process of evaporation. Nick is trying to argue that the latent heat will come back to bite us. Well it has been biting all life forms for 4.28 billion years. You cant have a heat sink forever building up heat unless the medium boils. So the oceans have always hit their heat sinking capability because the sun has never refused to shine in the last 4.6 billion years. They hit their heat sinking ability all the time because the oceans are constantly evaporating. There isn’t some magical limit of heat that hides in the ocean and then comes back to bite us. It is temperature in the atmosphere that causes evaporation. Nick is arguing that the process is reversed.

In reply to Mr Tomalty, the approach we took was to begin our research by considering the position in 1850, by which time one may safely presume that the ocean – like the rest of the climate system – had reached equilibrium with respect to the warming directly forced by the naturally-occurring, non-condensing greenhouse gases, to the consequent feedback response, and to the feedback response to emission temperature. The emission temperature is 255.4 K; the directly-forced greenhouse warming is 8 K; the natural temperature in 1850 was 287.6 K; and, therefore, the feedback fraction was 1 – (255.4 + 8) / 287.6, which is only 0.084. Contrast that with the estimate in Lacis et al. (2010) that the feedback fraction – both for the pre-industrial era and for the present – is 0.75, an order of magnitude too large.
The question is this. If the pre-industrial feedback fraction was overstated by an order of magnitude, and if the pre-industrial and industrial-era feedback fractions are considered identical, as Lacis finds, then why should we assume that ocean overturning will now have an effect that it did not have in the pre-industrial era? It is precisely because climatologists had thought that two-thirds to three-quarters of the 32 K difference between the 255.4 K emission tempeature and the 287.6 K natural temperature in 1850 was driven by feedback that they consider today’s feedback must be of order 0.67-0.75.
The advantage of doing the theoretical calculation for the pre-industrial era, therefore, is that it entirely removes the complication caused by ocean overturning. The pre-industrial feedback fraction is an order of magnitude below climatology’s estimate. Therefore, it would be incumbent on those who wish to impugn our result to show what changes have occurred in the oceans since 1850 to cause the feedback fraction to be a great deal larger than the 0.05 that we have derived for the industrial era.

michael hart

MoB, I think that is a more helpful and succinct description than you give in the main article.

Bob boder

First ask Nick how CO2 warms the oceans, once you get his answer you will see how quickly his premis falls apart.

Shawn Marshall

the Science guy has an engineering degree.

I hope Judge Alsup will do better than the Romanian court that told the petitioner he lost the case because he is already dead LOL
The world’s first legally walking dead!comment image

Nigel S

Great stuff! Can he apply for a new birth certificate? Otherwise a life of crime beckons with the state having no way to punish a dead man I assume.


Interesting, but it still contends that CO2 can ‘heat’ the earth. This does not even pass the sniff test, as anyone familiar with thermal laws should know. Simply said, you can’t HEAT the solid/liquid earth using a trace gas. IF, and that is a big IF, there was any rise in temperature, FOR ANY REASON, the radiation RATE of the earth would increase, which would have the immediate affect of cooling the earth which would then lower the radiation RATE. This response is based on the 4th power of the heat increase/decrease. We see this every day – even if the sun is blocked by clouds, the earth is heated.
Simple lab experiments would prove that CO2 can’t heat a solid via thermal emission any more than nitrogen can. This could be as simple as a glass container of CO2 and another of N2 heated artificially above room temperature. Then two identical black bodies could be placed in identical locations to the two vessels. Then it would be a simple matter of watching the temperatures of the two black bodies. I contend that they would be identical. Global warmers would expect the one exposed to CO2 radiation to be higher. Switching the containers but not the black bodies would eliminate any skew in the setup. Lastly, removing the heating source would expose the decay of temperature of each gas. I contend they would track. GWers would expect the CO2 vessel to cool faster. It won’t.

@ John March 19, 2018 at 6:53 am
Yes, this line of thinking/experimenting more directly gets at the very heart of the matter, regardless of what feedbacks are. Does CO2 do what we claim it does, yes or no? Show proof.


It’s not the CO2 that heats the earth, but rather the CO2’s supposed ability to further delay the release of absorbed solar energy back out into space via increasing the IR opacity of up IR through the atmosphere, i.e. reducing the amount of IR transmitted from the surface into space.


I know that is the hypothesis, but it still doesn’t hold ‘water’. There are probably a billion surface molecules for every CO2 molecule – and maybe more. When one CO2 photon hits earth, a billion photons leave. At some point, people need to step back and recognize economies of scale. As I’ve said before, try to heat a stove with flashlights. A thousand flashlights. The stove is far more efficient at radiating than the flashlights bombarding it with photons. And the earth is far more efficient at radiating than the photons from gh gases are at ‘warming’ the earth. MOST of earth’s radiation makes it to space. Only a small part of it is intercepted in gh gases. It is ludicrous to propose that those comparatively few molecules would actually have the ability to warm the air of the earth. And, if the air of the earth is warmed, the surface would also be warmed BY that warmed air, and then the earth’s radiation RATE would increase to offset it. No, CO2 is not some kind of a blanket – it is a red herring. It is not even INVOLVED in climate. How educated scientists in the various areas of thermal laws, gas laws and the like have come to believe that CO2 can have ANY affect on earth’s climate is indicative of how people can be made to believe something even if it violates physical laws.
The temperature of earth is what it is due to gravity, and the compression of all gases of the atmosphere, which, for those familiar with the gas laws makes no discrimination about ANY specific gas – gas is gas, and it all works the same. If there were no gases on earth, it would radiate at a given temperature. If you place an atmosphere of ANY one gas, the temperature will increase because of the weight of that gas. It becomes compressed, and when you compress a gas, its temperature increases. If we could increase the mass of the atmosphere by adding enormous amounts of nitrogen, the average temperature of earth would increase. It’s that simple. But you won’t get any grant money for writing about that.

So I say to the scientific community, prove it. Prove that scattering IR, or absorbing and then emitting exactly the same amount of IR, or increasing IR opacity, causes the lower part of a laboratory atmosphere to heat up more than an atmosphere without CO2. Experimentally confirm the theory. We assume that’s how CO2 warming works but I always assumed that science tested its assumptions through actual experiments as opposed to calculations based on what the self-consistent theory is telling them. Maybe something is happening/not happening that the theory assumes must be happening? Shouldn’t the most basic of tests be done to confirm that the warming mechanism exists in the real world? It can’t be that we’re unable to test this mechanism, which essentially works on the molecular level, except that “we’re doing the experiment now– in earth’s atmosphere.”


I don’t think you understand the theory of how added CO2 *should* warm the surface by some amount. The key thing being ‘some amount’. It doesn’t even mean the climate must warm. It could just cool a little less, for example. It doesn’t even mean the net anthropogenic influence is warming either. This side of the debate, including Monckton himself, has accepted far, far too much, and it’s really hurt our ability to combat this.

John March 19, 2018 at 8:31 am
Agree. Would any of us want to carry around an unequalized (that is, just coming down from on top) atmospheric pressure of 14.7 psi on our backs? Do the math: not only would you not want to, but you couldn’t; it’d flatten you into a pancake. And we suppose the only thing this pressure does is, well, basically nothing?


A sheet weighs a lot less than I do, but putting one over me at night makes me warmer.


Just argued the same position with an idiot who claims Venus is so hot due to greenhouse effect of co2 in its atmosphere! Never mind that its atmospheric pressure is over 90 times that of earth and 25% closer to the sun, its the co2. This was a published response in an astronomy publicaion to a question from a reader. I doubt my response to hers will see the light of day. But I have seen this comment regarding Venus multiple times from supposedly educated PHDs. Go figure.


“MOST of earth’s radiation makes it to space. Only a small part of it is intercepted in gh gases.”
This is not correct. Only about 25% of the radiation from Earth’s surface passes directly into space. About 75% is absorbed by GHGs and clouds in the atmosphere.
I admire your passion, but you need to study the actual science better. What you’re describing as to how GHGs further warm the Earth’s surface isn’t what the theory even claims.

further delay the release of absorbed solar energy back out into space
the oceans and land surface both absorb energy and delay its release to specs. how is this any different than CO2?


Last time I checked, PV=nRT ie T=PV/nR. Heat energy that actually gets to the surface of a planet can be trapped by various atmospheric phenomina, water vapor, clouds, methane, etc. CO2, not so much, at least not on Earth. As for Venus which I noted, pressure and proximity to the Sun is still the answer to its temperature irrespective of its atmospheric composition.

MarkW March 19, 2018 at 8:46 am:
“A sheet weighs a lot less than I do, but putting one over me at night makes me warmer.”
Your point? That a sheet slows convective heat transport? Thank you for the illumination.

R. Shearer

If I place a heat lamp above my bed, will a thin sheet make me warmer or cooler?

@JimG1 – once “fake science” is out there, it is very difficult to get rid of it. However, you can do so for most people by simple reference to Wikipedia (which seems to be an “authority” on everything for most of the “Illuminati”).
I don’t have it handy, it’s been quite a while and three computers since I last posted the calculations – but all you have to do is cite the temperature measured at the 1 bar level by multiple Venus probes. That temperature is quite a bit higher than sea level “global” temperature on Earth, which is where you do have to explicate a (tiny) bit of elementary physics, the inverse square law, and a (tiny) bit of mathematics. Just about every bit of that higher temperature is then explained by the higher insolation at Venus orbit. In fact, so much is explained that I wonder whether even the lower sensitivity obtained by Lord Monckton begins to fail at extreme concentrations of GHGs – and is perhaps much lower.
(Side thought – from the brief explanation of the Monckton Apparatus – I hereby dub it as such – I wonder whether it can be adjusted to emulate the conditions of Venus and Mars. The results could be very interesting…)

“RW March 19, 2018 at 8:51 am
“MOST of earth’s radiation makes it to space. Only a small part of it is intercepted in gh gases.”
This is not correct. Only about 25% of the radiation from Earth’s surface passes directly into space. About 75% is absorbed by GHGs and clouds in the atmosphere.
I admire your passion, but you need to study the actual science better. What you’re describing as to how GHGs further warm the Earth’s surface isn’t what the theory even claims”

Rather inventive claims there, rw.
Especially, when you tell someone else they need to study the actual science; that’s an ad hominem logical fallacy.
CO₂ absorbs a miniscule fraction of the infrared light frequencies. Even there, only one wavelength range is not overwhelmingly dominated by water vapor.
CO₂ can not absorb the vast majority of infrared frequencies.
Your simple invented claim about ghg’s, ignores water vapor’s swamping all atmospheric infrared interactions, even in the driest environments. It also ignores that H₂O is infrared active in all three physical states; liquid, solid and vapor.
Indeed, CO₂ is the smallest of mice compared to H₂O’s blue whale.
Given the baseless claims for massive temperature increases due to a miniscule increase in CO₂, Earth should have been baked by water vapor’s effects eons ago.

John harmsworth

Show a change in daytime high to night time low that is less today than in the past! If a delay in heat loss can’t be shown for even a single day, how is any significant retention of heat possible on any longer scale? This is the simplest of the many stupid AGW precepts!


Don132, and CO2 delays radiation transport.


Shearer, depends on the size of the heat lamp and the temperature of the room.

Stevan Reddish

“If you place an atmosphere of ANY one gas, the temperature will increase because of the weight of that gas. It becomes compressed, and when you compress a gas, its temperature increases. If we could increase the mass of the atmosphere by adding enormous amounts of nitrogen, the average temperature of earth would increase. It’s that simple.”
If it were that simple your refrigerator would not cool anything. In a refrigerator a gas within a loop of tubing is compressed past its triple point into a liquid that is hot due to the compression. Afterwards the liquid is allowed to return to its starting point where it expands back to its initial pressure. This expansion and the resultant phase change back to a gas cools the gas. If the compression and expansion I just described were all there was to your refrigerator the gas after expansion would be the same temperature as before its compression, or very close.
If you switched on this refrigerator that had been sitting in your kitchen at room temperature, after running for a few minutes the compression part of the cycle would be hot while the expansion part of the cycle would be near ambient temperature. No part of this refrigerator would be cooler than your kitchen because this refrigerator is missing a vital function, and that function is also missing from your simple description of gas in an atmosphere being heated by compression due to the weight of the gas above it.
The question is: What happens after compression raises the temperature? This question applies to both a refrigerator and a planet.
In a normal refrigerator the hot liquid is passed through a radiator/heat exchanger that releases to the air in the room much of the heat of compression. Thus when the liquid inters the expansion part of the cycle, it is much cooler than it was right after compression. Expansion results in the gas being much cooler than it was before compression. The cooler temperature achieved corresponds to the amount of heat removed in the radiator/heat exchanger. Radiation matters.
A planet radiates heat to space. All heat produced by compression eventually radiates to space. This is true for the lithosphere as well as the atmosphere. The lithosphere just takes a lot longer to cool.
Each night the atmosphere over my house radiates heat to space at a rate sufficient to produce cooling of 3 degrees F. per hour when the sky is cloudless. Luckily for me, the sun heats the ground in the morning, which reheats the air at a typical rate of 5 degrees F. per hour when the sky is cloudless.
The heat of compression in the atmosphere created when the world formed is long gone. All that matters now is the rate of heating each day compared to the rate of cooling each night, and the number of hours per 24 hour day of each. I know atmospheric water affects the rates of both heating and cooling. The big question is whether atmospheric CO2 effects the rates of heating and cooling.
If CO2 influenced the rate of cooling at night to any significant degree, the change in the rate of cooling of dry air at night should be detectable. Isn’t there any place with very low humidity and almost no clouds where hourly temperatures have been measured for say, the last 50 years? Maybe Antarctica?


“You can’t heat a massive body with a trace gas” – turns out to be false in a very tangible sense. Consider three cases.
Nº 1- you, on a cold day, with a down outer layer – (I have ice fished in Minnesota!) The jacket and pants weigh at most 1% (or the fluff inside, less than that!) of your mass. Yet it has the ability to retain 95% or more of the heat generated by your body is remarkable… while you might not be toasty per se, you are at least not freezing to death. RETENTION is the key to this example.
Nº 2 – the limit(s) of the ecosphere – my definition … ecosphere … as the layer of Planet Dirt influenced by the radiation of the Sun, the effects of atmospheric blanketing, the dynamics of both climate generally and weather specifically, and of course the compounding and modulating effects of the Earth’s diverse biota. This layer is remarkably thin, actually. Heat transmission from rock only 20 meters down is essentially zero. Even if 20 m down the rock is well over boiling water temperature, it takes hydrothermal water vapor and liquid movement to comport the heat to the surface. Otherwise, the very low thermal transmission of rock insulates its outflow.
OVER A YEAR? Well… of course there is substantial outflow. 31,557,600 seconds is quite a duration. But the RATE remains “milliwatts per m²” continuously.
Nº 3 – wavelength conversion … in the 1970s and 1980s there was a huge push for solar water heating for houses in America. The idea was simple even if brilliant: put a bunch of heat-collecting black pipes in a box with a transparent window of glass above, not touching. The glass lets in the visible and IR, the black pipes absorb it efficiently, heating themselves and their entrained water, and the IR emitted by the pipe is so much longer (conversion!) in wavelength that it both doesn’t emit efficiently from the blackbody (pipe) surface, nor does the windowpane above transmit it to the outside. Indeed: for added efficiency a nearly invisible layer of long IR reflective coating was placed on that inner surface to further keep those pipes from losing their captured thermal energy.
These are all tangible, first-person observable phenomena that in turn dismiss the idea that something thin would be ineffective at raising (or retaining) the temperature of something massive. Whatever your opinion … remember that it has to pass these sniff tests.
Just saying.

richard verney

Your No. 1 example is interesting which is not an example of the radiative theory at work.
Why do Arctic explorers use Arctic weather gear consisting of layer upon layer of conventional materials eventually looking like this:
Rather than using one piece of extremely light clothing made out of metal foil, eg., an adaption of the following:comment image
Could it just be that in the real world, thermal blankets are not really that effective.

Richard, those foil sheets are dangerously mislabeled; people go out into extreme conditions without proper sleeping gear, thinking those sheets will suffice. Physics disagrees. I believe in Sweden (or somewhere in the Land of Tall Blondes) it is illegal to label them as “blankets”.
But one obvious problem is that if the metal foil is touching you, it conducts heat away superbly. (There are other problems too.)
Those things do work well as reflectors if you can keep them from tearing. So if you are sleeping next to a fire and have it stretched smoothly behind you, but not touching you, it will reflect those precious little photons back at you.

Which of those scenarios involve a trace ghg, goatguy?
Especially, a trace ghg that is active in a tiny portion of infrared frequencies?
Wrong infrared frequency? Then CO₂ is transparent to the infrared frequency.
Which brings up the next question; exactly what is emitting the specific infrared frequencies CO₂ can absorb?

I am rather surprised that the moderators have allowed comments by “John” suggesting that there is no such thing as the greenhouse effect. There is. It can be measured in the laboratory, and is evident regardless of the pressure of the atmospheric mixture. The quantum mechanism is well understood, and is even touched upon in the head posting.
But, as will be apparent to all, the head posting is not about whether CO2 causes warming. It does – get over it. It is about the one-half to nine-tenths of equilibrium sensitivity (current official best estimate two-thirds) that is caused not by direct forcings but by feedbacks. Maundering on and on about whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas is not only contrary to this site’s policy (there are plenty of flat-Earth sites that will publish such stuff): in the context of the head posting it is simply off topic.

John has not said anything that violates our commenting policy. While we might disagree with what he said, he hasn’t invoked the usual name-calling like we get from the “slayers”. Disagreement is welcomed as long as it is presented in a civil manner and without thread-bombing.

Not sure I should dare question Monckton of Brenchley, but where and when has the greenhouse effect been measured directly in the laboratory? Not the radiative effect– we all agree on CO2 absorption– but the direct measurement of its effect on temperature? Because I have found no such definitive experiment.
Not to take anything away from your work; I sincerely hope it will be the beginning of the end of all this nonsense. And you’re right that this is a distraction from your highly-significant topic. Still … the experiment that demonstrates the quantum mechanism, please?

Can you point out a modern measurement in laboratory specifically for a doubling of CO2? There is a reason why they can point only to the archaic Tyndall measurements, by the way. And ‘greenhouse effect’ is not the IR absorption/emission spectrum (which of course can be measured in laboratory), but the effect in reducing the heat conductivity through the mixture of gases, which indeed does change at CO2 doubling, it is calculable (quite easily) and NOT measurable in laboratory for the normal atmospheric composition change (unless they now have some mighty better instruments than the last time I checked), because it’s very tiny. And the change is dominated by molecular weights, not by the radiative details. At least at normal temperature and pressure. Argon is a non greenhouse gas. CO2 is a catastrophic greenhouse gas (according to climastrological religion, in fact is a very weak greenhouse gas). They have comparable ‘molecular’ weights. CO2 about 44 g/mol, Ar about 40 g/mol. At 300K, CO2 has a thermal conductivity of 16.8 mW/(m * K) and Argon, being lighter, 17.9. The difference is due of the different mass, not because Ar is non greenhouse. Source: There is somewhere a paper where they tried CO2 in laboratory against the Argon control, and failed to show the ‘greenhouse effect’ empirically. The same paper tried to show that the ‘greenhouse effect’ still exists by a one dimensional false model (using the ex falso, quodlibet method so dear to pseudo sciences). I guess they thought they can freely crap on experiment using a model. The same paper claimed that convection does not matter for climate, which is pure lunacy. I don’t have the link handy, but I think you could find it by some search on arxiv.

The greenhouse effect is
proven only by simple
laboratory, closed system
The actual greenhouse effect
on earth is likely to be different,
net of unknown feedbacks
not seen in any laboratory,
especially the wild guess claims
of strong positive feedbacks
from water vapor, just assumed
with no evidence whatsoever
(a wild guess assumption
that should be ignored).
The only logical conclusions,
based on the limited science,
is an transient CO2 sensitivity
… from VERY LITTLE warming,
(perhaps too small to measure
with the large margin of error
surface “measurements”,
that are mainly wild guess infilling)
… up to MILD, HARMLESS warming
of + 1 degree in 125 to 200 years.
(with +2 ppm to +3 ppm CO2 increase
every year).
More than +1 degree C.
is going beyond
an educated guess
of the MAXIMUM
expected warming.
More than +1 degree C.
is just a wild guess —
even close estimates,
such as +1.2 C.
or +1.15 C.
are examples of false precision.
+ 1 degree C. is close enough,
based on how little we know.

Your lack of the basic understanding of the atmospheric greenhouse effect is showing, and your physics limited. You are putting noise in this important point being made by MoB. Please keep out of comments with your lack of understanding.

Leonard, I think the gentlemen have a point. Where is the laboratory experiment isolating co2 concentration as it relates to its impact on temperature?
My understanding, after having seen this posted at least 3 dozen times since I’ve been reading and commenting, is that I’ve yet to see a single person provide the evidence such an experiment had been performed. Would it then not be purely theoretical?
I’m not scientifically literate but I do pay attention to the scientific tennis of sorts by the commenters. I’m trying to piece this puzzle together

@Leonard Weinstein March 19, 2018 at 3:11 pm
Proof that the greenhouse effect acts like the theory predicts? Will water vapor in a column warm the bottom of the column more than one without H20? “Everyone knows.” No. Until they do the experiment, they only assume.
And yes, this is a distraction so I’m trying to be brief and to keep out of it. But let’s not put our assumptions front-and-center and declare them immutable truths. I know what the theory predicts; I do not know that this prediction has ever been tested. If the experiment has been done, then let’s see it.


Your request for “proof” is just silly. Any engineer who designs heaters has to take into account the amount of CO2 and H2O in the flue gas using its temperature and emissivity to calculate the radiative heat transfer to the heated surfaces, as well as the forced and natural convection coefficients, or risk significant design errors. Hottel charts for this purpose were published in 1949 after hundreds of laboratory tests. To summarize, CO2 and H2O absorb and re-emit infrared radiation simply due to having a temperature whereas N2 and O2 are transparent and let infrared pass through no matter their temperature. When viewed from ground level towards outer space, CO2 and H2O give the sky a temperature as opposed to a transparent view of outer space at -270 C. So delta T^4 relations means the ground is going to be a little bit warmer to radiate the Sun’s daily heat output back to space when there are radiative gases in the atmosphere compared to not having them.

@ DMacKenzie March 19, 2018 at 6:06 pm
Without CO2 and H20 the temperature of the atmosphere would be -270? So atmospheric pressure has no effect at all? Wouldn’t those N2 and O2 molecules be moving awfully slowly? Does that make sense?
Not disagreeing with the engineering. The question is, how exactly does this work in the atmosphere?

Don132, NOT what was said. What was said was that if you point a sensor up at sky, you will find the sky has a temperature higher than deep space because of atmospheric IR absorption by GHG. (Actually, what is seen is the backradiation temperature from the emissive altitude. Since N O, and Ar are transparent to IR, in the absence of GHG the sensor would see the temperature of deep space. You need to beter learn basic GHG and GHE theory if you want your comments to be taken seriously here.

ristvan March 20, 2018 at 1:57 pm
I’m not seeing where I even replied to you. Are you using a different name?
GHGs absorbs radiation, yes, and emit exactly the same amount at exactly the same time, for all practical purposes. Apologize for my misunderstanding of what DMacKenzie said. Does said absorption translate into a surface warming greater than would happen in absence of GHG? Theory says yes. Theory has never been confirmed. Suggest that if you want your theory to be taken seriously you do the experiment to prove it.
GHG theory is all theory and no proof. I don’t care if GHGs scatter or back-radiate or absorb or whatever: I would like someone somewhere to prove that this atmospheric scattering of LWIR results in the warming of a surface. This should have been done long ago. Yes, I understand absorption. No, I don’t assume that this automatically translates into a distortion of the lapse rate.
What would your sensor say in the absence of GHGs? The temperature of deep space? And what does that say about the temperature of N and O at the surface? Because they are not registering on the sensor, does that mean they have no heat content? Does it mean they are at 255K (I highly doubt it)? If they are at 255K, then why don’t they register as “warm” on your sensor?

ristvan March 20, 2018 at 1:57 pm
If you warm nitrogen up to 300K and then point an IR thermometer at it, what will its temperature register?



Don132 and ristvan: “If you warm nitrogen up to 300K and then point an IR thermometer at it, what will its temperature register?”
You will measure the temperature of whatever is behind the nitrogen, of course! (:)) Nitrogen is transparent to the iR used in a thermometer. That is why we observe from space thermal IR with an Intensity appropriate for a blackbody near 290 degK in the atmospheric window where no GHGs absorb. And why we see a much lower intensity appropriate for about 210 K in the middle of the CO2 band (which only becomes somewhat transparent in the thinner stratosphere).

Alan Tomalty

How would any lab experiment duplicate the atmosphere ?. It wouldn’t matter what gas you put into the container because the container itself will trap the heat like a real greenhouse. So you must provide a way for some of the heat to escape. But as soon as you do that then heat cant be trapped because the gas escapes..

@ Alan Tomalty March 19, 2018 at 10:34 pm
Then don’t heat it. GHGs should take whatever heat is there and “back radiate” it. Measure this.

The atmosphere itself “traps” the heat like a real greenhouse – it is contained by gravity.

In response to Don132, one should be careful of the phrase “back-radiation”. The process, at the quantum level, is that when a photon in the principal absorption band of CO2, a couple of microns either side of 14.99 microns, interacts with a CO2 molecule, it induces a quantum oscillation in the bending vibrational mode of the CO2 molecule, whereupon the molecule acquires a dipole moment. Thus, the molecule is “switched on” like a tiny radiator”, and it then radiates heat in all directions. The major processes by which that heat reaches the surface are not radiative but non-radiative transports, notably subsidence and precipitation. The descending air packet or rainfall will be warmer than it would otherwise have been. Back-radiation, in the sense of radiation being directed downward till it reaches the surface by radiative transport, is not the major player here.

Mr Tomalty asks the fair question why a lab experiment would duplicate the atmosphere. Our experiments did not do that. They did something much simpler. They investigated the characteristics and performance of a typical feedback amplifier circuit, since the math is the same for all dynamical systems in which feedbacks operate. There is a substantial literature int he climate journals about the relevance to the climate of feedback theory as derived for electronic network analysis.

” the math is the same for all dynamical systems in which feedbacks operate.” Unfortunately our climate system is dynamical chaotic system, so your math is not applicable.

In reply to Monckton of Brenchley March 25, 2018 at 11:09 am
I know there are several ways of describing what CO2 does, and what you’ve described is, so far as I understand, the most current description. What I do not know is that any experiment has ever demonstrated that the radiative properties of CO2 warm an atmosphere as predicted.
It seems, for example, that we should be able to measure (in a laboratory, perhaps) whether a descending air parcel warmed by CO2 will indeed be warmer than otherwise, or if this warm air parcel will immediately rise and cool– or in any case, just what is happening? Experiment, please?


Direct observation of CO2-induced warming has been claimed, but IMO the results are dubious at best:


Well done, sir.
Why did it take 50 years for someone to check their basic math?

In response to “vboring”, no small part of the reason why it took so long for us or anyone to check the official mathematics of global warming is the fierce treatment meted out to those who dare to question the totalitarian Party Line on this subject. When we published a previous paper that first outlined the possibility of this result, one of my distinguished co-authors was subjected to a vicious hate campaign not only in leading formerly scientific journals such as “Science”, “Nature” and “Scientific” American, but also on the front pages of such totalitarian papers as the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. This campaign of hate continues. I had to intervene with the chief trustee to rein in the head of the institution where my co-author works, who had himself libeled his employee in an academic journal.
And, since the early drafts of our paper began to circulate among reviewers in the scientific community, the institution where one of our co-authors belongs has suspended him for the rest of this academic year by resurrecting a trumped-up charge against him that the police had twice examined and had determined to have been insufficiently evidenced.
Look at the CreepyMedia entries of most of the co-authors. The savage hate-speech we have all had to endure has made our researches difficult and painful. My co-authors deserve considerable credit for their courage in having nonetheless persevered, at great cost to their reputations.


sad to hear this is the way people with a different view are treated this way by the academic establishment in this day and age. glad to hear a quiet word has helped in one instance.

Good onya Monckton I see the British bulldog is strong in you. I like the way you think.


vboring- lots of people checked the basic maths and it is correct. It is Mr. Monckton
who is wrong. There is no justification for replacing the delta T’s in his equation for
f with absolute temperatures. And the suggestion that an emission temperature on
its own would cause additional feedback is nonsense. Imagine the case where there
was no atmosphere – then the emission temperature is fixed by simple conservation of energy and yet the argument presented above would suggest that even in this case the
emission temperature would rise by an additional 20 degrees meaning that the earth would radiate more energy than it received.


Germinio, I am no warmist, but a lack of response to your statement is significant.

Imagine the case where there was no atmosphere.
Such a case is not relevant to Monckton’s argument; CM states:
“If conditions precedent to a feedback response are present in a dynamical system, then any input to that system, whether or not it is amplified, will induce a feedback response.”
If there is no atmosphere, then “conditions precedent to a feedback” are not present either. No atmosphere, no feedback.
You could just as well say “imagine that there was no universe, no space and no time”.
Or alternatively, return to your analogy of an airless globe, but this time spray painted with a layer of CO2 molecules on its surface. In this case an equally nonsensical feedback increase in temperature would be predicted from the CO2 radiative forcing, resulting in the same impossibility of more radiation emitted than received.
This line of reasoning simply reinforces Monckton’s argument of the equivalence of the emission temperature and the incremental temperature from CO2 forcing.


you might be right that the lack of an atmosphere is not relevant but the point still
remains that the emission temperature by itself will not cause any feedback. The
first equation describes what happens when you perturb a system from its equilibrium
and that equilibrium is described by the emission temperature so when the temperature
equals the emission temperature the system is at a fixed point and will not change.

Alan Tomalty

Germinio wrote
“There is no justification for replacing the delta T’s in his equation for
f with absolute temperatures. And the suggestion that an emission temperature on
its own would cause additional feedback is nonsense”
Regarding your 1st comment
Replacing delta Temps with actual temps doesn’t make any difference as long as the actual temps are both derived from their individual references. As for your 2nd complaint. there have been times in the earths history when CO2 has been many times the level now. Even if the atmosphere had no CO2 there would still be a H2O forcing feedback . The role of evaporation from the oceans requires that there be a feedback. The reason that the water vapour by itself doesn’t cause runaway global warming is that the net ( latent heat released minus latent heat that escapes to outer space after precipitation) latent heat released upon precipitation from the atmosphere does not exceed the temperature drop in the atmosphere when the ocean water originally evaporated Water on earth is neither created nor destroyed. That is why the Goddard Institute couldn’t prove after 20 years of satellite data any more H2O in the atmosphere at the end of 20 years than at the beginning. So Hansen shut down the H2O measuring division in 2009. Since then there are no more measurements of water vapour in the atmosphere, we can only assume that the level is the same as it always has been or else the oceans would be decreasing not increasing as in reality. Don’t forget that all rivers eventually deposit their water into the oceans. No one has shown that water vapour in the atmosphere has increased. So there is feedback whether or not CO2 is present in the atmosphere. Mr. Monckton has demonstrated the CAGW basic flaw of assuming no feedbacks before significant man made CO2. As for your 3rd complaint of no atmosphere then we would all be dead. Germinio If you don’t have the math background nor the physics background to argue sensibly you are just wasting everyone’s time. At least Nick Stokes has the chemistry background.

equilibrium is described by the emission temperature so when the temperature
equals the emission temperature the system is at a fixed point and will not change.

If Monckton is correct then it would mean that in our atmosphere there is not and can never be equilibrium and thus no equilibrium temperature either. That if the dynamics of the system predispose it to feedbacks, then the system will be endlessly chasing its tail and never arrive at rest or equilibrium.
I can’t judge if he is wrong or right here. But it seems to point to an even deeper question here – have we stumbled upon a proof that, if the “feedback landscape” make the system chaotic-nonlinear, then there can be no talk of equilibrium or an equilibrium temperature. That its temperature must endlessly change. “Climate change” is a continuous and mathematically inescapable property/behaviour of the system.
This statement itself is a tautology – if it’s chaotic then it won’t come to rest. But it is one not without meaning – profound meaning. Like Feigenbaum, Monckton might have found a very simple mathematical key to chaos (in Feigenbaum’s case the threshold for system bifurcation and doubling).
To me it makes sense that climate equilibrium can never exist. “O for the wings of a dove – that I may be forever at rest” the system may forlornly cry, but such equilibrium might only come at Steven Hawking’s heat death of the universe. The climate is a dissipative open system with continuous flow through of heat from wobbling equator to poles while spinning at the same time, driving ocean currents through a complex sea floor topography that is itself slowly changing. The chances for equilibrium in such a 4-dimensionally dynamic system must be those of a snowball in hell.
So if – I emphasise if – Monckton is right here then what he will have done is destroyed the concept of an equilibrium temperature in the climate. That in the presence of climate feedbacks – which is ultimately what this entire discussion and issue is about – give the system the properties of (a) friction, coming from negative feedbacks, and (b) excitability, coming from positive feedbacks (and the system is open and dissipative) then there can be no equilibrium, ever, and therefore no such thing as an equilibrium temperature.

Alan Tomalty

Of course the earth temperature system can never be in equilibrium. The earth has been subject to many nuclear winters caused by both super volcanos and large asteroid impacts. No one can deny those facts. The nuclear winters then cause an ice age which has happened many times. There are only 2 causes to get out of an ice age. Either the sun increases in intensity or else there is a natural feedback of temperature increase. It cant be the sun or else once the sun slowed down enough in intensity the ice age would not then disappear. If the sun wouldnt slow down in intensity, then there would be runaway global warming caused by the sun and that hasnt happened in the last 3.8 billion years or else all of life would have been wiped out. If you are going to argue that the sun’s increased intensity only lasts exactly the length of time to get rid of the ice age then there would have to be some magical connection between the two. So after proving that it is the 2nd cause we must then conclude there there is a tiny non equilibrium positive increase in temperature that gets us out of every ice age. This has been happening for 4.6 billion years. It should be possible to calculate what that exact increase in temperature forcing is based on the number of ice ages and the length of time that it took to get out of the ice age.
Even when CO2 levels were as high as 8000ppm 500 million years ago , there was still more water vapour in the atmosphere than CO2. When CO2 levels dropped to 400ppm 300 million years ago that didnt change the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere. There is always the same amount of water on the globe. If there was less H2O in the atmosphere when there was little CO2 then there would have been no way to have a small increase temperature forcing and no way to get out of each ice age. Therefore H2O has to be the major cause of our moderate livable temperatures. However the tiny increase in temperature forcing that is required for the earth to get out of ice ages is suppled by the CO2. There is no connection between CO2 and H20. Therefore since H20 has at least as much IR absorbing capability as CO2 then the determining factor has to be which one is more prevalent. Looking at feedbacks is the wrong way to look at things. All you have to do is look at the amount of IR temperature forcing that occurs. Sure CO2 will have some minor affect on temperature forcing but it cant be any more than about 0.8K . It is the clouds that provided the initial feedback along with the H2O that give the earth 31.4K and the CO2 that provides the extra 0.8K to get us to 32.2.Add that to the earth emission temperature of 255.4K and you have 287.6 K. This is the actual temp in 1850 of 287.6K Since the CO2 levels were 280ppm in 1850 and we have increased to 408ppm by 2018, then 128ppm of CO2 have increased the globes temperature by about 1.2K in 167 years. This is not alarming and shows that with the increase of CO2 from 1950 to 2017 the earth has not accelerated the temperature increase. The globe always has a natural temperature increase with low CO2 levels. Massive amounts of CO2 increase will have negligible increase of temperature. IF THIS WASNT TRUE THEN WE WOULD HAVE SEEN MASSIVE INCREASES IN TEMPERATURE 500 MILLION YEARS AGO WHEN CO2 LEVELS WERE AS HIGH AS 8000PPM. So in the end yes CO2 has some effect on the long range slight temperature forcing that the earth must have to get out of ice ages but that affect is dwarfed by clouds and H2O. So I contend that Christopher’s Moncton’s graph of clouds and H2O being 23.4K of forcing and CO2 being 8.0 K and furtherH2) forcing caused by the CO2 of 0.7K is wrong.
My take on it is that clouds and H2O account for 31.4 K and the CO2 accounts for 0.8K Since clouds and H2O wont change over the eons of time it is actually the small amounts of CO2 which causes the
disequilibrium. So what an irony; the alarmists argument that CO causes global warming is RIGHT but the dis irony is that amoiunt is so puny that it is laughable.

Geronimo, whether the delta T is C or K makes no difference except when applying Planck, in which case it must be K. Your comment makes no sense to me with a pretty strong math background. I support Monckton here, even though have quibbles with other of his maths, see bof example my Climate Etc post on is irreducibly simple equation paper. It was further reducable, and made simpler, to the point I coild program it on an HP12C calculator.

In response to Germinio, the emission temperature would be 255 K in the absence of any non-condensing greenhouse gases and in the absence of any feedback. However, feedbacks such as the water vapor feedback are present in the climate. Therefore, the emission temperature is not an equilibrium temperature but a reference temperature. Feedbacks, denominated in Watts per square meter per Kelvin of that reference temperature, will induce a feedback response, i.e., an enhancement of the emission temperature. But climatology at present takes no account of that feedback response, and imagines that it somehow forms part of the large feedback response to the small warming of about 8 K from adding the non-condensing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere,

Original Mike M

RE oil companies, Confucius say –
Person who straddle sewage ditch first to fall in.

Alan Tomalty

I should have said the latent heat feedback is slightly higher than the temperature lost to the atmosphere from evaporation. So that is the crux of the matter. The way the earth evolved was that its magnetic core enabled a magnetic shield to block enough of the suns electromagnetic storms so that the oceans water would not boil away as happened on Mars. BUT due to a very slow water vapour feedback, the earth will have a natural tendency to warm ever so slighty through the ages. What stops this continual very slow warming? Asteroids.
If you look at any moon or planet without an atmosphere, you will see many pock marks. All caused by asteroids of differing sizes. Whenever one significant asteroid hits earth it causes a nuclear winter which blocks a lot of the suns rays and thus we have a glacial period. Sure the sun may have some slight effect on long range climate but it actually it is the continual slow H2O feedback warming and then sudden long lasting glacier cooling that has been the earths climate from the beginning. Nothing will stop these 2 processes until the sun doesn’t shine any more. You will have drastic cooling in the earths climate history but not drastic warming. The little extra CO2 that man has put in the atmosphere since 1950 from 310 to 408ppm today is of negligible consequence. It would be laughable how this has got all our knickers into a knot except that mankind has spent over a billion $ on a problem that doesn’t exist.
Christopher I think you have to clean up your submission when you talk about feedbacks. Before 1850 there was only 280 ppm CO2 But you say there was a large natural feedback . What would cause this natural feedback which is the blue bar in your graph. ? Are you talking about clouds?

In response to Mr Tomalty, the blue bar in panel (b) of the graph apportioning the 32 K difference between the 255.4 K emission temperature and the 287.6 K natural temperature as it stood in 1850 is the feedback response to the presence of the 255.4 K emission temperature. One cannot logically argue that an emission temperature of 255.4 K induces no feedback at all and then that an additional 8 K of directly forced warming from the presence of the naturally-occurring, non-condensing greenhouse gases somehow induces a massive feedback of 24 K. A temperature feedback is a feedback driven by the presence of a temperature. The feedback is not concerned with whether the temperature is the emission temperature or the 8 K enhancement of it from the greenhouse gases. It is concerned only with the magnitude of the temperature to which it is responding.

Alan Tomalty

Christopher Monckton said
“A temperature feedback is a feedback driven by the presence of a temperature. ”
Please do not argue that in court. You will be laughed out of court. A temperature is not a real phenomenon.
A temperature is only a measurement. A measurement cannot affect another measurement. Temperature is not something that can create a feedback. For the temperature to go up the amount of total energy of the molecular motion of the gases must go up. The only way that would happen is either an increase in the incoming solar radiation that gets absorbed by clouds or an increase in IR by greenhouse gas absorption. Well there is a 3rd way . You would have to have a huge heat source pointed to the atmosphere. Heat cannot be created out of nothing. The 2 most important greenhouse gases are H2O and then CO2. When you measure the temperature of a gas you are not measuring the amount of heat. You are measuring the average kinetic energy of the gaseous molecules. The amount of heat is the total energy of molecular energy of the gas. Internal energy is directly proportional to temperature. Heat can either be sensible or latent.
Heat transfers by conduction or thermal radiation, Convection is really only a form of conduction but it is conduction within fluids and gases. Conduction on the other hand only takes place in solids. The temperature will never be exactly the same anywhere even in a system at equilibrium.
Enthalpy on the other hand cannot be directly measured. Enthalpy is a systems internal energy plus the product of its pressure and volume. What climate scientists really need to do is calculate the earth’s entropy. Only the difference in enthalpy can be calculated.

Mr Tomalty says a temperature is not a real thing. He should take that point up not with me but with official climatology, which holds that a temperature feedback is denominated in Watts per squre meter per – wait for it – per Kelvin of the temperature that induced it.


This is a liberal judge in a liberal California court. I very much doubt science will be considered at all in his judgement for the plaintiffs.

“Nechit” should read a little philosophy, starting with the short and amiable tract by Francis M. Cornford, Microcosmographia Academica. There it will learn that “There is only one reason for doing anything: all the rest are reasons for doing nothing.” No small part of the effort to stop our researches on the part of the thermo-totalitarians has been the relentless message that there’s really no point in doing anything to stand against them and their beliefs. Nechit is free to do nothing if it wishes, but my team has chosen to put forward what we consider to be proper science, revealing and quantifying the fundamental error of physics made by official climatology. If we are wrong, at least we bothered to try. If we are right, then the tens of millions who die every year because international global warming policy denies them affordable, reliable, continuous, base-load, coal-fired electricity will in future be spared and allowed to enjoy the benefits of electricity that we in the West have long been fortunate enough to take for granted. To us, therefore, the do-nothing option is the genocidal option.


If this judge is a true liberal/leftist, then none of this matters. Modern liberalism/leftism has become a religion and for the true believers, blasphemy is not tolerated. This is especially the case with the AGW component of the religion. This case will be decided on how much of a liberal/leftist the judge is. If he is just “left leaning”, then justice may indeed prevail, but if he is a full blown liberal/leftist, then his religion will prevail. It’s as simple as that.


I very much admire the way you stay calm and sincerely respond to comments.
I’m believe that, for the most part, I understand your argument and my heart is racing with excitement. I know there are some commentators on this blog who understand the maths well enough to comment critically. Hopefully they are taking the time to be thoughtful. Meanwhile, I am eccstatic.


whereas the biologists didn’t get gender.fluidity installed as part of the curriculum…
whereas the adam smith & von mises guys didn’t get quantitative easement established as a cure for ailments…
whereas the libertarians just don’t do ‘rule’…
it wasn’t aristotle who established that many wrongs establishes a precedent…
so my cup of optimism is way less than half empty when you try to repel stupid with reason.
it doesn’t work.
you might ask yourself what is the argument that gets stupid into the curriculum and steal that trick.
it does seem to work all the time.


“This is a liberal judge in a liberal California court. I very much doubt science will be considered at all in his judgement for the plaintiffs.”
I certainly agree. To assume that this case will be decided by this judge in a rational way is pure folly & wishful thinking.
Alsup’s anti oil decision will ultimately will go to the US Supreme Court where it will be overturned.

I’m not sure one should underestimate Judge Alsup. I think he will give us a fair hearing. But, as Wally points out, if his finding is inconsistent with the evidence put before him, then the oil companies will appeal all the way to the Supreme Court, which will not stand any nonsense.

Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, my warmest greetings! When I sat down to enjoy my delicious morning cup of coffee, I was absolutely delighted to see your name stretching majestically across the screen. I shall dig in.


If you read carefully, right below the headline, even Monckton has by now accepted that he is not a Lord. How long will it take you?


Mighty thin reed you are grasping at there.

God Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, my warmest greetings! …

Gary Pearse

The “of Brenchley” is the clue.

Steve Keppel-Jones

Nice one Max 🙂 I had also missed that he isn’t a Lord, I was too busy trying to understand, you know, the SUBSTANCE of the argument. Silly me!

One thing I love about the chap is his celebration of language. He could pump pure piffle and it would still be a treat to take in. He seems like the kind of fellow with whom it would be fun to enjoy a spot of tea.

As I recall, Lord Melbury didn’t refer to himself as “Lord Melbury’. He called himself Melbury.
Melbury: I beg your pardon?
Basil: Could you put both your names please?
Melbury: I only use one.
Basil: You don’t have a first name?
Melbury: No. I am Lord Melbury, so I simply sign “Melbury.”

Roger Knights

He’s a lord, just not a member of the House of Lords.

Steve Keppel-Jones

It’s well worth digging in! I had tried to follow the feedback analysis in earlier similar posts, and had some trouble, even with a background in math and electrical engineering (I’m not a professional electrical engineer, just a hobbyist) along with some digital signal processing experience involving feedback loops. Even with all that it was still challenging for me to follow the argument, until I saw this part:
“and they have assumed a very large feedback only because they are trying to explain the large but fictitious feedback fraction consequent upon their erroneous assumption that emission temperature of 255 K somehow induces no feedback response at all, while the next 8 K of warming magically induces a 24 K feedback response”
NOW I get it! Brilliant, Lord Monckton 🙂 Hope the judge gets it too!

Many thanks to Max Photon for his kind words. I hope he enjoys the head posting.

I’ve missed Lord Monckton. He is worth reading closely.

And thanks to Mr Huffman as well. The head posting is uncommonly long: but, in our submission, it will repay the close reading he kindly suggests.

Agreed, Doug!

Thank you for this very significant post.
Would like to add that in Andronova 2001 she had written that more than half of her empirical ECS could be explained by solar variability.
Another interesting paper is Gregory 2002 who showed that the assumed symmetry of the ECS distribution (by Charney and the IPCC) does not exist. He and Aldrin 2012 have described distributions that are skewed right.
Anyway, it seems from Knutti 2017 and a Nature editorial that climate science is ready to give up on ECS because of the uncertainty issue and move on to the more reliable proportionality between temperature and cumulative emissions (CCR or TCRE). See Matthews 2009.
I described this proposed change of direction in a recent work and added my evaluation of the statistics in the computation of CCR/TCRE.
Please see:

Chaamjamal raises the interesting point that the climate establishment is about to move the goalposts yet again, this time by abandoning the concept of climate sensitivity. However, if we are right there will be too little warming to matter, whether it is quantified as now or as proposed by Knutti and Nature.

Jeff Mitchell

If, in some of these laboratory tests, you can’t disclose the laboratory or country, isn’t that like telling someone they can’t see the code of a simulation? We have to take your word for the results. I would want to see the reputation of said laboratory and what potential conflicts of interest there may be. Additionally, and more importantly, will the exact tests and results be released? Can the court order you to disclose that information?
I would be much more persuaded if there were more than one lab to produce the results you wish to convince a judge of. Perhaps I have misunderstood something?

Rick C PE

Lord MoB:

The laboratory also kindly confirmed that we had represented its results fairly in our paper and had drawn justifiable conclusions from them. Furthermore, much to our pleasure, it promoted the scientist who had assisted us. He wrote us a charming letter to say that he had not allowed, and would not allow, politics to intrude into the work he had carried out for us.

Clearly by not allowing you to fully identify the laboratory and obviously not allowing for complete reproduction and dissemination of their report, they have allowed politics to intrude on their work. I managed a large independent laboratory for many years and it was our policy (and that of virtually all such labs) that clients had an iron clad right to use our reports as they saw fit as long as they provided them in their entirety. Doing otherwise, in my view, indicates an unwillingness to stand behind your work. This should be even more important in a government national lab. I get that in “climate science” any appearance of support for the skeptical side will bring down the wrath of the faithful. Sad that this has apparently managed to compromise some of the most important ethical standards of traditional scientific practice.
We’re all accustomed to advertisers use of unnamed “laboratory tests show our product is better than anyone else’s” hype. But if they don’t name the lab and refuse to supply the full documentation, it’s safe to assume it’s nonsense. I would say that the lab you used has acted badly and should be challenged on their position.

I suspect that is the difference between “independent laboratory” and a “government laboratory”.
Ideally, government labs should be meticulous in method and independence; today’s governments have flooded a number of alleged science departments with politically aligned researchers.
Worst case scenario is operative in government labs, many of those government researchers fear breaching consensus greatest of all.

I should have included:
Kudos! For managing a truly independent laboratory that recognized and adhered to contracts!

Rick C PE

ATheoK: At least in the US, Federal Labs often compete with independent labs and charge commercial customers significantly higher fees. Many consider government labs to be more credible than any other labs. e.g. LP Smartsiding Tested by NASA.

It is, of course, nonsense. There are dozens of commercial independent labs that could have done more credible siding impact tests than NASA did.
One would hate to think that NIST -The US keeper of calibration standards, would have any employees who would be the least bit concerned with political pressure. But then there is the expression “good enough for government work”.

I have great sympathy with the government laboratory. Its research was impeccable, but it was terrified to have its name associated with the destruction of the global-warming theory subscribed to by its paymasters in politics. We are able to append the lab’s report to our paper (albeit that only the editor gets told which lab it was), so people will see exactly what the lab did, even down to the list of components and circuit diagram for the test rig.

Mark Gilbert

“There is little change that some feedbacks had not fully acted.”
Should that be chance?

Yes, of course it should be “chance”. I have recently had an eye operation and am still finding it difficult to read and write without error.


These suits have are on shaky ground and I don’t think will go far. The ‘People of California’ have continued to use these products despite their ‘knowledge’ or belief in global warming. It can also be proved that the benifs have far exceeded the risks. But I’m glad it’s happening. It will be interesting and informative. I can hear the attorney general now.

Bill Murphy

Going a step further, “The ‘People of California’” via their governments continue to issue building permits and business licences to filling stations, continue to license and permit the 19 or so refineries in California to operate and refine around 2 million barrels/day of oil, continue to license and permit the various oil fields in California to pump and ship crude, continue to allow super tankers to dock and offload oil at Long Beach and elsewhere. And continue to receive considerable tax revenue from all these activities. The biggest stench in the air over California these days is not from hydrocarbon combustion, it’s hypocrisy.

Gary Pearse

and collect taxes from.

Gerald Machnee

Just video the complainants coming to court in their fossil fueled vehicles and bring it in as evidence they do not take their own complaint seriously

Alan Tomalty

how do they heat their homes in Chicago in the winter time. It is too expensive to heat with electricity. Even in Quebec where the price of electricity is the lowest in Canada , it is still cheaper to heat with natural gas.

Tom in Florida

“When the laboratory reported, I sent it a copy of our draft paper, in which the lab results were mentioned. The laboratory panicked and said we were not allowed to use its report.”
Why am I not surprised but still disgusted. Can this be used as evidence that suppression of evidence is in fact an ongoing problem? Would it make any difference in this particular trial?

Tom in Florida is right to be outraged at the news that the laboratory, on discovering that its results demonstrated that catastrophic global warming is nonsense, would not allow its name to be used. But do not blame the laboratory: instead, blame the then true-believing government that expects the totalitarian Party Line on climate to be ruthlessly and profitably enforced.
We are proposing to deal with this and other irregularities decisively by reporting in due course to the fraud authorities in relevant jurisdictions. Our result, if it survives scrutiny, will at last reassure them that, when they move against the actually small number of evil and fraudulent scientists who have been driving the global warming scare, they will not be putting the planet at risk.
For instance, two of my co-authors have been savagely victimized by their institutions as a direct result of their participation in this project. A detailed and factual brief is being prepared for the relevant national and international fraud authorities, and we shall be making it plain to those authorities that they will be subjected to judicial review in open court if they fail to carry out their duty of investigating what appears to us, as to Professor Niklas Moerner, as the most substantial fraud in human history.
Does this mean that every true-believer in the New Religion is a fraudster? No. But we have identified a small number of individuals and institutions whose actions have been demonstrably fraudulent. They will in due course face prosecution,

Rick C PE

Lord M o B: As the manager of a large independent lab for many years, I consider this government lab’s action to be unethical and cowardly. They have clearly let politics interfere with their duty to objectively report results of their work and stand behind them. If you paid for their services, I think you are entitled to a complete report that should be your property to do with as you see fit. The only caveat (which, by the way, is included universally in some form by nearly all independent labs) is the the report be reproduced in its entirety and any use in advertising be reviewed for misrepresentations.

Tom Halla

Interesting modeling, yielding results similar to the estimates of Lindzen and Choi as far as ECS. It does seem reasonable that the Pre-industrial temperature was operating under the same physical constraints as post-1850 temperatures, and coming up with a rationale why that is not the case will straIn the ingenuity of the green blob.

No. Revised Lindzen and Choi had ECS below 1 (0.8ish IIRC). Negative, 1.2 here is a slight positive over the posited ‘no feedbacks’ sensativity to doubling CO2 of 1.1 posited here.

Both Mr Halla and Mr Istvan are correct. Lindzen & Choi found feedbacks to be net-negative though we find them very slightly net-positive. But our results are indeed in the same ballpark as those of Lindzen & Choi. They found Charney sensitivity to be 0.7 K; we find it to be 1.2 K. Compare either of those values with the 3.3 K mid-range estimate of the CMIP3 and CMIP5 models and you can see we are in the same ballpark.

Yes, the net feedback must be positive, otherwise, the surface temperature would only be 255K. As I’ve said before, feedback only applies to the linearity, which is the domain of Joules and each W/m^2 from the Sun results in 1.6 W/m^2 of surface emissions which is comprised of 1 W/m^2 from the forcing and 0.6 W/m^2 from the ‘feedback’. The 600 mw/m^2 of feedback is the fraction of surface emissions absorbed by the atmosphere and returned to the surface AT A LATER TIME. The temporal difference between the forcing power and the feedback power is crucial to understand and completely unappreciated by the consensus. To offset each W/m^2 of incident energy, about an additional 600 mw/m^2 is emitted from the atmosphere into space to be added to the 400 mw/m^2 of the 1.6 W/m^2 of surface emissions that are passed through the atmosphere without being absorbed.

Raymond Krause

Court cases are won by understandable stories, convincingly told. The success of global warming movement has not been built on its scientific underpinning, but on its ability to tell an understandable story in a convincing way (think about the simple pictorial graphs in textbooks). This paper may be a brilliant conclusion, and elegantly written to convince the peers of the authors, but if the conclusions can not be reduced to a “story” that everyone can understand, then it is unlikely to have a fundamental impact on the public debate. My suggestion: consult with some marketing professionals to develop a simple story, an “elevator speech”, a grade school text book illustration, a political cartoon critique, all based on the foundation of good science and math. Being right, being respected by peers, are important goals, but influencing the public debate by telling a convincing story would be a bigger gift to posterity.

Mr Krause makes a good point and a bad one. The bad point is to underestimate the willingness of the judge in this case, who has a degree in engineering and is known for the enthusiasm with which he tackles scientific points of dispute, to get to grips with this case rather than simply toeing the totalitarian Party Line.
The good point is that we need to be able to describe our result in as few words as possible, so that the general public can understand it. If Mr Krause and anyone else who is interested would write to me at monckton[at], I shall send a copy of our one-pager.
This blog, however, caters not so much for the general public as for those who want to get to grips with the scientific arguments. The head posting sets out the whole argument in a form that is readily accessible to anyone with high-school math and sufficient determination.

Alan Tomalty

Please see my post above about your comment about heat feedback. My response is extremely important to your argument.

Raymond Krause … at 7:50 am
…The success of global warming movement has not been built on its scientific underpinning, but on its ability to tell an understandable story in a convincing way…

From my file of tag lines and smart remarks:
Never underestimate the power of carefully worded nonsense.

Jim Gorman

The real problem is that at it’s fundamental basis, the CAGW adherents only have correlation to fall back on. There is no mathematical or empirical underpinning they can use for proof. In essence they have hearsay and that is what I would argue. I suspect the studies they will use to show global warming are mostly on the so-called effects should there be warming, not really proof of how the warming is happening. Again not relevant as proof of fossil fuels causing it. Also make sure the judge must rule on using the fake Global Temperaure as a measure of anything. Temperature data used for this NEVER uses errors as they should be used and the do not measure HEAT at the different locations so you have a common base for calculations.

Mark Breckenridge

Does anyone have an updated version of the graph that plots the published work showing sensitivity results (left axis) over time (bottom axis)?

If Mr Breckenridge will write to me at monckton[at], I shall send him the updated graph of which he speaks.


Does any one have the full list of questions judge Alsup asked?
Also, if BP is good enough to foot the legal fees, wouldn’t it be good to let this case go through, considering that it is presided over by a judge capable of technical skill?
the outcome would then be precedent for future use?


thanks, but that link does not work, even though others link to it too,
this one does


The Court invites counsel to conduct a two-part tutorial on the subject of global warming and climate change:
(1) The first part will trace the history of scientific study of climate change, beginning with scientific inquiry into the formation and melting of the ice ages, periods of historical cooling and warming, smog, ozone, nuclear winter, volcanoes, and global warming. Each side will have sixty minutes. A horizontal timeline of major advances (and setbacks) would be welcomed.
(2) The second part will set forth the best science now available on global warming, glacier melt, sea rise, and coastal flooding. Each side will again have another sixty minutes.
Specifically, the court ruled:
For the tutorial on MARCH 21, please include the following subjects:
1. What caused the various ice ages (including the “little ice age” and prolonged cool periods) and what caused the ice to melt? When they melted, by how much did sea level rise?
2. What is the molecular difference by which CO2 absorbs infrared radiation but oxygen and nitrogen do not?
3. What is the mechanism by which infrared radiation trapped by CO2 in the atmosphere is turned into heat and finds its way back to sea level?
4. Does CO2 in the atmosphere reflect any sunlight back into space such that the reflected sunlight never penetrates the atmosphere in the first place?
5. Apart from CO2, what happens to the collective heat from tail pipe exhausts, engine radiators, and all other heat from combustion of fossil fuels? How, if at all, does this collective heat contribute to warming of the atmosphere?
6. In grade school, many of us were taught that humans exhale CO2 but plants absorb CO2 and return oxygen to the air (keeping the carbon for fiber). Is this still valid? If so, why hasn’t plant life turned the higher levels of CO2 back into oxygen? Given the increase in human population on Earth (four billion), is human respiration a contributing factor to the buildup of CO2?
7. What are the main sources of CO2 that account for the incremental buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere?
8. What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?
9. Please bring to the tutorial a copy of the full GCC presentation referred to in Paragraph 67 of the Oakland complaint as well as the full GCSCT memo referred to in Paragraph 68.

There is little change that some feedback
typo? change/chance?

For “change” read “chance”. My apologies.

Leo Smith

I still say that the easiest way to check the IPCC ‘feedback’ hypothesis is to examine the climates transient response to any major event whose driving force can be estimated reasonably accurately.
Pinatubo would be ideal. The albedo increase should be multiplied by the same feedback that the IPCC models allege.
If that results in a snowball earth that never happened, then case proved.
We have all the data to examine the earth’s response to a non CO2 driver right there.
Remembering that the feedback hypothesis applies to ALL drivers that modulate temperature, not just CO2…


The amount of stuff lifted into the atmosphere by Pinatubo is just an estimate.
The distribution of particle sizes and compositions is also a guess.
The impact of dust on aerosols on clouds and cloud formations is still being studied and argued over.
This isn’t the simple experiment that you think it is.

Gary Pearse

Leo, good points. It seems after a significant volcanic event the temperature depresses and when the air is clear again, the temperature recovers, overshoots a bit and then falls back to trend. Possibly a short term rapid heating or cooling event gives an over-surge of feedback a la Hookes Law.

In response to Mr Smith, there are various ways of attempting to derive the correct feedback fraction. However, our method has the merit of great simplicity and it depends not upon contentious volcanic outputs but upon premises that are all, or very nearly all, agreed by the “mainstream” scientists whom we are attempting to persuade that the game is up.
There is also considerable merit in exposing a sufficiently serious error in the official calculations. In the end, if we are right that the error is an error and is as large as we say, official climatology will not be able to adhere to anything like its current estimates of equilibrium sensitivity without committing fraud.

David Wells

You have in previous posts said that the rate of warming had slowed down doesnt this simple statement contradict your statement in this post that co2 causes warming so get over it. And doesnt this post disregard the prevarication of bert bolin maurice strong who hijacked the presumption that Co2 caused global for purely ideological reasons to enforce what Christiana Figueres said was a new economic structure for the planet? And how does this post co relate to historical proxy data that indicates temperature has been higher with co2 lower and vice versa. It seems to me that more or less you are validating what `scientists say’ want us to believe that Co2 does cause warming just not so much?

I picked up on that as well David

In response to Mr Wells, the fact that the rate of warming had slowed down until the recent el Nino does not in any way vitiate our result, which concerns itself with what the feedback fraction should be.
If our result is correct, the plans by the likes of Edenhofer and Figueres to enforce the end of capitalism will be thwarted.

Bob Stewart

One can appreciate the interest in a model of climate, since that is the basis for the hysteria over Global Warming/Climate Change. But is it a mistake to presume that the prediction, whether it be 1.5K or 4 K, has any relation to reality. I find Pat Frank’s critique more compelling in that it shows the demonstrable error in the annual prediction of water vapor/cloud cover grows to such a point that nothing can be discerned in the noise after even a decade, let alone a century. But again, it does not address the fundamental error, which is the presumption that CO2 is the driving force. The absorption and scattering of radiation in our atmosphere is dominated by H20. And the variability of H2O is enormous, and cannot be modeled. CO2 affects only a small fraction of the spectrum, and it has already pretty much maxed out in the absorption of radiation in its niche. Further, the environment uses CO2 to sustain life, and these processes serve as dynamic sinks that consume and store the substance. Water, on the other hand, is what characterizes the earth, and it is available to atmosphere in vast quantity, given only a little heat from the morning sun.

R. Shearer

Good comment.

Mr Stewart thinks it is a mistake to presume that any prediction, whether it be climatology’s 4 K global warming per doubling of CO2 or our 1.2 K, has any relation to reality. He may care to read the head posting. What we say is that, on the generous assumption that official climatology has made no error but that which we have identified, exposed and quantified, there will be about 1.2 K global warming per century, or per doubling of CO2. Since 1950, warming has been occurring at 1.2 K per century equivalent (HadCRUT4); since 1979 warming has been occurring at 1.3 K/century (UAH) and since 2001 warming has been occurring at 1.3 K/century (mean of HadCRUT4 and UAH). Our estimate of Charney sensitivity thus seems consistent with observation, while the official mid-range estimate is manifestly inconsistent with observation.
And we submit that we have proven that an error exists. If we are right, then that is the end of the global warming scare.


Yeah, but Christopher, 1.2C is still a modest warming. And again, you’re using the 1.1C as your baseline starting point. That assumes the 3.6 W/m^2 is equal to Pi (post albedo solar power in) in intrinsic surface warming ability.

In response to RW, 1.2 K per CO2 doubling is indeed a modest warming, and indeed we start with the CMIP5 models’ estimate that the reference sensitivity is 1.1 K before accounting for feedback. But we accept such values ad argumentum. We do not warrant that they are correct. We say that, if official climatology has made no other error but that which we have identified, Charney sensitivity is 1.2 K or thereby.

Alan Tomalty

Christopher you have to have a doubling equation. Doubling from 1ppm to 2ppm isnt the same as from 280 to 560. Also notice that it will take a lot longer than a century to double the CO2 on present rates of addition to atmosphere. Even doubling from the 330 level in 1950 will take another 58 years.

Mr Tomalty says doubling CO2 from 1 to 2 ppmv is not the same as 380 to 560 ppmv. In fact, the interval over which the approximately logarithmic CO2 forcing obtains is [100, 950] ppmv. Therefore, without error we may safely assume the logarithmic forcing is correct, for little error will arise.

Gary Pearse

Bob, the biological sink for CO2 is also an endothermic process so it is a heat sink too. The 15+% expansion of planetary forest cover coincided mainly with the Pause – hmm … maybe at least a small contributor?

Alan Tomalty

Bob Stewart wrote
“and it has already pretty much maxed out in the absorption of radiation in its niche.”
I have seen this quote many times by dozens of people and not one explained exactly why this is so.
Also the alarmists need a large forcing by CO2 of water vapour for their theory to work. For that to be true H2O levels have to increase over time. James Hansen then director of the Goddard Institute in 2009 shut down the section that measures water vapour after they couldnt prove any increases after measuring it for 20 years. To this day any further measurements of the global atmospheric H2O content are unavailable.

Christy’s 29 March 2017 congressional testimony proved that the CMIP5 models run hot. The missing modeled tropical troposphere hotspot is but one disagnostic. The reason was simply explained in guest post here last summer Why Models Run Hot. A more mathematically grounded explanation was given in earlier, longer guest post here The Trouble with Models. So modeled ECS 3.3 must be rejected.
The question becomes, what is the ‘true’ ECS. The energy budget approach produces ~1.65 using iPCC AR5 WG1 values (e.g. Lewis and Curry 2014). Or ~1.5 using Steven’s updated aerosol forcing estimates (Lewis 2015). Both results are posted at Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.
A separate set of observational considerations previously commented on here (in discussion the irreducable equatiin Monkton posts) suggests the AR5 net f (here 0.67, my previous comments used 0.65–close enough given uncertainties) is high by at least half. First, Desslers 2010 paper actually showed net cloud feedback is ~0, not the inferable 0.17 (or 0.15 in my previous comments). Second the water vapor feedback must be less than half of the 0.5 remainder (0.67 – 0.17). There are two lines of reasoning: (a) modelled precipitation is about half observed, so rainout leaves less water vapor than modeled, (b) the observationally missing modeled tropical troposphere hotspot is a water vapor feedback issue. So this leaved an inferrable f of something less than 0.25, therefore an ECS something less than 1.6.
This post offers a third way to approach the estimate using a combination of theory and observation. More top down than bottom up. Whether the ‘true estimate is 1.65, 1.6, 1.5, or 1.2 as here the result is the same—cancel the alarm. Game over.
There are, re this lawsuit, two further difficulties for the warmunist California cities. 1. Their bond offerings identity no risks such as they are suing big oil for. 2. There are no present damages to monetize, and since sea level rise is not accelerating since before 1950 (natural) there can be no future AGW SLR damages either.
This lawsuit and the mandated ‘tutorial’ will backfire on the warmunists.

The ever-thoughtful Mr Istvan is quite right that our approach to the derivation of the feedback fraction is top-down and theoretical rather than bottom-up. There is a good reason for this. For a start, in the climate, no individual feedback can be directly quantified by any measurement, or distinguished by any measurement from any other feedback, or even from the forcing that induced the feedback response. What is more, not only is any empirical derivation of individual feedbacks impossible, but there is no theoretical method of deriving a respectable estimate of any individual feedback. Various attempts have been made, but without convincing both sides of the argument.
We submit that our approach, which demonstrates that both theoretical and empirical methods of deriving the overall feedback fraction (which is the product of the feedback sum and the Planck sensitivity parameter) are available, and that the results of these methods cohere.

You clearly are fully aware of the great value your appraoch and undisputable (except on the edges of data details as you admit) has. Very well done. Highest Kudos.

I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “true” ECS.

That is your problem, not mine, Do read up more on CAGW my primer was provided as last long probative chapter in 2012 ebook The Arts of Truth. I would rewrite more negatively in light od Blowing Smoke, and aubsequent posts.

Do you have a counter argument? If so, what is it?

TO, yes. The long version is explained in detail with illustrations in essay Sensitive Sensitivity in ebook Blowing Smoke. Here is a short over simplified version. Adding GHG (e.g CO2) to the armosphere causes a radiative imbalance (more SW in than LW out). This property was first measured in the lab by Tyndall in 1859 IIRC. That radiative imballance will cause Earths surface to warm until radiative balance is restored by the resulting increased LW IR radiation from higher T. This new higher temperature balance is called the ECS, equilibrium climate sensativity, by definitional convention to a doubling of atmospheric CO2. It must be some number expressed as some delta T, and it must be positive else Earths surface woild be 255K rather than observed 283K (see some elses longer comment upthread for logic details). What it is above the ‘lab measured’, computable from first principles (see an early 2010 Climate Etc Curry post, or from fundamental observed parameters as in this post depends on net feedbacks. The ECS value without feedbacks is always between 1.1 (this post) and 1.2, (Lindzen). My own calculations of no feedback ECS produces a value of 1.16. Posted tye calcs in a comment here long ago to a different Monckton post. So ECS must physically exist. It must be some value greater than 1.1. The fight is over how much greater. We know the IPCC 3.3 from climate models is wrong. See my long comment upthread for why.
But to think some positive ECS >1.1 does not exist indicates a very weak grasp of the basic physics. Please do not tar knowledgable skeptics withnsuch a ‘dummy’ brush.

ristvan (March 20 at 2:31 PM)
Thanks for taking the time to respond. My understanding is based upon the definition
of ECS. It is the ratio of the change in the global surface air temperature at equilibrium
to the change in the logarithm of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. The equilibrium temperature (called
the “steady state temperature” in the engineering literature) is not observable. Thus, if by the
“true” value of ECS one means the “observable value,” there isn’t one.

Alan Tomalty

ECS is a theoretical concept dreamt up by alarmists to show that CO2 causes warming. What somebody needs to do is to pump in CO2 at 400ppm into one container that is at the same temperature as the average troposphere at 5 Km high and then pump in H2O vapour in another container each with a black body and have the temperature measurements to see which gas absorbs and then reflects the heat to the black body. and then have a 3rd container with a mixture of the 2 gases with the same measuring tools. I believe that this experiment has never been done.

Alan Tomalty

I forgot to add that there should be a 4th container where you pump in double the CO2 along with H2O vapour.

Alan Tomalty:
The seeds of the ECS concept seem to have been planted by Arrhenius with his “radiative forcing” concept. Radiative forcing is a Platonic rather than a scientific way of organizing a study that has the shortcoming of generating models whose claims are not falsifiable. In IPCC AR4, report of Working Group I, the IPCC admits they are not falsifiable but claims that in the modern era falsifiability has been supplanted by peer review. Actually, falsifiability is the so-called “line of demarcation” between settling an issue by observation and by the unsubstantiated claim of an authority. There was a conflict between the Vatican and Galileo because the Galileo favored observation and the Vatican favored authority. The Roman law of heresy sided with the Vatican.

Terry Oldberg March 21, 2018 at 9:02 am
We keep hearing about the alleged radiative imbalances inducing an alleged temperature change. Back to Nahle’s experiment: if you believe in this alleged mechanism, then repeat the experiment to prove that this warming caused by back radiation exists.
I know what the theory says. We all know what the theory says. We all know what the calculations say. What we don’t know is if any of this has been demonstrated experimentally. Nahle seems to have done a simple and elegant experiment– after Wood and Pratt– to test it. Tyndall did NOT prove the alleged mechanism of absorption/emission leading to temperature change. No one has!
Just because a paradigm is self-consistent and assumed to be true by everyone doesn’t mean it’s true. We need an experiment, please. Basic science, or asking for the impossible?

Don132 (March 21 at 9:28 am):
Thanks for the citation.
The lesson to be learned from Woods’ experiment is that it is possible for convective heat transfer to
counterbalance radiative heat transfer such that the temperature at Earth’s surface does not rise. That
this is the case is predicted thermodynamically. I’m not aware of any modern day global warming
climatologist who takes issue with this conclusion.
On the other hand, there are few if any modern day global warming climatologists who do not incorporate
the idea of “radiative forcing” into the advice that they offer to politicians on climate change. The role of
radiative forcing is not to deny the results of Woods’ experiment but rather is to express a theory
of the climate system that is Platonic rather than being scientific. Like a modern day climatologist, Plato felt
that abstract objects were real and concrete objects were imperfect copies of them.
Now, to return to the issue of whether ECS has a numerical value that is “true,” there are solid grounds for stating that ECS is a property of an abstract Earth. For a scientist an abstract object is not real. For a Platonist, on the other hand, an abstract object is real. With nearly perfect consistency, journalists and left-leaning politicians confuse Platonists with scientists. Right-leaning politicans make the same mistake but argue that the left-leaning politicians exaggerate the magnitude of ECS. In the lawsuit between the oil companies and the cities that are suing them for damages, both sides seem prepared to confuse Platonism with science. Scientifically, the cities have no case but this not because combustion of oil has no effect on Earth’s surface air temperature. It is only because the research on climate change has thus far been conducted by Platonists rather than scientists.


Wow! I love the empirical test rig. I will stay tuned.
It seems churlish to point out the use of ‘small change’ where I think you mean ‘small chance’.
Lastly, do you think this error you have found has been masked by the assumption of steady state and ignoring of day/night temp variations in all theoretical considerations of greenhouse behaviour?

In response to Mr Dixon, again, apologies for “change” where the context requires “chance”.
We think that the reason for the error we have discovered is the importation by climate science of equations from control theory without having understood them sufficiently.

As the term “empirical test rig” could be misleading it would be better to call the rig an “analog computer.” Rather than test Lord Monckton’s theory, this computer computes the response of Monckton’s theory to its inputs.

Bode’s LINEAR feedback analysis for quantifying POWERED (active) gain does not apply to the climate system. Feedback analysis requires a strictly linear system in order to be useful. When an audio amplifier starts to clip and goes non linear, Bode’s analysis no longer works. Climate feedback specified as W/m^2 in and degrees K out is not even approximately linear over the relevant ranges of temperature found on the planet. The second missing precondition for applying Bode’s feedback equations is the implicit power supply that can not also be the forcing input. The significant difference is that an active amplifier measures the input forcing and feedback to determine how much output to deliver from an implicit source, while the climate system consumes the forcing and feedback to comprise its output. The COE constraint this imposes is not taken into consideration in any AR.

I wanted to say the same, but you did it better.


co2 –
Whereas I understand the basics of what you’re saying, not being an electrical engineer makes it difficult to fully digest your point…
Thus, are you taking issue with the IPCC’s approach or Monckton’s? Or both?

I’m objecting to the general approach of applying Bode’s feedback analysis to quantify the climate, especially given the massive amount of feedback claimed by the IPCC.
Christopher is correct that the consensus analysis has been horribly botched and while his analysis shows this, even in the context of an improper application, my point is that there’s a more fundamental reason for why the ‘consensus’ is so wrong.
Joules are joules and each Joule from the 240 W/m^2 of NET energy arriving from the Sun does the same amount of work to increase the surface temperature, that is, Joules are interchangeable. That being said, each W/m^2 of the 240 W/m^2 arriving from the Sun results in a NET if 1.6 W/m^2 emitted by the Surface, or about 600 mw of ‘feedback’ per W/m^2 of input where the ‘feedback’ is prior surface emissions that were delayed and bounced back to the surface after being absorbed by the atmosphere.
The confusion arises because the IPCC considers the absolute gain to be far smaller than the incremental gain in violation of the precondition for applying Bodes’s analysis and dramatically inflates the incremental gain from 1.6 W/m^2 per W/m^s of forcing input measured for the average all the way up to 4.3 W/m^2 per W/m^2 of forcing input for the nominal sensitivity claimed by the IPCC. The linearity restriction requires the incremental and absolute gains to be the same.
BTW, the climate is very linear in the energy domain, as COE requires, which means that the next W/m^2 of forcing will only contribute another 600 mw/m^2 of ‘feedback’ which is consistent with the 0.2-0.3 C per W/m^2 sensitivity generally considered as the sensitivity by Lindzen and others.

In response to “co2isnotevil”, the head posting went to some lengths to point out, first, that the linear Bode feedback equation, even in the simplified form used in climatology, precisely reproduces the official interval of Charney sensitivities if the official inputs are deployed therein; and secondly, that even quite strong nonlinearities don’t matter where the feedback fraction is sufficiently small, because the response curve of equilibrium sensitivities in the presence of various values of the feedback fraction is a rectangular hyperbola, and our result shows that the calculation should be performed not, as now, at the right-hand end of the curve close to the singularity at a feedback fraction of unity but at the left-hand end, at a feedback fraction an order of magnitude smaller, where even quite large variations in the value of the feedback fraction have very little impact on equilibrium sensitivity.
Therefore, pleading that the Bode equation is linear is not only insufficient to overthrow our result but also incorrect, for even where the inputs to the equation are all linear the output signal is not.

Jim Gorman

This from an old engineer. Feedback was generally used to overcome nonlinearities of components like like paper capacitors, carbon resistors, and even active components in order to achieve stable gain over a large portion of the operating range. If nonlinearities would upset the circuit, back to the drawing board. So the fact that those in our climate don’t change things much doesn’t’ bother me at all. They shouldn’t bother anyone who has dealt this before.