Climatology’s startling error – an update

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Well, we sent out our paper On an error in defining temperature feedback to a leading journal for review. The reviewers did not like it at all. “And, gracious! How Lord Lundy cried!”

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We are persevering, though, for in our submission nothing the reviewers have said in any way undermines the scientific validity of our result, which I outlined here in a series some months back.

Here, I shall summarize our argument in layman’s terms (for a layman is what I am). If you want a more detailed account of the physics, Anthony has kindly posted a single-sheet scientific summary here:

error-summary (PDF)

After the brief account of our argument that follows, just for fun I shall set out the reviewers’ principal objections, together with our answers. Feel free to comment on whether we or the reviewers are right.

How climatologists forgot the Sun was shining

Climatologists trying to predict global warming forgot the sunshine in their sums. After correction of this startling error of physics, global warming will not be 2 to 4.5 K per CO2 doubling, as climate models imagine. It will be a small, slow, harmless and net-beneficial 1.17 K.

The Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5: Andrews+ 2012) had predicted that doubling CO2 will warm the world by 1.04 ± 0.1 K (before feedbacks act) and 3.37 ± 1.3 K (after feedbacks have acted). IPCC says 3.0 ± 1.5 K. Some papers (e.g. Murphy 2009) give high-end estimates up to 10 K per CO2 doubling.

Climatologists erred when they borrowed feedback mathematics from control theory without quite understanding it. They used a variant feedback system-gain equation that relied solely on small changes in reference temperature (before feedback) and in equilibrium temperature (after feedback). But the mainstream equation they borrowed from control theory uses entire, absolute temperatures in Kelvin, not just changes in temperature.

Their variant equation is a valid equation, for it constitutes the difference between two instances of the mainstream equation. However, in taking that difference, they effectively subtracted out the term for the 243.3 K emission temperature as it would have been at the Earth’s surface without non-condensing greenhouse gases, driven by the fact that the Sun is shining, as well as the term for the 11.5 K warming from the pre-industrial greenhouse gases.

Because they lost this vital information, their variant equation could not reliably yield the true system-gain factor – the ratio of equilibrium to reference temperature. Instead, they tried to find that factor, the Holy Grail of global warming studies, by hunting for individual feedbacks computer models’ outputs. They were looking for blunt needles in the wrong haystack, when all they needed (if only they had known it) was a pin they already had.

Measurement and observation cannot tell us the magnitudes of individual feedbacks, and cannot help us to distinguish individual feedbacks either from each other from the manmade warmings that triggered them.

Restoring the missing sunshine and pre-industrial greenhouse-gas warming allows anyone to calculate the true system-gain factor. The calculation is direct, swift and accurate. You do not even need to know the magnitude of any individual feedback. All you need are the entire reference temperature (before feedback) and equilibrium temperature (after feedback) in any chosen year.

In 1850, reference temperature – the sum of the 243.3 K warming from the Sun and a further 11.5 K from the pre-industrial non-condensing greenhouse gases – was 254.8 K. The measured equilibrium surface temperature was 287.5 K (HadCRUT4). Therefore, the feedback system-gain factor for that year was 287.5 / 254.8, or 1.13.

Using the variant equation, however, one cannot derive the system-gain factor for 1850 at all.

By 2011, manmade influences had increased reference temperature by 0.68 K to 255.5 K. Measured temperature had risen by 0.75 K, but another 0.27 K that might not yet have come through because of an imagined “radiative imbalance” has to be allowed for, raising equilibrium temperature by 1.02 K to 288.5 K. Therefore, the system-gain factor for 2011 was 288.5 / 255.5, or 1.13.

That 2011 value is just as it was in 1850. It is not difficult to see why. The 254.8 K reference temperature in 1850 that was left out of climatologists’ sums is about 375 times the 0.68 K manmade reference warming from 1850 to 2011. That is why our effect on the system-gain factor is minuscule.

The climate stability evident after correcting climatologists’ striking error of physics should come as no surprise. For more than 800,000 years, according to analyses of air trapped in ancient ice (Jouzel+ 2006), global mean surface temperature has varied by little more than 3 K either side of the average temperature for the period.

Though IPCC (2013) mentions “feedback” 1000 times, feedback can be ignored with very little error. The system-gain factor may be taken as constant at 1.13. The non-linearity in feedbacks that climatologists had imagined makes very little difference.

Using the variant equation, the system-gain factor would be 1.02 / 0.68, i.e, 1.50, and the equilibrium warming from doubled CO2 would thus be 1.50 times the reference warming of 1.04 K in response to doubled CO2: i.e., 1.55 K. Even that value is only half the 3.37 K mid-range estimate in the CMIP5 models.

Using the mainstream equation, though, the true equilibrium warming from doubled CO2 is even smaller. It is 1.13 times the reference warming of 1.04 K: i.e., a harmless 1.17 K. To make sure, ten separate official estimates of manmade radiative forcing were studied. In each case, global warming in response to doubled CO2 was 1.17 K.

A statistical Monte Carlo simulation showed the true range of global warming as 1.08 to 1.25 K.

The control theory underlying the present result was verified on two test rigs, one of them at a government laboratory.

Climatologists had imagined that individual temperature feedbacks would self-cancel, except for water vapor, the largest. The atmosphere can carry 7% more water vapor for each Kelvin of warming. Can, not must. Models had predicted that, if and only if warming were manmade, the tropical upper air would warm at thrice the surface rate. Yet the water-vapor content up there is falling. Therefore, the tropical mid-troposphere “hot spot” does not exist.

Bottom line: global warming is not a problem after all. Enjoy the sunshine climatologists forgot about.

Reviewers’ comments, and our responses

“Simply inserting emission temperature in place of anthropogenic surface warming in the equations, and proceeding as before, is a massive violation of energy conservation.”

Um, no. One of my co-authors, John Whitfield, built a test rig – effectively an analog computer – to verify the control theory underlying our argument. There was certainly no “massive violation of energy conservation”. Instead, the outputs from the rig, in 23 distinct experiments, confirmed our understanding in all respects.

To make assurance doubly sure, we commissioned a government laboratory to build a test rig to its own design and to carry out the same 23 experiments. The results agreed with what the theory had led us to predict, and did so to the equivalent of a tenth of a Kelvin in each case. If there had been any “massive violation of energy conservation”, it would definitely have shown up in the experiments. It didn’t.

Besides, the reviewer had provided no evidence or argument whatsoever to justify the nonsensical assertion that our method was a “massive violation of energy conservation”.

“Instead of feeding in the perturbation temperature and asking what the perturbation in the top-of-atmosphere energy budget is, they shove the whole temperature difference from absolute zero into the equation by fiat and without physical justification. It’s plain rubbish.”

The physical justification is this. Feedback processes, being inanimate, cannot discriminate between a pre-existing temperature and a perturbation of that temperature. They have no means of deciding not to react at all to the former and yet to react vigorously to the latter. Nor are those inanimate processes concerned with what might have been if the Sun were not shining. For the Sun – like it or not – is shining.

Feedback processes simply respond to the temperature as they find it. Let us see why by studying the block diagram for a feedback loop –

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The reference temperature (i.e., the temperature before feedbacks act) comes in from top left and is input to the summative input/output node. From that node, the fraction of the output temperature represented by the feedback response goes round the feedback loop and is fed back to the input/output node, where it is added to the original reference temperature to give the equilibrium sensitivity.

Now, increase the reference temperature by some increment. Then the input to the feedback loop is a little larger than before. The feedback processes simply respond to that larger reference temperature. There is self-evidently no physical mechanism by which those processes can “know” that they must not respond to a somewhat larger reference temperature than before.

“The analogy to a Bode amplifier, on which the authors place so much emphasis, is not an identity. If it were a perturbation voltage that were isolated and it was the perturbation voltage on which the feedbacks operated, the analogy could be made more closely.”

To understand why the reviewer sees things this way, let us recall IPCC’s official definition of a “climate feedback” (IPCC, 2013, glossary, p. 1450) –

Climate feedback An interaction in which a perturbation in one climate quantity causes a change in a second, and the change in the second quantity ultimately leads to an additional change in the first. A negative feedback is one in which the initial perturbation is weakened by the changes it causes; a positive feedback is one in which the initial perturbation is enhanced. In this Assessment Report, a somewhat narrower definition is often used in which the climate quantity that is perturbed is the global mean surface temperature, which in turn causes changes in the global radiation budget. In either case, the initial perturbation can either be externally forced or arise as part of internal variability.”

Notice that the word “perturbed” or “perturbation” occurs five times in this short and calculatedly inspissate definition. Let us draw the block diagram for the variant feedback loop imagined by official climatology –

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Here, there is scarcely an absolute quantity in the entire diagram. So, what is going on? Well, the mainstream feedback system-gain equation used in official climatology states that the change in equilibrium temperature is equal to the sum of the change in reference temperature and the product of the feedback factor and the change in equilibrium temperature.

Now, climatology’s variant equation is a perfectly valid equation. In effect, it represents the difference between two successive instances of control theory’s mainstream equation, which states that the equilibrium temperature is equal to the sum of the reference temperature and the product of the feedback factor and the equilibrium temperature.

But the variant equation is not useful for finding equilibrium sensitivities, because one cannot reliably derive from it the Holy Grail of global-warming studies – namely, the feedback system-gain factor, which is the ratio of equilibrium to reference temperature.

For present purposes, though, it is necessary only to observe that, since climatology’s variant equation is a valid equation, so is control theory’s mainstream equation, from which the variant equation is derived.

Let us correct the official definition of a “climate feedback” –

“Positive feedback in dynamical systems amplifies the output signal. Negative feedback attenuates it. In climate, the input signal is the global mean surface reference temperature clip_image008 that would obtain without feedback. The output signal is the global mean surface equilibrium temperature clip_image010 after allowing for feedback. The feedback response clip_image012 constitutes the entire difference clip_image014 between equilibrium and reference temperatures, such that the feedback factor clip_image016, which is the fraction of equilibrium temperature that constitutes the feedback response, is equal to clip_image018. The system-gain factor clip_image020 is equal to clip_image022, i.e. clip_image024.”

Note in passing that the feedback-loop block diagrams (a) simplify to the system-gain block diagrams (b). What this means is that all one needs to know to find the system-gain factor clip_image026 for any given year is the reference temperature (before feedback) and the measured equilibrium surface temperature (after feedback) in that year. One does not need to know the value of any individual feedback.

“[Test rigs] are all very well, but simply show that one can construct systems for which the one-dimensional energy-balance equations are exactly true. There is no information contained therein to say whether these models are relevant to the real climate.”

If the feedback mathematics borrowed by official climatology from control theory is as inapplicable as the reviewer suggests, then there is no legitimate basis for climatology’s current mistaken belief that feedback response accounts for at least two-thirds of equilibrium sensitivity. Paper after paper (see e.g. Hansen 1984, Schlesinger 1985, Bony 2006, Roe 2009) uses feedback mathematics, explicitly referring to Bode. But these and suchlike papers use Bode in a fashion that prevents accurate derivation of the system-gain factor. IPCC (2013) mentions the word “feedback” more than 1000 times.

These and numerous other authors have accepted that feedback mathematics is relevant to the derivation of equilibrium sensitivity. Quite right too: for equilibrium temperature is greater than reference temperature, and feedback response constitutes the entire difference between them.

It is interesting to see how ready the reviewers are to ditch the “settled science” that has been in the literature for decades whenever they find it inconvenient.

“The energy-balance equation used by climate science is just a Taylor-series expansion of the difference between the global average top-of-atmosphere energy imbalance and the radiative forcing. Higher-order terms have been dropped. This is why emission temperature does not appear in the zero-dimensional energy-balance equation. I just don’t see any opposing argument that would change this view of the equation.”

Since climatology’s variant equation is a valid equation, there is nothing in itself wrong with it. It is validly derived from the energy-balance equation, and the fact that it is derived via a leading-order Taylor-series expansion does not in any way impugn our argument: for a Taylor-series expension is merely a mechanism for expressing the shape of a curve about a particular point.

But leaving out the sunshine term makes it impossible to derive the feedback system-gain factor accurately from the variant equation.

Nothing in the derivation of the variant equation from the top-of-atmosphere energy-balance equation tells us anything about the magnitude of the system-gain factor. It is precisely for this reason that climate modelers have spent decades futilely attempting to constrain the interval of Charney sensitivities, which, in IPCC (2013), was [1.5, 4.5] K, just as it was four decades ago in Charney (1979).

“The authors would do well to educate themselves on the literature evaluating the linearity or otherwise of feedbacks.”

Yes, some feedback responses are non-linear. The water vapor feedback is the prime example. As the space occupied by the atmosphere warms, it can carry 7% more water vapor per Kelvin. Indeed, close to the Earth’s surface, at a pressure altitude of 1000 mb, it does precisely that:

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At 600 mb, however, there is no increase in the specific humidity with warming. And at the crucial mid-troposphere altitude 300 mb, the specific humidity has been falling. Why is this important? Well, official climatology regards all individual feedbacks except water vapor as broadly self-canceling. It is only the water vapor feedback that provides the pretext for the notion that because of feedbacks equilibrium warming is three or four or even ten times reference warming.

Yet the only altitude at which the predicted rate of increase the specific humidity is observed in reality is very close to the surface, where, as Harde (2017) has pointed out, the spectral lines of water vapor are very close to saturation.

Turn to Fig. 9.1c of IPCC (2007). There, the predicted tropical mid-troposphere “hot spot” – I had the honor to name it – is made evident in the fashion with which we are now wearily familiar: lurid colors –

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So much for what is predicted. I could show dozens of similar images from various general-circulation models. In reality, however, the predicted “hot spot” is conspicuous by its entire absence –

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Now, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program produced its real-world data showing no “hot spot” a year before IPCC persisted in its false claim that the “hot spot” exists. And why would it exist? For the specific humidity that would have to increase to deliver the predicted faster-than-surface warming has actually decreased.

However, using our method of finding the feedback system-gain factor, one does not need to know anything about individual feedbacks. All one needs to know is the reference temperature (before feedback) and the equilibrium temperature (after feedback) in any given year.

And to find out whether nonlinearities in individual feedbacks are varying the system-gain factor with time and temperature, all one needs to do is find the system-gain factor for two different years – one close to the beginning of the industrial era and one close to the end. So we did that. And we even made allowance for the imagined (and probably imaginary) “radiative imbalance” that may have delayed about a quarter of the manmade warming to date.

In both 1850 and 2011, the system-gain factor, to three decimal places, was 1.129. It didn’t change even in the third decimal place. It didn’t change because the combined temperature from the Sun and from the pre-industrial non-condensing greenhouse gases was 375 times bigger than the 0.68 K reference sensitivity between those two dates. Nonlinearity? Schmonlinearity.

“The fact that feedbacks, calculated properly from models, give the right range of climate sensitivity in models probably should have given the authors pause in their conviction it [their analysis] is fundamentally defective.”

And this, gentle reader, is our old friend the circular argument, the argumentum ad petitionem principii, one of the dozen commonest logical fallacies. From this fallacy the only valid conclusion that may be drawn is that the perpetrator is insufficiently educated to know any better.

To demonstrate the utility of the simple system-gain equation in studying equilibrium sensitivities, we had taken climatology’s variant of it and demonstrated that, using the range of feedback factors officially derived from the models by Vial et al. (2013), it would deliver the published interval of equilibrium sensitivities. But that exercise told us nothing of the correct value of the feedback factor, or of its cousin the system-gain factor. To derive the correct values of these variables, one needs to look outside the window, notice that the Sun is shining, and take proper account of that fact by using the mainstream system-gain in one’s calculations.

“The sensitivity of any climate model is what it is – it cannot change due to any post-hoc analysis of its feedbacks. In a model the CO2 level is doubled, the radiative transfer calculation alters, and temperatures, water vapor, circulation, clouds etc. all change. The simulated climate system eventually stabilizes and the resulting net change in surface temperature is the sensitivity of that model.”

And this is the fundamental fallacy of relevance known as the straw-man argument, the argumentum ad ignorationem elenchi. For we had not undertaken any post-hoc analysis of any model’s feedbacks. Instead of adopting the models’ doomed-to-failure bottom-up approach to deriving equilibrium sensitivity by making fanciful guesstimates of the values of individual feedbacks, we had adopted the far simpler and more robust top-down approach of finding the reference and equilibrium temperatures for two well-separated years in the industrial era, discovering that the system-gain factors derived from these values were the same, applying the system-gain factor to the reference sensitivity to doubled CO2 and demonstrating, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2 is just 1.17 K, plus or minus less than a tenth of a Kelvin.

The reviewer is, in effect, saying that the models must be right. Well, however elaborate they are, they are not right. They are wrong, as our analysis has demonstrated.

“No physical arguments are given for why the sensitivity should be so small, and accepting this simple estimate as plausible would require rejecting all previous work by scientists to understand the physics of climate change, much of which has been proven beyond doubt. The analysis given is both rudimentary and fundamentally flawed and I cannot recommend publication by a reputable journal.”

See the analysis of the water vapor feedback, earlier in this article. The magnitude of that feedback has not been “proven beyond doubt”: it has been disproven beyond doubt. Consider, for instance, John Christy’s fascinating graph of predicted tropical mid-troposphere temperature change in 73 models from 1979-2012. All 73 models showed tropical mid-troposphere warming at a mean rate about four times the observed rate, and no model’s prediction was below the observed outturn –

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It is very likely, therefore, that the chief reason why the corrected value of the system-gain factor, and hence of equilibrium sensitivity, is so much below all official estimates is the overegging of the water-vapor pudding in the models. But we don’t need to know what the models got wrong – it is sufficient to demonstrate – in our submission irrefutably – that wrong they were.

In one respect, though, the reviewer is right. We are indeed rejecting all previous work by scientists to derive equilibrium sensitivity, insofar as that work, however honest and diligent, is incompatible with the correct result which we have reached by a far simpler and more reliable method than theirs.

“Look back at the definition of the feedback factor above, and marvel at what they have done. The perturbation in climate forcing that they use to estimate feedbacks is, quite literally, Switching On The Sun. Start with the Earth at zero Kelvin. Now switch on the Sun, forbid any feedbacks, and we get a reference temperature of 255 K. Now allow feedbacks to perated, and in our current world we actually get to equilibrium temperature 287 K.”

Perhaps all climatologists are Scottish. For it comes as a great surprise to us, whenever we take the road to England – or the boat for the cold coast of Greenland, or the flight to almost anywhere – and we find, to our fascination and delight, that the land is often bathed in the holy radiance of a large, bright, warm, yellow object in the sky. We don’t see it that much in the Gaidhealtachd.

We do not have to Switch On The Sun. For, owing to the bounty of Divine Providence, it has already been Switched On for us (except in Scotland), and the angels – the intergalactic grease-monkeys whose task is keep the Universe unfolding as it should – are doing a splendid job of care and maintenance.

For the Sun, you see, is shining. Are we wrong to take account of that fact? We think not. The feedback processes operating today don’t care what feedback processes operated at zero Kelvin. They simply respond to the temperature as they find it. And that means it is better to take account of the fact that the Sun is shining than to ignore it.

It was not only the reviewers nominated by the journal who reviewed it. Somehow, a copy of our paper reached the Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, who, on reading the paper, summoned a meeting of all 65 Professors and Doctors of science in his Environmental Sciences faculty and yelled at them as follows –

“Monckton’s paper is a catastrophe for us. If the general public ever gets to hear of Monckton’s paper, there will be hell to pay.”

He ordered the faculty to drop everything and work on trying to refute our paper – which, at that time, was merely a 2000-word outline that has now been developed into a full-length, 6000-word paper. He later denied that the meeting had taken place, but we heard about it directly from one who was present.

Finally, here is a comment from a notoriously irascible skeptical blogger (not, of course, our genial host here):

“No, we’re not going to discuss Monckton’s result here. We don’t do simple.”

My reading in mathematics and physics has led me to imagine – perhaps wrongly – that there is more rejoicing in Heaven at the discovery of a simple method to derive a correct result than at the use of a pointlessly complex method to derive a result that, not least on account of the complexity, is incorrect.

Some final questions for those who have had the persistence to read this far. Are the reviewers correct, or are we correct? And would you like to be kept abreast of developments with occasional pieces here? The paper remains out for review and, in due course, we shall learn whether it has been accepted for publication. We have also been invited to write a book giving an account of our result and how we came by it.

And we have sent to IPCC a formal notice that all of its Assessment Reports are gravely in error. Though we have followed IPCC’s own published protocol for submission of alleged errors, we have been unable to obtain from the Secretariat the acknowledgement which its own rules require. So we are about to put the matter into the hands of the Bureau de l’Escroquerie, the Swiss Fraud Office, via the London Ambassador of Switzerland, the nation where IPCC is headquartered.

Before we call in InterPlod, are we right to think we are correct and the reviewers wrong?

For a 45-minute You-Tube presentation by me explaining our result, follow this link. I’m most grateful to John Charleston for having filmed the presentation in his own studio, and for having edited it and posted it up.

And here is the single slide, from my presentation at next week’s Camp Constitution in Connecticut, that brings the entire global warming foofaraw to an unlamented end –

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As my noble friend the Earl of Seafield once put it, “There’s ane end to ane auld sang.”

 

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Hocus Locus

“Feedback processes, being inanimate, cannot discriminate between a pre-existing temperature and a perturbation of that temperature. They have no means of deciding not to react at all to the former and yet to react vigorously to the latter.”

Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter
— Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 1 Scene 1. 45–47

“The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose”

Well…

Sir! you have disappointed us!
We had intended you to be
The next Prime Minister but three:
The stocks were sold; the Press was squared:
The Middle Class was quite prepared.
But as it is! . . . My language fails!
Go out and govern New South Wales!

And gracious! how Lord Lundy cried!

Monckton of Brenchley

E stands for Egg. The moral of this verse
Is applicable to the young. Be terse.

joelobryan

… nay..be concise!

“Be terse.”
This post does not set a good example to the young, if there be any such among the readership.

Monckton of Brenchley

Ah, but I’m not young. Prolixity is the privilege of patriarchs.

honest liberty

I’m freshly 35. Is that young by this page’s standards?

Utterbilge

Even by Harrovian standards, this is one damned daft little twit.
Have UKIP run out of lisping Lawsons?

Monckton of Brenchley

Climate-Communist troll alert.

Farmer Ch E retired

Blog etiquette rule #8: Thou shall not feed the trolls.

Farmer Ch E retired

Nick stats at present: 22 posts + 69 replies = 91 entries. This corresponds to 27% of posts for this blog subject. Nick has a total rating of -158 at present.

[The mods would like to point out that Nick is not a troll. The high quality rebuttals he offers, whether right or wrong, are exactly the type of skepticism highly valued by this blog. -mod]

“Nick has a total rating of -158 at present.”
My best score was where I just quoted the lines that led to the tears of Lord Lundy, as cited by Lord M. Thanks, Hilaire.

Farmer Ch E retired

Thank you mods – point taken

Monckton of Brenchley

… but Mr Stokes’ attempted rebuttals in this thread are of low quality, morally as well as scientifically speaking.

RyanS

…forgot the Sun!?

Patrick J Wood

It’s the end of “global warming” as we know it.

john harmsworth

The end was actually 18 years ago! The AGW crowd just doesn’t mention it in the hope that it will return.

MarkMcD

I do SOOO hope the Bureau de l’Escroquerie takes the case. 😀

AGW in court again.

NeedleFactory

“The reviewers did not like it at all.”
I am curious: what reasons/complaints/comments did they give?

Is your browser not displaying bold text? Only reason I can see for you missing them.

Greg Cavanagh

Na, he just read the headline and posted the first thing that entered his mind.

Darryl L

Actually when I compare the article in Chrome vs Safari the bold only shows up in Safari. I was having a hard time picking the reviewers comments out of the article, except for the quotation marks around them, when using Chrome.

Smart Rock

I’m using Chrome and I can see the bold.

Greg Cavanagh

Ok I apologise. It never occurred to me that the browser might not show the content in a readable format. I’ll try to be more circumspect next time.

R. Shearer

Jolly good!

Peter Lewis Hannan

I think this is pretty brilliant! The reviewers’ comments are largely variants of “They’re wrong because the consensus is right”, or, “We wuz robbed, ref!”

MCourtney

Quite, this quote is the opposite of science.

“The fact that feedbacks, calculated properly from models, give the right range of climate sensitivity in models probably should have given the authors pause in their conviction it [their analysis] is fundamentally defective.”

Euclid held sway for millennia and it worked.

But Non-Euclidean mathematics is also right and opens up whole new worlds.

The faux-scientist would never believe in a non-flat world. It’s not required for him (or her) so it can’t ever be true.

Percy Jackson

This is nonsense and almost certainly a pack of lies. I am willing to bet that the Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia did not call such a meeting and no evidence is offered that he did.

Furthermore the basic error that Mr. Monckton commits is that he confuses an approximate Taylor
series result for an valid equation applicable over a wide temperature range. Deriving the feedback
equation is simple. Start with the assumption that the earth’s temperature T is a function of the
forcing E
T=f(E)
and Taylor expand this about some arbitrary reference forcing E0 corresponding to a temperature T0
giving:
T0+ delta T= f(E0)+ df/dE Delta E +1/2 d^2 f/d E^2 (Delta E)^2 + …
Delta T = df/dE Delta E + 1/2 (d^2 f/dE^2) (Delta E)^2
where Delta T is the change in temperature from T0 giving a change in forcing Delta E from E0.
We now drop the higher order terms to get
Delta T = df/dE Delta E
and then we look for an approximate value for df/dE. One approximation we can use is to
calculate df/dE for a blackbody (call it alpha) and then add in a fudge factor to get
Delta T = alpha/(1-f) Delta E
or since alpha Delta E has units of temperature we get the feedback equation
Delta T= Delta T’/(1-f)
where Delta T’ is the temperature change for a black body. Clearly this equation is only
valid for small values of a change in the forcing (remember those higher order terms in the
Taylor expansion). Mr Monckton wants to replace it with
a completely new equation
T = T’/(1-f)
which cannot be derived from any known physical theory and represents a completely new
law of physics concerning how the earth operates. There is no evidence that this new equation
is correct and rather all the evidence suggests it is false.

markl

Oh my!

Percy, well done agreeing with Lord Monckton’s calculation.

Your Delta T = Delta T’ / (1 – f) only works if T = T’ / (1 -f) is true.

Say f was 0.5

Temperature = forcing / 0.5

If you double forcing, temperature also doubles

2T = 2F / 0.5 = T’ x 2.

You get the same result from your version of the equation.

T = F / 0.5

Double the forcing produces a delta T of T, and a delta F of F.

T + Delta T = (F + Delta F) / 0.5
2T = 2F / 0.5 = T’ x 2

Lord Monckton’s point is this is NOT how climate scientists attempted to calculate feedback. They got it wrong, by attempting to treat the baseline emission temperature 243.3K as not contributing to feedbacks, so their version was more like:

T = Delta F / (1 – f) + 243.3K

Clearly the f(eedback) calculated by climate alarmists is way too large, to make both sides of the equation balance – which is the whole point of Lord Monckton’s paper.

Eric,
“Your Delta T = Delta T’ / (1 – f) only works if T = T’ / (1 -f) is true.”

No, that is a complete denial of calculus. Local linearity (to first order) does not imply global linearity. Obviously your second equation is never going to work down to T=0.

Yes – a glittery snowball would obviously be very different to a planet with a functioning hydrological cycle. But ignoring the solar contribution to emission temperature isn’t going to work either. A simple thought experiment, if solar input changes, there will be substantial climate feedbacks to that change to solar input. Therefore the existing solar input also produces feedbacks. You can’t simply use the existing solar input, the emission temperature, as a baseline.

Percy Jackson

Eric,
the standard Taylor series expansion does not ignore the solar contribution.
You can make a Taylor series expansion of a function about any point on the graph. The standard approach is to expand about the current solar flux and focus on what will happen is the forcing changes by a small amount.

So while it is correct to say that T = T’ / (1 -f) implies Delta T = Delta T’ / (1 – f)
the converse is false since the first order equation is only correct in general for
small values of Delta T.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Jackson is merely restating the fact, already made clear in the head posting, that official climatology’s variant system-gain equation uses deltas for the input and output signals, where control theory’s mainstream system-gain equation uses entire, absolute quantities.

He would perhaps benefit by reading the technical note downloadable from within the early paragraphs of the head posting, where he would come to understand that the variant equation used by climatologists is, in effect, the difference between two instances of the mainstream equation.

I repeat what I said in the head posting: there is nothing wrong with climatology’s variant equation, as far as it goes. It is of course a valid equation. But, precisely because the emission temperature has been subtracted out in taking the difference between two states of the mainstream equation, one cannot directly derive the feedback system-gain factor from the variant equation and expect to get an accurate answer.

If one uses the variant equation on the data from 1850-2011, one obtains a Charney sensitivity of 1.5 K. if one uses the mainstream equation, one obtains a Charney sensitivity a little below 1.2 K.

Whichever equation one uses, the data do not support Charney sensitivities above 1.5 K.

Percy Jackson

No. I am stating the fact that the feedback equation is an alternative
way of writing a first order taylor series expansion. I would like you
to take the second order equation
Delta T = d f/dE Delta E + 1/2 d^2f/d E^2 (Delta E)^2
which is more accurate than the first order equation and construct
a feedback equation with that.

And of course all this is irrevelant since nobody uses such a simple
formula to model the climate except in a toy way to explain basic
ideas.

ironargonat

And of course all this is irrevelant since nobody uses such a simple
formula to model the climate except in a toy way to explain basic
ideas. Why? simple does not equal not valid or do you mean like the “toy” equation e=mc^2 it’s pretty simple.

Percy Jackson

How about the fact that the climate is more complicated than
the energy-mass relationship. The climate is bistable with ice-ages
occurring periodically — hence the Earth can have two different temperatures for the same value of the forcing. E=m c^2 has no bistability and is much simplier.

Monckton of Brenchley

It is very easy for true-believers like Mr Jackson to introduce all manner of complications. But our paper did not focus on the Ice Ages: it focused on the modern era, between 1850 and 2011. Over that short period, a mere blink of an eye in geological time, conditions did not change sufficiently to alter the value of the system-gain factor.

jono1066

Einstein used boats lifts and apples in a toy way to explain basic relativity so I`m happy with that

Monckton of Brenchley

Jono1066 is right. Lesser minds will always shy away from simplicity on the ground that it is simple, while the greatest minds, such as Einstein, say, or Dirac, or Hawking, strove for simplicity because there is more merit in finding the answer to a hitherto intractable question by a simple method than by a complex method.

The question is not whether our method is simple, but whether it is correct. In short, do feedback processes respond not only to some arbitrarily chosen perturbation of reference temperature, or do they respond to the entire, absolute reference temperature? If they do not respond to reference temperature, how do they “know” that they should respond not at all to that temperature, but should respond only to the very small fraction of that temperature contributed by our puny sins of emission? Answer comes there none.

Monckton of Brenchley

The reason why climatology uses a leading-order Taylor-series expansion is that subsequent terms in the series make little difference. Like so many true-belivers, Mr Jackson promptly ditches large tranches of “settled science” when they become inconvenient. He says, “Nobody uses such a simple formula to model the climate except in a toy way to explain basic ideas.” He should read Hansen (1984), Schlesinger (1985), Bony (2006), Roe (2009) and numerous others, all of whom rely on the variant equation our paper discusses.

He should also do a little math before making such unproven assertions. If he reads Vial (2013) and plugs into the variant system-gain equation the interval of values of the feedback factor that he will find therein, together with the reference sensitivity also given therein, he will find that the equation delivers precisely the interval of Charney sensitivities published in Andrews (2012) for the CMIP5 models and precisely the interval of Charney sensitivities published in IPCC (2007, box 10.2) for the CMIP3 models.

I repeat that the variant equation – which we, unlike Mr Jackson, bothered to calibrate before dismissing it as a toy – is a valid equation. But it is not useful, because it constitutes the difference between two instances of the mainstream equation and, therefore, loses vital information in the shape of the emission temperature and the warming from the pre-industrial greenhouse gases.

Clyde Spencer

“No, we’re not going to discuss Monckton’s result here. We don’t do simple.” Translated: “We reject Occam’s Razor without discussion.”

“If you can’t explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it”

— Richard Feynman

TLM

I think what the standard feedback calculation fails to take into account properly is that a stable temperature is not a “static” thing at all, it is the result of a CONSTANT flow of energy into the system and a CONSTANT flow of energy out, with the resultant temperature amplified CONSTANTLY by a feedback factor, such that the two are in equilibrium. The CO2 in the atmosphere delays the exit of some of that energy and therefore provides a “positive feedback” such that temperature is CONSTANTLY raised (see Stefan Boltzmann Law).

If we take a 255k non-amplified temperature and add CO2 to get an actual temperature of 287k that is an increase of 32k. As Monkton describes in his paper, allowing for 1.04k reference sensitivity, that is “system gain” or feedback multiplier of 1.129.

In other words CO2 feedback is already CONSTANTLY operating on the original incoming energy keeping the tempearture CONSTANTLY raised by 32k – so feedback DOES work on the starting state, because it is a feedback to a flow of energy not a feedback to a static number of degrees kelvin.

Sorry Nick, you are often right, but this time I reckon you are majorly wrong!

sailboarder

In my experience the analogue circuit constitutes proof. The world of digital computers have led to a loss of analogue methods.

commieBob

The analog computer demonstrates that you got the math right, that’s all. It does not confirm that the math is appropriate for the real world system under consideration.

That said, the accusation that Monckton et al violate energy conservation is risible. It is the apparent assumption of constant relative humidity by the alarmists that violates the conservation of energy like crazy. The planet absorbs, at most, a fixed amount of energy. That’s all that’s available to evaporate the water necessary to keep constant relative humidity. It isn’t sufficient. That constraint could successfully be modeled by an analog computer.

The joy of an analog computer is that your model is less likely to ‘blow up’. The problem with digital computer models is that they can’t really deal with a bunch of stuff that happens at the same time. That’s what causes the blowing up part. An analog computer is much more likely to be stable. The down side is that is much less precise. That isn’t as much of a problem as you would think. The greater precision of a digital computer model is usually illusory for systems that you don’t understand very well.

“The problem with digital computer models is that they can’t really deal with a bunch of stuff that happens at the same time”
These are just linear equations in up to four variables. You can solve it with analogue circuitry, digital computer, or pen and paper. The maths is trivial, and won’t blow up as long as you avoid singularity (else everything fails).

Monckton of Brenchley

In response to Mr Stokes, IPCC does not “avoid singularity”: the upper bounds of its individual temperature feedbacks sum to 3.2, and the value of the Planck parameter that it uses is the reciprocal of 3.2. Thus, IPCC envisions the possibility of a unit feedback factor, at which singularity Charney sensitivity becomes the least well-constrained quantity in the entire history of physics, the interval being – infinity to + infinity.

It should be entirely clear from the difference between IPCC’s original predictions and the actual rate of global warming that its estimates of feedbacks are, in their sum, excessive.

“the upper bounds of its individual temperature feedbacks sum to 3.2, and the value of the Planck parameter that it uses is the reciprocal of 3.2”

As pointed out here, this is a simple and elementary error. The numbers that you have cited are not upper bounds but the upper ends of a 95% probability (CI) range. And in summing a number of effects, you can’t say that the CI of the sum is the sum of the CI’s. Even your “professor of statistics” could tell you that. The statement is just wrong.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Stokes is, as usual, incorrect and calculatedly misleading. I did not say the upper bounds of the IPCC’s interval of feedback factors was unity: I said no more than that if one were to sum the upper bounds of its individual feedbacks and multiply that by the Planck parameter feedback factor of unity would result.

It was that observation, given by me in a lecture to IPCC lead authors in the University of Tasmania some years ago, led one of them – who had been sneering throughout – to stop me and say, “Have you published your work on feedback? This changes everything.” And so it does. At the time, I was displaying the rectangular-hyperbolic curve of Charney sensitivities in response to feedback factors. He could see at once that the very high feedback factors envisioned by the usual suspects – so high, indeed, that in some circumstances the feedback factor might even be unity – were manifestly implausible. Now we know why.

“I said no more than that if one were to sum the upper bounds of its individual feedbacks and multiply that by the Planck parameter feedback factor of unity would result.”

No, you didn’t just say that a meaningless sum of a set of upper bounds you don’t know gets to 1. You said:

“Thus, IPCC envisions the possibility of a unit feedback factor, at which singularity Charney sensitivity becomes the least well-constrained quantity”

You quoted numbers, which you said were upper bounds but which are in fact 95% CI levels. You said that would be a singularity. And you made a deduction that “the IPCC envisions” when the IPCC, or any scientist, would never do a calculation that added the CI intervals of different effects.

Monckton of Brenchley

Nick Stokes resorts to quibbling, again. Whether he likes it or not, the fact remains that the upper bounds of the intervals of individual feedbacks given by IPCC (2013) sum to exactly 3.2 Watts per square meter per Kelvin. And IPCC (2013) uses a Planck parameter 3.2^-1 Kelvin per Watt per square meter. The product of these two quantities is a unitless feedback factor of unity. Since the curve of the response of Charney sensitivities to feedback factors is a rectangular hyperbola with its singularity at unity, the maximum feedback sum deducible from the intervals of individual feedbacks listed by the IPCC is unity. Therefore, it is legitimate for me to state that the IPCC envisions that possibility. I did not state that IPCC considered that extreme outcome probable: but, like it or not, its published values encompass that possibility. I am by no means the only researcher to have drawn attention to this fact, which Mr Stokes no doubt finds uncongenial.

He further quibbles to the effect that the IPCC’s intervals are 2-sigma confidence intervals. But what that implies, as he knows perfectly well, is that it is possible for the feedback factor to exceed unity, in which event global cooling would result.

commieBob

What you say is absolutely true. In addition, there’s no limit to how many variables you can solve for.

Practically speaking however, GCMs are finite element models rather than a system of linear equations. Such models are susceptible to huge blow ups. An example is a model that shows a hundred foot high wall of water moving across the Great Plains.

As long as you restrict your analog computer to passive elements which, by definition, have less than unity gain, it can’t blow up.

Monckton of Brenchley

Commiebob is of course quite right that an analog computer does not demonstrate that the math is appropriate for the real-world dynamical system under consideration – in the present instance, the real world.

However, if the math is not appropriate, then there is no justification for official climatology’s use of that math in purported justification for the multiplication of reference sensitivity by 3, 4 or even 10 to produce equilibrium sensitivity. If the feedback math we tested at a government laboratory is inapplicable to the climate, then IPCC’s 2013 Fifth Assessment Report must be flung into the dustbin, because it mentions “feedback” more than 1000 times. And the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report must also be flung into the dustbin, for it contains an explicit statement of the variant equation for feedback that we tested against the mainstream equation at the government laboratory.

All we are doing is to say that, if you use feedback math, you have to use it correctly.

Dixon

In my experience, the analogue world blows up a lot more impressively than the digital one, and with lasting repercussions. But both analogue and digital can be wrong!
This work continues to be fascinating. Both viewpoints are adamant they are right and the other wrong. Cleverer heads than mine will tell I hope.

Monckton of Brenchley

In reply to Dixon, I am not “adamant” that I am right. I have, however, set out some of the steps my team has taken to verify the feedback theory presented in the head posting, including running tests at a government laboratory. Also, I have gathered around me a team of experts in numerous relevant fields, including a professor of control theory and two further control engineers. It is perfectly possible that we are wrong, but the pathetic arguments of one or two commenters here, at least one of whom is paid handsomely to disrupt these threads with artful mendacities, have not – thus far, at any rate – proven convincing.

Indeed, the arguments of the paid trolls are becoming so pathetic that a wider audience is beginning to realize how desperate they are.

Thanks to our kind host here, the outline of our result is now available to all. Unless an error can be found – and, thus far, no significant error has been identified – in due course what you read in the head posting will become “settled science”. For, if we are right, we have proven that equilibrium sensitivities are low. But, unlike the paid trolls, who cannot afford to admit error, even when they state the blatantly ridiculous, I am not paid by anyone and can afford to bear in mind the possibility that my team and I may be wrong.

Dixon

I thank you for the time taken to address my flippant comment (which I failed to clearly indicate was actualy directed to the conflicting comments here rather than your work itself – and I should have made that clearer).

You continue to take up the challenge so many warmist posters on this site issued to skeptics: take the fight to the consensus by publishing it in peer-reviewed journals. I thank you for that and your long-standing services to reason and to what science should be: an enquiring mind questioning established theory and providing an alternative view, with data and methods clearly explained to allow others to follow and so confirm or deny. One good experiment is all it should take…but the die is loaded against us as you know.

Percy Jackson

An analog circuit does not constitute proof. All it means is that you have a good
electrical engineer who can design a circuit so that it obeys a particular equation.
There is no evidence that such a circuit or equation corresponds to anything useful.

Monckton of Brenchley

If Mr Jackson is right, then official climatology has no justification for the use of the variant system-gain equation that it uses. For we tested that equation on our rigs and found that it was a valid equation. If it is not a valid equation, then there is no scientific justification for the very high Charney sensitivities that have hitherto been imagined.

Either feedback mathematics is applicable to the climate object, or it is not. If it is not, then there is no case for high Charney sensitivities, which arise solely owing to the overwhelming dominance of the feedback response over the directly-forced warming that triggered it. If it is applicable, then it must be done correctly. And, if it is done correctly, one can use the mainstream equation to find the Holy Grail of climate-sensitivity studies, the system-gain factor. It is about 1.13. So Charney sensitivity is below 1.2 K.

Percy Jackson

Mr Monckton,
I do not know the details of the circuit you used but I am prepared to bet that
it only mimicked your equation over a range of inputs. Given that there would have been an amplifier in there then for a large enough input the amplifier would saturate and the circuit would give the wrong answer. So your circuit only has a limited range of applicability — or alternatively your linear equation will only correctly describe the output of your circuit over a limited range of inputs. All feedback equations breakdown down eventually. The question you need to ask is over what range of temperatures or forcings is the equation valid.

ironargonaut

Percy when does the feedback equation the climate scientists use break down?

Percy Jackson

That is simple — climate scientists don’t use feedback equations except as illustrations. They use climate models since they are well aware that the climate is more complicated.

More generally a first order Taylor series expansion becomes invalid when x^2 is significantly larger than x (i.e. usually when x>1).

Bitter&twisted

Percy if there was a positive water vapour feedback we would be able to measure it, as increased humidity at 300hPa.
This is not happening.
So there is no positive feedback.
Doesn’t matter who is right, mathematically, it is real-world data that counts.

Monckton of Brenchley

Bitter & Twisted is, of course, right. Not only is there little evidence of additional specific humidity at the 300 mb pressure altitude: there is evidence, in very nearly all datasets, of a fall in specific humidity at the vital 600 mb pressure altitude, where the models had erroneously predicted that the warming rate would be thrice the surface warming rate.

Because the specific humidity has not increased as predicted, the rate of warming in the tropical mid-troposphere, again in nearly all datasets, is about the same as it is at the tropical surface.

However, there has been an increase of about 7% per Kelvin in the specific humidity near the Earth’s surface, at 1000 mb. Therefore, the water vapor feedback is arguably positive, but weakly so rather than strongly so.

Bitter&twisted

And if water vapour positive feedback was as strong as the IPCC would have us believe, Earth would now resemble Venus.
Except it doesn’t.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Jackson, in defiance of the substantial body of literature on feedback in the climate (see e.g. Bates 2007, Bates 2016), imagines that “scientists don’t use feedback equations except as illustrations”. In fact, if he were studying the underlying science rather than reciting the Party Line, he would know that until quite recently general-circulation models were incapable of delivering estimates of equilibrium sensitivity at all. The various feedbacks had to be laboriously diagnosed from their outputs and then fed into the variant system-gain equation discussed in the head posting.

Besides, to establish the relevance of that equation and precisely to forestall the sort of artful nonsense peddled by the hapless Mr Jackson, we had taken more than a little trouble to calibrate that equation against the official outputs from both the CMIP3 and CMIP5 models. No doubt to Mr Jackson’s astonishment, what he now finds it convenient to excoriate as a “toy” equation was able to reproduce the Charney-sensitivity interval of both ensembles to a high precision (i.e., within 0.1 K).

Jim Gorman

What you are basically saying is that the feedback signal is complicated. In electrical terms I would say it consists of multiple frequency related components. Yet that doesn’t change the fact that the overall ultimate output signal is still defined as Lord Monkton has described. It simply makes the analog computer that models it more complicated.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Jackson is entirely ignorant of the substantial body of learned literature in climatology that refers explicitly to the Bode system-gain equation, a simplified variant of which I have set out here. He is entirely ignorant of the fact that until very recently general-circulation models were incapable of deriving equilibrium sensitivities directly, wherefore their outputs were processed using precisely the equation he says climate scientists do not use.

Mr Jackson is entirely ignorant of the fact that climate scientists continue to use the system-gain equation in precisely the fashion we have used a corrected version of it here: to verify whether the general-circulation models’ outputs are correct. Those outputs are not correct.

In particular, as explained in the head posting, the models universally predict that, in the tropical mid-troposphere, anthropogenic warming will be thrice as rapid as at the tropical surface. However, in nearly all datasets no such “hot spot” is observed. Therefore, the models’ estimates of the water vapor feedback are manifestly excessive, and by a large margin. The models, in short, are wrong. The science, in short, is not settled.

Our top-down approach does not need to concern itself with individual feedbacks or their values. Once it is accepted that feedback processes necessarily respond to the entire input signal and not to some arbitrarily minuscule fraction thereof, it becomes immediately possible to derive – and derive reliably – the correct system-gain factor 1.13, from which Charney sensitivity of 1.17 K follows.

It matters not whether the models currently use the system-gain equation on which their operators once necessarily depended. What matters is that that equation is universally applicable to all feedback-moderated dynamical systems, specifically including the climate, as the learned papers of which Mr Jackson is entirely ignorant repeatedly make plain.

Ill Tempered Klavier

Actually they use models because they are well aware they’re shoveling snow.

John Endicott

Well, they’re certainly shoveling something, but I don’t think it’s snow. 😉

john harmsworth

Yes indeed! Please retain the pristine nature of the math. It is much better to pretend the Earth is warming even if it hasn’t for 18 years and is presently cooling. But ze models are tres bien!

commieBob

I would refer you to Hansen, J. et al (1984). That’s where Monckton et al got that equation.

The ONLY reason to think anthropogenic global warming might be a problem is if there is positive feedback. The linked paper is where Hansen posits that positive feedback.

Monckton has hoisted Hansen by his own petard. 🙂

I would agree with you that the equation is probably inappropriate. It’s just that it’s the cornerstone of CAGW. Monckton’s brilliance is that he accepts, for sake of argument, the equation. He then points out that there is a fundamental problem with Hansen’s application of the equation.

My other observation is that obviously no mathematicians or systems engineers were consulted when the reviewers composed their remarks.

Monckton of Brenchley

Commiebob has gotten it in one. All we are doing is to say that if you use the system-gain equation from control theory you would be well advised to use the mainstream form of the equation, where feedback responds to the entire input signal, rather than climatology’s variant, where feedback responds only to some arbitrarily small perturbation of that input signal.

Jim Gorman

Be careful here. Feedbacks can be ‘frequency’ dependent, i.e., the feedback value for water vapor could be different from CO2 which is different from clouds. However, since we’re dealing with temperatures, the feedback components must also be in temperature. Ultimately they all add together to form a total feedback signal which your argument nicely summarizes.

Monckton of Brenchley

Our method does not require us to be “careful here”. All we need to know is the reference temperature (before accounting for feedback) and the equilibrium temperature (after accounting for feedback) for any chosen year for which respectable data are available. The feedback system-gain factor is then simply the ratio of equilibrium to reference temperature. It is as simple as that.

Monckton of Brenchley

Eric Worrall has nicely answered Mr Jackson’s scientific point, and Mr Stokes’ attempted refutation of Mr Worrall’s answer does not impress. As for the unspeakable Mr Jackson, he has foolishly accused me of lying, but he is himself a liar. He has stated, falsely, that I had provided no evidence for the Vice-Chancellor’s meeting with the entire Environmental Sciences faculty at the “University” of East Anglia, when I had stated that we had had an account of the meeting from one who was there.

Subsequently, a foreign journalist of some eminence, who had gotten wind of the meeting, contacted the “University”‘s press department to find out more. The press department denied that the meeting had occurred, and also denied that a few weeks after the meeting a lecturer in the Environmental Sciences faculty had been seen handing out to his students material that was libelous of me.

The journalist made further enquiries, and discovered not only that the lecturer been handing out the libelous material, but that he had posted up a copy of the material on the “University”‘s website. In this respect, therefore, it can be proven that the “University” has lied. If it has lied about this aspect of the story, there is a statable case that its denial that the Vice-Chancellor’s meeting took place is also a lie.

When I first heard of the meeting, I wrote to the Vice-Chancellor to say that we know of the meeting and of the remarks he had made and to point out to him that the correct way to challenge our paper was to invite me to lecture on it and face questions from the faculty. To this letter I received no reply. Now, if there had been no such meeting, do you not think it likely that the Vice-Chancellor would have asked someone in his office to write to me and say so?

Percy Jackson

so your evidence that the story is correct is that when an un-identified journalist “of some eminence” tried to verify it the university denied it. Hardly convincing evidence. Nor do I see why the fact that a lecturer posted libellous material would imply that the Vice-Chancellor held a meeting. That again is not evidence. And do you have a link to the website? We might at least be able to see if that portion of the story was true. Again I am willing to state that if any Vice-Chancellor at any university in the UK held a meeting like the one you described then reports would be in the press the next day.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Jackson is being silly. Our evidence for the meeting comes from one who was there.

And your faith in the Marxstream media is touching but misplaced.

Chris

“And your faith in the Marxstream media is touching but misplaced.”

As is your expectation that we believe the word of an unnamed person you say attended the meeting.

HotScot

So says Chris, whose only source of information is the media.

Honest liberty

At this point in history, an unnamed source is more likely to be accurate than any main stream “news” source, regardless of bias.
The credibility of all main stream sources had been evidenced, repeatedly, to be non-existent.

Chris, (not Moncton) but our first name only agitator, had misaligned his trust with sources evidenced not to be credible. That displays the quality of judgement, which necessitates we as independent observers, take much of what you say with reservation.
You have bought into lies, one name Chris, ONC, and your ability to employ logic needs a rebuild.

Chris

Honest Liberty thinks that stating things in an assertive tone makes them true. It just makes you look like a fool.

“The credibility of all main stream sources had been evidenced, repeatedly, to be non-existent.” Categorically false, of course. No evidence provided, of course. It’s true just because HL said so.

It’s comical that a guy with a nonsensical name like Honest Liberty – “my goal in life is to fight dishonest liberty! (whatever that is) – is calling me out for just using my first name.

honest liberty

ahh, we get a response from the man who places his faith in the MSM.
unfortunately, you don’t see the irony. that is just as well.

I don’t speak with authority but rather relay factual information. The evidence of deceit of the press spans generations, but you choose to ignore that..to your detriment

Chris

No, you don’t relay factual information. Saying “At this point in history, an unnamed source is more likely to be accurate than any main stream “news” source, regardless of bias. The credibility of all main stream sources had been evidenced, repeatedly, to be non-existent.” is not factual information. It’s a sweeping generalism.

Honest liberty

Only to an uneducated, un-thinking, and faithful blind follower would that be a sweeping generalization. Because you have not paid attention to media consolidation (6 companies own 90% of American press as of 2014) nor to the countless retractions, conflicts of interests, outright lies, etc. Is not my obligation to highlight to you.

That you have clearly illustrated you have no real understanding of how advertising dollars contribute to what is reported (or more accurately what is not reported) is a reflection of your monumentally childish ignorance and naivety, not at all a reflection of a sweeping generalization.

Jon Rappaport has covered media manipulation and predictive programming for over two decades. Two very critical moments we’re the CDC swine flu scandal where CBS cancelled Sharyl Atkinson’s expose due to pharmaceutical and government collusionary interests, one she caught them lying and then they doubling down on the lie.
The other is fox News Monsanto debacle, which led to the supreme Court ruling that the press had no obligation to print factually accurate information, which wasn’t the first similar style judgement.
https://southernoregon.newswithviews.com/supreme-court-ruled-that-media-can-lie-with-impunity/
Those are but two independently verifiable cases.
There is so much information about how the real world works that is obvious to any reasonable witness you haven’t the slightest desire to align yourself with reality. You, Nick, Kristi, Chris, Mosher, zazzy, Klipstein, etc… You don’t bring quality debate (again, save for Nick on rare occasions) because you all lack the capacity for genuine self reflection, because your small minds have been easily duped into a religious ferver. This sounds like an attack but it’s actually an accurate appraisal of your personal weaknesses. Much work must you do. Challenge yourself, you must.

Percy, you aren’t worth the effort. In fact, I’d have better luck teaching a cockroach. You are but a child, emotionally and mentally.
How embarrassing for you. Discover the Trivium and learn how to use logic, you might be taken seriously eventually.

Chris

Honest Liberty – how do you know that the information in the southernoregon web site is accurate?

Richard S Courtney

Chris,

You ask Honest Liberty “how do you know that the information in the southernoregon web site is accurate?”

He did not say the information in the web site was accurate.
He cited two cases that he claimed “are but two independently verifiable cases” and he linked to a web site which mentioned one of them.

It is not surprising that you get so much wrong when your assumptions prevent you from understanding clear statements such as those Honest Liberty took the trouble to write for you.

Richard

Chris

Richard Courtney,

So what? HL provided two examples of where the MSM got it wrong (I’ll take him at his word on that). Two examples out of hundreds of thousands of stories. Based on that, he concludes that everything in the MSM cannot be trusted: “The credibility of all main stream sources had been evidenced, repeatedly, to be non-existent.”

He did nothing to prove that the other sources that he gets his information from are more trustworthy. Nothing.

Richard S Courtney

Chris,

Your obfuscation fails.

You did not argue against the generalisation made by Honest Liberty but, instead, you assumed he was claiming something other than he said he was.

Now, you try to obfuscate your assumption by claiming Honest Liberty needed to “prove that the other sources that he gets his information from are more trustworthy”. Not so. He provided examples which demonstrate that parts of the MSM are not trustworthy sources of information, and from that he reasonably claimed that all information from the MSM should be treated with scepticism. That claim may be mistaken but he provided justification for it.

If you want to claim examples of MSM sources that can be trusted then please do, but be sure to provide justification for your claim.

Richard

Kristi Silber

“He provided examples which demonstrate that parts of the MSM are not trustworthy sources of information, and from that he reasonably claimed that all information from the MSM should be treated with scepticism.”

OK, that’s fair enough. By that criterion, all information should be treated with skepticism, including what is presented on WUWT. For instance, Monckton has been caught misquoting and misleading people many times. (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K74fzNAUq4 for a summary of some of them.) To me this is good cause to treat what he says in general with skepticism. So why don’t more skeptics question what they hear here? Why are they so quick to agree with what is presented, even when there is ample reason to question it? It’s because skeptics, just like everybody else, are human. Human reason is eminently fallible. Mine is! I’m biased, I know that! All we can reasonably expect of ourselves in our search for truth is to be aware of our biases and try to get past them. I’ve become much more skeptical of climate models, for instance. However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to accept explanations for why they are wrong that make no sense to me, especially from those who are so biased that they claim fraud, greed, groupthink or a desire to rule the world are responsible for inaccuracies.

Richard S Courtney

Kristi Silber,

you quote my saying,
“He provided examples which demonstrate that parts of the MSM are not trustworthy sources of information, and from that he reasonably claimed that all information from the MSM should be treated with scepticism.”

OK, that’s fair enough. By that criterion, all information should be treated with skepticism, including what is presented on WUWT. ”

YES! If you were a scientist then you would have known that before I pointed it out (Nullius in verba).

And the trust you claim for at least one web smear site merely demonstrates your gullibility.

Richard.

Kristi Silber

Richard,

I am a scientist by training, and I have done research; I’m just not an active researcher now. Just because I agreed doesn’t mean I needed you to point out something that I think should be obvious to anyone who calls himself a “skeptic,” but not all climate change skeptics seem to realize this – many are only skeptical of those ideas that don’t fit their view of the world, and often it leads to assumptions rather than questioning.

However, I also suggest that we must recognize the limitations to our understanding of areas that are outside our field of expertise. This happens not just in climate science, but other sciences, economics, national security, foreign affairs…the list goes on and on. We must of necessity trust experts in all kinds of areas if we are to form opinions and beliefs. The thing to remember is that opinions and beliefs are not knowledge. I don’t know with certainty who is right about climate change; I have beliefs, and they are not static. I will defend them against arguments that I don’t find convincing, but I hope I have the insight and courage to change them in the face of good evidence – and to some extent I have. So many of the arguments I see here, though, suffer from poor reasoning (especially from false assumptions, like yours) that it is hard to maintain the capacity to consider any of them seriously, but I try. I tried with Monckton’s. I seriously considered his correction of the “startling error,” and it makes no sense to me.

Have you watched any of Potholer’s videos about Monckton? If not, perhaps you should before you accuse me of gullibility. If you have, what makes you think I’m the gullible one? Do you refute what Potholer says? You’ve already made false assumptions about me. Perhaps it’s due to the gullibility with which you accept the portrayal of people who disagree with skeptics. Or how do you explain it?

Potholer54 youtube videos are based on skepticism. He tracks down the sources of quotes and evidence to see if they support what is said. He has rules for the way he verifies things. He has documented Monckton’s misquotes and errors. There is plenty of evidence suggesting Monckton either intentionally misleads, or is simply extremely sloppy in his research. He has also documented the way Monckton, when caught, backtracks on his statements not by admitting he’s wrong, but by saying something different, which tends to support the first hypothesis. In fact, two of the videos are based on Monckton’s replies to Potholer, which Monckton posted on WUWT.

Richard S Courtney

Kristi Silber,

I have not seen any videos by whomever hides behind the false name of “Potholer”, and I have no intention of wasting time viewing them.

I see no reason why anybody would be so gullible as to accept any assertion of “Potholer” when his/her claims are so dubious that she/he is not willing to put his/her own name to them.

On the other hand, Viscount Monckton is known to me, we are on first-name terms (in this thread he calls me “an old friend”), and he is a person I respect despite his and my politics being poles apart.

Importantly, even if the smears of the pseudonymous blogger were true then that would not be relevant to the ECS analysis which is the subject of this thread.

Richard

Bellman

Potholer’s true identity isn’t exactly a big secret. It’s just that what someone says is more improtant than who they are.

Richard S Courtney

Bellman,

You say,
“Potholer’s true identity isn’t exactly a big secret. It’s just that what someone says is more improtant (sic) than who they are.”

Yes, “what someone says is more imprortant than who they are.”

My points were and are

(a) only the gullible would trust assertions of any internet blogger who is not willing to put his/her own name to what he/she says

and

(b) even if the smears of the pseudonymous blogger who hides behind the false name of ‘Potholer’ were true then that would not be relevant to the ECS analysis which is the subject of this thread.

Richard

AGW is not Science

I’d like to make you think a bit more about two important things you said. First, you said “we must of necessity trust experts in all kinds of areas if we are to form opinions and beliefs.”

This seems perfectly reasonable, but you must remember one thing- when it comes to the Earth’s climate, there ARE NO EXPERTS. We have not identified all of the forces that impact the Earth’s climate, we have not studied those we are aware of over a sufficient period of time, nor do we have data of sufficient quality over a sufficient period of time to say anything reasonably “scientific “ about the current state of the climate, what changes are taking place, and what direction or directions the changes will take in the near and not so near future.

Second, you said “The thing to remember is that opinions and beliefs are not knowledge.” What you need to realize is that AGW is nothing more than the “opinions and beliefs” of those who pretend their “opinions and belifs” constitute hard science.

Tom Abbott

“All we can reasonably expect of ourselves in our search for truth is to be aware of our biases and try to get past them. I’ve become much more skeptical of climate models, for instance.”

You’re headed in the right direction, Kristi. And you have the right attitude 🙂

Theo

Chris (not the viscount),

Have you really never heard of the USSC case of New York Times Company v. Sullivan?

The decision established the “actual malice” standard, which has to be met before press reports about public officials can be considered to be libelous.

The actual malice standard requires that the plaintiff in a defamation case, if that person be a public official or public figure, prove that the publisher of the statement in question knew that the statement was false or acted in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity. Because of the extremely high burden of proof on the plaintiff, and the difficulty of proving the defendant’s knowledge and intentions, such claims by public figures rarely prevail.

Kristi Silber

Honest Liberty, you don’t debate, you insult. That is no substitute for logic.

Kristi Silber

“ahh, we get a response from the man who places his faith in the MSM.”

How would you know this is factual information? The fact that Chris maintains that not all media have complete lack of credibility does not logically lead to your statement. Chris could believe that there was a single news source that is credible; it doesn’t follow from that that he places faith in the MSM in general. Nor does if follow that he “chooses to ignore” something.

And you certainly do not speak factually about me. Pure erroneous assumption.

For someone who speaks with respect of the trivium, your logic is terrible. Don’t you know that your assumptions and generalizations reflect a very human tendency to reason poorly? Your endless insults towards those who think differently from you suggest a deeply ingrained tribalism. I suspect you would like to dominate the Other; your liberty is more important than theirs.

“… advertising dollars contribute to what is reported.” This is an important point, one that I haven’t seen made much around here. The media’s reporting on climate change is bound to be alarming because that’s what readers want – just like they like to hear about scandal, violence and disaster. This is capitalism at work: if bias is necessary to stay afloat in a highly competitive market, there will be bias. The NYT or WSJ may not be shoving their views down readers’ throats so much as responding to them – higher readership means more advertising dollars. Consolidation of the media into just a few owners is another logical outcome of capitalism. Capitalism is the best economic structure out there, but that doesn’t mean it always works in the best interest of the public. Most people recognize that some regulation is necessary.

Percy Jackson

Monckton,
If your evidence for the meeting comes from someone who was where, why bring in an irrelevant story about a foreign journalist and then claim that this story proves that the University lied. Again at least give us the URL of this supposed website which might at least add some weight to your story.

I have faith in the ability of the media to scent a story especially once as
juicy as the one you are describing. And there is not shortage of right-wing papers and journalists in the UK who would publish it.

Luc Ozade

PJ
You’re a very disrespectful fellow. Mind your manners.

Tim Groves

Particularly when speaking to the nobility

Bitter&twisted

Percy, I too have been in a situation where UEA lied.
Unfortunately I had to go to court to prove it.
UEA lost and I won.
UEA, as they say, “has previous”.

HotScot

Percy Jackson

In good faith, Chris related the story of the meeting which someone else, unassociated with Chris, got wind of. That’s not sufficient in itself to prove the meeting took place, but there’s a breadcrumb trail.

Considering the Universities investment in the subject matter and Chris’s profile, if the meeting didn’t take place it is incumbent upon the Vice Chancellor to reply to Chris and categorically refute his claim.

That’s not just a matter of manners, it’s a matter of protocol. If there were any legal fallout over this, the first question asked of the Vice Chancellor would be, “did you reply to Lord Monckton to refute his allegation?” Considering the science involved, and the University already being exposed by the Climategate emails, it should be the first precaution taken to ensure they are squeaky clean, assuming they are.

It would seem the Vice Chancellor didn’t reply because he can’t. The meeting was held in the manner described and the quoted remark made. The only way that could be known, and reported accurately is by someone who was present.

If the Vice Chancellor writes to Chris and flatly denies the meeting took place, then the individual present makes himself known, the Chancellor and, once again, the University is exposed for, at the very least, unethical behaviour which risks the resurrection of Climategate.

At the very least, if Chris’s claims are completely unfounded, there might be a case for defamation of character, liable or something similar. The least Chris could expect is a letter from the Vice Chancellors own lawyer to warn him to cease his allegations.

The problem remains, of course, that for all the Vice Chancellor knows, that meeting might have been recorded in it’s entirety on the phone of the member of staff who reported it to Chris.

The University is therefore between the devil and the deep blue sea. If it refutes the allegation and the whistleblower comes forward, it’s in deep trouble. If it doesn’t reply to Chris it’s a conspiracy of silence hoping against hope the whole thing will go away, but nevertheless a tacit admission.

Relative to the science itself, the University is uniquely placed to challenge Chris’s claims. It may choose not to because his study hasn’t been published in a journal they consider credible but that’s probably only a matter of time. And the fact remains, assuming Chris’s science is robust (and I can’t comment on that) and again, considering the Universities prominence in the debate, they are obliged to investigate his work.

Monckton of Brenchley

HotScot’s analysis is excellent. The fact is that the meeting took place. The circumstances in which we got to hear of it make that certain. One who was there happened to mention that she had been present when the Vice-Chancellor had called a meeting of the entire Environemental Sciences faculty and had shouted at them about a paper from someone called “Monckton”, and about what a catastrophe it was for them, and about how they must drop everything else they were doing and try to refute it.

Tim Groves

One who was there happened to mention that she had been present …

Cherchez la femme!

Monckton of Brenchley

The story about the foreign journalist is not irrelevant. It establishes beyond doubt that the “university’s” public relations office lied. If it lied about one aspect of the story, there is, as I have said, a statable case that it lied about the rest. But Mr Jackson, who is entirely ignorant of the truth or the background, has a preconceived stance to defend. So he is not willing to countenance the fact – evident in the increasingly hysterical and often downright barmy comments from him and his fellow true-believers here – that the game is up.

Chris

If Monckton really wanted to substantiate his assertion about the University of East Anglia meeting, he could post a copy of the email or meeting notification that was sent out, with the identifying information on his source redacted. A meeting of the entire department of 65 faculty and researchers certainly would have required an email invitation.

Monckton of Brenchley

I don’t need to substantiate the fact of the meeting. We were told of it by one who was present. What the fact of the meeting indicates is that our result is by no means as easy to refute as some here have tried to suggest – which, no doubt, is why they have failed to refute it.

Kristi Silber

“One who was there happened to mention that she had been present when the Vice-Chancellor had called a meeting of the entire Environemental Sciences faculty and had shouted at them about a paper from someone called “Monckton”, and about what a catastrophe it was for them, and about how they must drop everything else they were doing and try to refute it.”

Perhaps some of this story is hyperbole on the part of the “mole.” Did the Vice Chancellor call the meeting to discuss the paper, or was the meeting already planned? I can’t see why he would call on the whole faculty to try to refute it. The only “catastrophe” I can see issuing from this paper is that if it were published, the media might report on it. Judging by the way it’s been publicized I’d be surprised if they didn’t already know about it, but without publication it is just another hypothesis that many in the media are ill-equipped to evaluate.

jim hogg

Marxstream??? The Times, The Telegraph, The Mail, The Express, The Sun, The Evening Standard??? As attempts at smearing go Mr Monckton they don’t come much more feeble than that, though they’re rarely so revealing. It looks to me like this whole business has slid into the sphere of ideological maths. The truth, I believe, is that we don’t yet know nearly enough about the whole climate shebang to nail it all down neatly by means of maths equations which are limited by our meagre knowledge and intelligence, and whose applicability to a multiply coupled non linear system is seriously overestimated by our unconstrained egos. Neither side is likely to have the answers, except by luck.

HotScot

jim hogg

And the BBC alone doesn’t outstrip the lot of them put together? Not to mention the Guardian, that well know rabidly Marxist, failing, international rag.

Meanwhile, I would agree with you about the maths up to a point. That point being that the clunky maths and computer models relied on by the IPCC are now becoming wild flights of fantasy. So much so that whilst observed temperatures are bumping along the bottom of the IPCC lowest projection, extract the so called man made contribution to warming and temperatures would almost certainly drop below the lowest margins and show a cooling. So, in fact, if the claims about CO2’s contribution to global warming are correct, man is slowing the gradual descent into another ice age.

comment image

At least Chris’s numbers get closer to the observed activity.

Monckton of Brenchley

If Mr Hogg is correct, then there is no cause for alarm about the climate. if I am correct, then there is no cause for alarm about the climate.

Transport by Zeppelin

“When I first heard of the meeting, I wrote to the Vice-Chancellor to say that we know of the meeting and of the remarks he had made and to point out to him that the correct way to challenge our paper was to invite me to lecture on it and face questions from the faculty. To this letter I received no reply. Now, if there had been no such meeting, do you not think it likely that the Vice-Chancellor would have asked someone in his office to write to me and say so?”

That’s GOLD

Did the physics change after co2 hit 285 ppm/v ? From the presentation, the difference between black body at 255 K and the temp in 1850, 288 K. It has been stated that co2 is responsible for the additional 33 K. What would the temp have been if there were no co2? 286 K? We are at 126 ppm/v or 44 % over the 1850 level of co2, yet the observed temperature is below all of the models? 142.5 ppm/v to raise the temp by 1 C? Is that right?

Being that the observed temp is not only below any model, it is below direct relationship on a linear basis, let alone on an exponential. AGW is going to do a lot of wishful thinking to get the temp to 2 C by doubling the co2. In all of the measurements there is only a spike in temps, not a sustained global temp of 0.8 C . Remember 2012, the temp was touted as being 1.2 C higher. ( I’ve made a lot of posts about the way TSI was calculated to give that 1.2 C as being wrong) Are we in a cooling trend? If … IF… ( some people don’t see the ” IF “) AGW is right about all the math, ( based on the highest observed temp) then without the additional co2 actual temps would have dropped by 2 C. Further, IF the models were correct then temps are falling by a lot. Haven’t the models been revised downwards at least 3 times, and still they are above the observed temps? What would be the cause of a 2 C drop? Without a major loss of co2, how would that be possible under AGW? And for whatever reason, the current drop by 0.60 C from Feb 2016, where did the heat go? To paraphrase, do you have any idea how much heat that is?

You can’t rationalize co2 as being greatly responsible for bringing the the temperature up to a level, then having it’s influence diminish as more co2 is added, and then claiming it’s effect is exponential.
There is something seriously wrong with AGW’s math.

AGW is not Science

Agreed – the best summation I have seen is a quote from an (unfortunately unnamed) geologist, who put it this way: “If CO2 could do what they say it can do, the oceans would have frozen over or boiled away a long time ago.”

Hivemind

When, oh when, will we get past this stupid “forcings” business. The atmosphere works by convection and conduction. Because it is so very transparent, radiation has almost nil effect on it.

Monckton of Brenchley

The greenhouse effect is well understood even down to the quantum level. It is no longer credible to maintain that the atmosphere is transparent to near-infrared radiation.

prjindigo

Use of approximations introduces errors that result in ANY output being patently wrong. Warmists reliance on statistical smoothing of the input data to the model means that everything they do is wrong because they’re magnifying the margin of error FAR faster than the signal.

Greg F

The major mistake was using Bode to begin with.

In the Bode formula, additional energy is needed. Where does that energy come from? That brings up the old argument of whether co2 can be over unity. It’d be a great thing if it were.

Monckton of Brenchley

Retention of energy that would otherwise pass out of the system has the same effect on the system as the same amount of additional energy.

richard verney

Possibly, but not definitively.

Greg F

As Edward J. Wegman has stated:
“Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science”

Jim Gorman

Again, be careful here. Retention of energy means feedback from the output. However, that is not additional energy because any feedback subtracts from the output signal unless the amplifier has gain. Gain implies that there is energy coming from another source or that the source has some kind of reserve built in.

Monckton of Brenchley

Again, there is no need to be careful on Mr Gorman’s point. One may do as we have done here: set the gain block to unity, whereupon the input and output nodes become equipotential and may be replaced by a single input/output node. Then any amplification of a pre-existing reference temperature, the input to the feedback loop, is simply added to it to become a new reference temperature. The two approaches are functionally equivalent.

There is considerable merit in taking this approach, because it simplifies the math without altering the outcome in any degree.

Nor is it true to say that a feedback “subtracts from the output signal”. We tested all of this at a government laboratory, since we realized that practically no one in climatology has any understanding of the relevant feedback theory. A positive feedback increases the output signal, whether or not the gain block is set to unity.

Jim Gorman

Sorry, but using feedback means a portion of the output is siphoned off and returned to the input. This is the point where I have some issues with the whole feedback scenario. In order to achieve a higher output with positive feedback, the power must come from somewhere. Where does this come from? You can’t have a gain above 1 without supplying power from a source. If the source is the sun, then it cannot also be the input. You can bias the input from the source to set the operating point but you still can’t get more power out unless there is a reserve in the power supply. It all comes back to the power source.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Gorman raises an interesting point, asking where the independent power for the feedback block comes from in the climate. I shall show where it comes from with an example. Put some CO2 in the air. The atmosphere warms a little. But if the atmosphere warms it becomes capable of holding about 7% more water vapor per Kelvin. And water vapor is a greenhouse gas. The power Mr Gorman understandably seeks comes from the retention in the atmosphere of radiative energy that would otherwise have passed harmlessly out into space. In short, it is the same sort of power source as that which allows CO2 to cause a forcing.

jhborn

The proposition that “You can’t have a gain above 1 without supplying power from a source” has tediously been repeated on this site by someone calling himself “co2isnotevil.” At https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/24/it-shouldnt-take-hundreds-of-years-to-estimate-climate-sensitivity/#comment-2415305 I’ve given a simple numerical example showing that to the contrary no internal power source is necessary.

The apparent paradox is readily dispelled when you recognize that power counted once in the “input” (direct absorption from the sun) is, because of repeated exchanges between the atmosphere and the surface, counted more than once in the “output” (emission from the earth’s surface).

Because of the way in which co2isnotevil argued his theory, the “feedback” in my example is actually back radiation without the temperature-dependent water-vapor feedback usually discussed in these contexts, but the principle also applies, a fortiori, to the latter context.

jbohrn.

You don’t understand the COE argument one bit. Please pay attention. I know Bode’s analysis inside out and have been applying it to the design of real world amplifiers and other feedback systems for decades. There’s even a version of his analysis in the discrete time domain (Z domain) that applies to digital implementations of feedback systems.

It’s not a violation of COE that the gain is greater than 1. The power in excess of solar forcing required to replenish surface emissions is easily identified as and limited by surface emissions originating in the past. The specific COE violation is a failure to account for COE between the input and output of the modeled gain block, not between the input and output of the system. In other words, COE must be applied between input+feedback and the output.

The implicit power supply eliminates the requirement for COE between the input and output, is why it’s not considered by the Bode model and why it’s missing when the model was mis-applied to the climate.

In a Bode amplifier, the output Joules come from the implicit power supply rather than originating from the input Joules. This is why audio amplifiers need batteries or are plugged into the wall. If feedback amplifiers worked as you think they do, the 100 Watts of output power from an audio amplifier would magically originate from the nanowatts originating from a turntable.

Your concept of repeated exchanges is the flaw in your logic as for each pass to be amplified, new Joules need to be added to the system, which is the role of the implicit power supply. Replace the gain block in the pedantic climate feedback model with a lossy wire and it becomes clear why your position is wrong. In essence, the atmosphere acts as a mismatched transmission line between the surface and space. i.e. a lossy wire.

More than 2 W/m^2 of surface emissions per W/m^2 of forcing is the COE limit and the IPCC requires 4.3 W/^2 of incremental surface emissions per W/m^2 of forcing. More than 2 W/m^2 of surface emissions per W/m^2 of forcing requires more than 1 W/m^2 of feedback per W/m^2 of forcing which represents an unconditionally unstable system. This fact alone (from Bode’s stability criteria) falsifies the possibility of a sensitivity greater than about 0.3 C per W/m^2, which is well below the IPCC’s lower limit of 0.4C per W/m^2.

The absolute gain limit is 2 since the feedback is limited to 1 W/m^2 of feedback per W/m^2 of forcing. More precisely, the gain limit is 1/(1-F), where F is the fraction of absorbed surface emissions that must be emitted into space in order to achieve balance. The measured value of F is 0.5 +/- 0.02 and varies little from month to month, year to year or pole to pole.

Philip Mulholland

“The absolute gain limit is 2”
co2isnotevil
If I understand this correctly what you are saying is that the sum of the infinite series 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 +1/16 + … + 1/(2^infinity) is of course equal to 2.

Put simply an infinite series of declining fractions can sum to a finite whole number (in this case 2) and no larger.

The reason that the infinite series of fractions is of this form (1 + 1/2 + etc.) is because for each “bounce” of the heat radiation passing up through the atmosphere and intercepted by the greenhouse gas, half the energy passes out into space and by geometry half is return back to the ground. This process of trapped energy forms an attenuating series of declining fractions that cannot sum to more than 2, hence the absolute inviolate upper limit for the gain.

Exactly.

Philip Mulholland

So that is what you mean by using the technical term a lossy wire?
“Replace the gain block in the pedantic climate feedback model with a lossy wire”
Lossy – a system of gain without any additional energy source. (learning not questioning).
Consider this process for a stone in a fast flowing river, the water level on the upstream side of the stone rises because of the restriction to flow. The kinetic energy of the restricted flow therefore powers the rise in upstream potential energy of the raised water surface (c.f. raised temperature).

Phillip,

Unlike the Moon, whose ‘wire’ is lossless, the power emitted by the Earth’s surface is not all emitted into space. The ”loss’ can be considered power that went into the wire on the way out, not unlike I^2 R losses. This power went into the atmosphere which then redirects it back to the surface and out into space in roughly 50/50 proportions.

In the stone in a river case, the raised upstream potential energy is offset by decreased water level downstream, decreasing its potential energy, so it’s not clear if there’s any NET conversion, i.e. transient hot is offset by transient cold.

jhborn

Philip Mulholland:

Your analysis would be exactly right if the atmosphere’s opacity to infrared were a single block of lumped opacity, as co2isnotevil seems to think it is. But it isn’t. It’s more like distributed.

You can get a sense of that from breaking the atmosphere into two opacity chunks instead of one. I did that in the diagram to which I linked above. In that model the limit would be 3 instead of 2.

Of course, the number of chunks you use in your model is arbitrary. The real atmosphere’s opacity is more like distributed: more like an infinite number of infinitesimal chunks, which would make the limit infinite. Specifically, the gain for a distributed atmosphere of optical depth \tau can be shown to be (\tau+2)/2.

The model limit for the gain is 2 and this is set by COE. See answer to Nicks comment below.

Philip Mulholland

“The real atmosphere’s opacity is more like distributed: more like an infinite number of infinitesimal chunks, which would make the limit infinite.”
Jhborn
The fallacy with your analysis of an infinite number of shells is that the total thickness of the atmosphere is a finite distance. At what point do you stop slicing the atmosphere into smaller and smaller increments? 1 metre? 1 Ångström? The thickness of a quark perhaps?

That is the trouble with infinite series; they appear to offer the possibility of summation to an infinite number. However this is not always possible, particularly with the negative power series of declining fractions.

Take a piece of paper with an area of 2 square metres. Cut it in half and place one piece (with an area of 1 sq. metre) on a table. Now cut the second piece in half. Add one newly cut piece to the original first cut piece and the area of paper on the table is now 1.5 sq. metres. Cut the remaining piece in half again and place one of the two 1/4 sq. metre pieces to the table to give 1.75 sq. metres. Continue to cut in half and add together for ever.

At NO point in this infinite series of divide by 2 and add to the incremental sum on the table will the area of paper EVER exceed 2 square metres. You cannot grow something by cutting it in half. The whole is not greater than the sum of its parts.

jhborn

Mr. Mulholland:

Strictly speaking, of course, you’re right that there is indeed a point beyond with the atmosphere can’t be divided further; the atmosphere isn’t infinitely divisible but rather is made up of discrete molecules. However, molecules are small, so the number of possible slices is large.

And, in any event, the issue I was addressing is whether the ratio of the radiation the surface emits to the radiation it absorbs directly from the sun can be greater than 2 without an energy-conservation violation, and you don’t need an infinite number of slices for the ratio to exceed 2; you need only two. Using multiple chunks reflects the fact that any given chunk of a non-infrared-transparent atmosphere absorbs radiation not only from the surface but also from other atmosphere chunks. Failure to recognize this is (one of many places) where co2isnotevil went wrong.

You would have seen this if you had worked through the numerical example I illustrated in the diagram I linked to above. Each of that example’s two atmosphere chunks absorbs ¾ of the infrared radiation it receives, and it emits exactly what it receives, sending half of it upward and half of it downward. (For the sake of illustration, I made the simplifying assumption that the atmosphere is perfectly transparent to radiation that comes directly from the sun.) The ratio in the real atmosphere is less only because the absorption is rather less than in my example.

If you can’t see by working through such a system’s arithmetic that the surface emits over twice what it absorbs directly from the sun, then I can’t help you. But, again, the key is that each chunk of the atmosphere absorbs radiation not only from the surface but also from other atmosphere chunks.

“The absolute gain limit is 2 since the feedback is limited to 1 W/m^2 of feedback per W/m^2 of forcing. More precisely, the gain limit is 1/(1-F)”
There is no sensible math in which that is true. In your formula for gain 1/(1-F), yes, instability results if F approaches 1. But then the gain is not approaching 2, it is approaching ∞.

[?? .mod]

Nick,
The concept of runaway where the gain approaches infinity requires the missing, internal source of Joules powering the gain.

You’re not comprehending what’s setting the upper gain limit of 2. It’s the fact that the feedback power can not be greater than the forcing power without the implicit power supply. This sets a COE driven upper limit on the feedback beyond what Bode accounts for, and which the feedback model of the climate system must account for and does not. In other words, output is constrained by forcing + feedback. You are blinded to this because you consider the output to be temperature, rather then the same W/m^2 that the forcing + feedback are express in, which is obfuscating the COE constraint.

More to the point, the Earth clearly demonstrates a surface power gain of only about 1.6, which is well within the upper limit of 2. You can calculate this as the average RADIANT surface emissions (390 W/m^2) divided by the average solar forcing (239 W/m^2). I emphasize RADIANT because when you subtract the non radiant return of non radiant latent heat and thermals from Trenberth’s ‘back radiation’ term, all that’s left are the W/m^2 offsetting the SB emissions of the surface at its ‘average’ temperature.

The IPCC’s nominal ECS factor of 0.8C per W/m^2 requires the next W/m^2 to be multiplied by 4.3 at the surface in order to offset enough emissions to produce 0.8C of surface warming.

Please explain how the next Joule that arrives can be that much more powerful at warming the surface than all of the Joules that are already arriving.

george,
“You’re not comprehending what’s setting the upper gain limit of 2.”
That is because you are not explaining it. I really have no idea where you are getting it from, and it is nonsense. Bernie Hutchins gave here a circuit he had built with positive feedback increasing gain by a factor of 3. He built it and measured.

” You can calculate this as the average RADIANT surface emissions (390 W/m^2) divided by the average solar forcing (239 W/m^2)”
This is nonsense too. The gain is the amplification of small variations. What you cite here isn’t even CM’s temperature ratio – what temperature is increased by 1.6? In fact, the forcing being fed back is the 2 W/m2 or so from GHGs. And there is ample power to cover the amplification – the power source is the 240 W/m2 of solar energy that flows through the syatem.

Nick,

I’ve explained it in many ways expecting at least one to resonate with you. Part of the problem is that there’s not just one error, but many codependent, compounding and reinforcing errors related to how feedback was misapplied to the climate system, many of which have been irresponsibly canonized as ‘settled’ science and which is biasing your perspective. If there’s anything that needs to be approached with your eyes wide open, it’s climate science. Some of the scientific truths being ignored are listed below.

1) If the feedback power is greater than forcing power, the result is an unconditionally unstable system and the Earth is clearly stable.

2) It’s a violation of COE if the output power exceeds the feedback+forcing unless the output power is coming from an implicit source independent of the forcing+feedback input.

3) The atmosphere splits the re-emission of absorbed energy roughly equally between the surface and space which limits the positive feedback power returning to the surface to 50% of what the surface emits and this is ONLY if the atmosphere absorbs 100% of the radiant emissions by the surface.

4) For the runaway case, the atmosphere must absorb 100% of what the surface emits and return all of this back to the surface. This leaves no power leaving the planet to offset the incident solar forcing leading to yet another COE violation.

4) There can be no difference between the absolute gain and the incremental gain. Each W/m^2 of forcing arriving from the Sun contributes equally to the average surface emissions and the next one MUST contribute equally as well.

5) Solar forcing is amplified (multiplied) by 1.6 to offset surface
RADIANT EMISSIONS. It’s a physical impossibility to multiply (amplify) W/m^2 of forcing by Bode’s dimensionless closed loop gain and arrive at either an absolute or change in the temperature.

6) The T^4 dependence of W/m^2 on temperature is immutable physics. Emissions consequential to a temperature can only be attenuated linearly through an emissivity.

7) A non ideal black body can be precisely modeled as an ‘ideal’ gray body.

Ignoring these scientific truths is a direct result of casting the failure to honor Bode’s preconditions as ‘settled’ science. These preconditions are strict linearity and the existence of an implicit, infinite, internal source of Joules supplying the output power of the modeled amplifier. This is as close as we can get to the single error from which the others arose and the nexus of this error is Hansen’s 1984 feedback paper.

The IPCC is to blame for perpetuating these errors and casting them as ‘settled’ science. Moreover; the feedback fubar initiated by Hansen comprised the primary theoretical justification for an ECS large enough to justify the formation of the IPCC. They will never correct this as it would lead to their dissolution and the only thing an entrenched bureaucracy is good at is self preservation.

Nick,

“Bernie Hutchins gave here a circuit …”

Op amps have the requisite implicit source of Joules powering the gain and providing the output power. Connecting the op amp input and power supply pins together will not work, yet this is what the climate feedback model assumes!

An ideal op amp has an infinite input impedance and an output impedance of zero. The forcing+feedback is sampled to determine how much power to deliver from the implicit supply. The climate system consumes the forcing+feedback power as the source of the output power. In other words, the input impedance is zero.

The transformation from a high input impedance to a low output impedance by a gain block is the consequence of power gain, where the gain in output power originates from the implicit power supply. Without the implicit power supply, the gain block is just a wire with resistance.

Nick,

“The gain is the amplification of small variations.”

You seem to think that the small signal response is distinct from the average response when in fact, the average is of the response to small signal inputs. In the context of Earth’s climate system, the small signal is the periodic diurnal and seasonal variability of solar forcing which varies between 0 and about 1366 W/m^2 depending on time of day, time of year and location on the planet. In the context of a Bode amplifier, small signal doesn’t refer to the absolute or relative variability in the forcing, but to the size of the forcing (input) relative to what the implicit power supply can support before the amplifier starts to clip and goes non linear.

To the extent that an amplifier has a small signal response, this is relative to a DC bias established by a potentially different DC gain that centers the operating point of the amplifying device into its linear region of operation. When amplifying devices like transistors, fets or vacuum tubes operate outside their linear region, Bode’s analysis no longer applies. BTW, for an ideal OP amp, the DC gain and AC gain are the same.

Philip Mulholland

Nick,
The climate system is powered solely by the Sun. The key issue is that there is no additional external source of power that can boost the amplification inherent in the system. There are of course many internal sources of power within the climate system. Consider this example from hydrology:

The Norias of Hama are an example of a water wheel mechanism designed to lift water from the surface of a moving river using the energy of the flow to raise small volumes of water to height, thereby converting kinetic into potential energy. The lifted water could in theory be returned to the river via a dynamo and the energy released by this return flow be used as a source of electrical power.

If we used this collected electrical energy to power a system of paddles to cause an increase in river flow upstream of the water wheel and so create an additional acceleration to the original rate of flow of the main river. Would this cause an increase in the total rate of water flow past the Noria wheel and be a feedback mechanism that additionally powers the river? Of course not as this is a perpetual motion scenario. The key point of course is that no additional EXTERNAL energy is being accessed here and so we cannot use this feedback process to create additional INTERNAL amplification in the hydrology of the river.

In regards to co2 that’s not happening, the retention of energy. I see these formulas and rationalizations of what the temperature should or could be.
If the formulas were right we’d see the expected warming. The record, which is about as accurate as we can get for the last 60 years, shows co2 following temperature. Those saw tooth amounts of co2 per year closely follows temperature.
In a multi variable environment, the contention that co2 controls temperature is wrong. Further analyses of the co2 levels reveal peak to peak values that coincide with solar cycles and cosmic rays. It may be entirely cosmic rays.
In an electrical circuit, all variables are known. Using the Bode formula with regards to climate is wrong. All variables are not known.
So much of the effort in ‘climate change’ has been to alter the data to prove that the numbers match. They don’t. From 2001 till now, TSI is a prime example. Fully 1/3 of the stated warming in 2012 at 1.2 C was from incorrect TSI levels. The math from TSI levels and the retention of heat by co2 they don’t match. Nor does the energy budget.

I think it may be possible to predict co2 levels from temperature. Factoring out the uptake difference between the NH and SH of co2, and when co2 levels start to decline in May, which coincides with the aphelion. Combining that with the temperature anomalies and co2 anomalies for the last 60 years that the known co2 follows a temperature curve.

Monckton of Brenchley

In response to Rishrac, the approach we have taken is ruthlessly pragmatic. We have accepted ad argumentum all of official climatology except what we can prove to be false. This approach minimizes the scope for disagreement and compels the usual suspects to face what we say is our error and address our result.

No one in the AGW has addressed the fact that co2 follows temperature. They used total co2 increases against yearly temperature anomalies. AGW should have used yearly temperature departures against yearly co2 ppm/v , not the total. The ups and downs are nearly a perfect match. There is more information in there too. Peak to peak co2 increases match the solar cycles as well as cosmic ray fluctuations.
All you can say about using 60 years of total co2 and 60 years of temperature increases is that in that time period, temps are up and co2 is up. Longer term co2 might well fall if the temperature declines enough. In fact I do see that in the monthly record during May when the co2 increase levels reaches zero ( 0 ) and declines thereafter till October corresponding to aphelion of the earth. The reduced world temperature based on the inverse power formula and Kepler’s law of time sweeps in equal areas around the sun is 4 C during that time. The reduction in co2 during that time is more than all of the output during the entire year, and during that time any additional co2 added is not present, despite the acknowledged sinking by plants, the ocean and land. While I do think man kind might be responsible for some of the atmospheric co2, I am not sure how much much.
I think that this argument is fairly pragmatic. Anybody can derive the same results as I have. It isn’t that hard and follows standard scientific methods. It uses accepted facts and formulas.

Monckton of Brenchley

rishrac makes the fair point that in the recent geological past – i.e., over the past 800,000 years or so – changes of CO2 concentration have followed changes in temperature and not the other way about.

However, it is also possible that, if we return to the atmosphere enough of the CO2 that was there in the first place, CO2 concentration change will lead temperature change.

I am saying that in the past co2 followed temperature. I’m also saying co2 is following temperature for the last 60 years.
I also think that the co2 record for the MWP ( MCA ) and the LIA has been altered.
As far as returning co2 to the atmosphere enough co2 that will lead to temperature change, I can’t imagine how much co2 that will take. The poster child of run away green gasses, Venus, has more to do with atmospheric pressure than the composition of the gasses.
Before we could ever add enough co2 other disasters will almost certainly occur. The question is: Is there enough carbon, or oxygen, to raise the co2 level above 10% ( ten percent) on this planet ? (it’s currently 4/10 of 1 % of that amount we may have added 0.126 .
AGW is/has been a total waste of money. It’s regressive thinking. The huge sums spent on it would have been better spent developing new power sources. There are sources of power beyond fusion.
Nothing will change if the public forum is dominated by second rate scientists with no vision. They can’t even do the math right.
I am certain that co2 follows temperature. I am concerned because I don’t know for sure, but when temperatures dropped from similar warming events, such as the one we are in, has been shown to be sharp and sudden. That is a problem, a real one.

rishrac wrote:
“I am certain that co2 follows temperature. I am concerned because I don’t know for sure, but when temperatures dropped from similar warming events, such as the one we are in, has been shown to be sharp and sudden. That is a problem, a real one.”

Rishrac, I believe you are generally on the right track. Here is the evidence you need to prove that CO2 trends lag temperature trends in the modern data record:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/30/climatologys-startling-error-an-update/#comment-2417670
and
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/30/climatologys-startling-error-an-update/#comment-2417689

Best, Allan

Steven Mosher

“No one in the AGW has addressed the fact that co2 follows temperature.”

wrong it was predicted before it was discovered, by james hansen

next.

Steven Mosher wrote:
“wrong it was predicted before it was discovered, by james hansen”

Citation please.

Still NO citation!

OK Steven, I call bullsh!t in 3, 2, 1… BULLSH!T !!!

@ Steven Mosher
Really? James Hansen predicted that co2 follows temperature? Then how is it that Anthropogentic Global Warming is entirely based solely on increasing amounts of co2?
CO2 does not control temperature. Temperature controls co2.

I’ll quote you on that Steve.

I agree with you rishrac.

IF Mosher’s statement is true (BUT he has failed to provide to provide any evidence), then Hansen is “sucking and blowing at the same time”, as my old boss Chuck used to say.

While it IS possible for [CO2 to drive temperature] AND [temperature to drive CO2], the evidence suggests that the former is much less than the latter, and the sensitivity of temperature to CO2 must be very small.

If this last statement were not true, then the following close relationship between dCO2/dt and global temperature T could not exist, and it clearly does:

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/mean:12/derivative/plot/uah5/from:1979/scale:0.22/offset:0.14

commieBob

When I was a student, a professor observed that students would attempt to apply formulas no matter how inappropriate for the given situation.

Once I was well into my career, I observed that for many scientists, the inappropriate use of formulas extends through to retirement and beyond.

Alan Tomalty

2 other large mistakes in science are 1) to add another variable to an equation that already has a constant in it (whereby the constant has been found by experiment or is valid only over a certain range). 2) Assuming that the variable added is linear EX: adding the emissivity to the Stefan Boltzmann equation which is only valid for blackbodies. It has been shown that emissivity is not linear and depends on temperature, but everyone insists on using it as an independent variable from .00000000000000001 to 1.0

Monckton of Brenchley

In practice, after albedo has been allowed for, the emissivity of the Earth’s characteristic-emission altitude is as near a blackbody as makes no difference. Therefore, little error arises from the usual assumption, followed by us, that it is unity.

Bitter&twisted

Agreed. I teach students at one of the UK’s premier universities. They very often arrive at a physically impossible answer, using the correct maths, but having made incorrect first assumptions.
What is frightening is that these, highly intelligent, students do not recognise that the answer they have got is impossible.

David Smith

B&T
Indeed, checking the validity of a result is a skill that needs to be constantly hammered home:
I teach maths at one of the UK’s eminent prep schools. Just the other day a boy, who is an otherwise superb mathematician, obtained a horribly incorrect answer:
The question required him to work out the speed of a sprinting man. The boy correctly used S=D/T, but he used wrong initial values. He then happily wrote down the answer on his calculator screen – the man was allegedly running at 1000 m/s.
Once I had explained to the boy that you would have heard the sonic boom as the sprinter left the blocks and broke the speed of sound, the boy grinned and promised to have another go at the quesrion. I told him not to bother and instead took the whole class down to the playground to do a physical experiment that demonstrated how damn fast Usain Bolt can run.

Monckton of Brenchley

I’d have liked a teacher such as David Smith.

David Smith

Praise indeed from Lord Monkton ! I’m genuinely chuffed.
Good luck with the paper Chris. It appears that you’ve got them on the run.

See - owe to Rich

I am very pleased to see that David Smith and bitter&twisted prove that the British educational system is not yet totally overrun by global warming alarmists. However, as age takes its toll, will we be able to say the same thing in 20 years time?

Rich.

Newminster

My wife, who was a primary school teacher, spent a lot of time teaching her classes to think around the answers to math problems. Even at 7 or 8 they responded well to the concept of “does this answer make sense?” Her record on the standard of her classes at age 11 was impressive!

David Smith

Your wife has it spot-on. Wish her well from one teacher to another.

Monckton of Brenchley

Actually, there is nothing wrong with using Bode. The mathematics of feedback is universal to all feedback-moderated dynamical systems.

There’s an easy thought experiment which demonstrates why the 243.3 K emission temperature has to be considered when determining feedback.

Say solar output increased 10%.

Would this increase in solar output cause feedbacks in Earth’s climate system?’

Obviously yes.

If that extra 10% of solar output would be expected to cause feedbacks, then the rest of the solar output must also be causing feedbacks.

The current input from the sun, the emission temperature caused by absorption of incoming solar radiation, must be causing feedbacks in the Earth’s climate system.

Lord Monckton is right, climatologists forgot to include the sun when attributing the difference between the emission temperature and observed global surface temperature to the various forcings.

“If that extra 10% of solar output would be expected to cause feedbacks, then the rest of the solar output must also be causing feedbacks.”

Non sequitur. Feedback only makes sense in talking about variations from a state. How things got to be in that state is another matter entirely, and often can’t be resolved (Big Bang?). It may have involved feedbacks to something, but the processes, inputs and outputs of the state creation are simply unknown.

We’re talking about attribution of the gap between emission temperature and observed temperature. Suggesting the solar input should be treated as a baseline without feedback is absurd. Since variations in solar input would obviously produce feedbacks, the original solar input must also produce feedbacks.

Monckton of Brenchley

It is not true that “feedback only makes sens in talking about variations from a state”. A temperature feedback responds not merely to a change in the input temperature but also to the input temperature itself. Remember, we have a professor of control theory on our team, who joined us precisely because, when he saw me making that very point, he agreed with it.

Temperature feedback processes in the climate system respond to the temperature they find, and their response (over a sufficiently short period so that the underlying conditions have not changed much) is proportionate to the magnitude of the temperature.

Feedbacks cannot ignore the input temperature and choose to respond only to some arbitrarily small perturbation thereof.

David A Smith

It all depends on what kind of feedback you are talking about: Proportional, Integral or Derivative.

Derivative feedback has a rapid response to changes then decays. We see this in the climate in the response to volcanoes. As can be seen in the global temperature data after Mt Pinatubo erupted there is a sudden drop in temperature then recovery within a few years. This is characteristic of derivative gain.

Integral gain is a response that accumulates over time. In the climate system we see this as lag in the response to perturbations. When the energy balance changes it takes time for various parts of the system such as ocean temperatures to equilibrate.

Proportional gain responds immediately and doesn’t care if it is a step response or a constant signal. This must also be so in the climate system because: if the preindustrial climate was fixed and unchangeable as some scientists believe, and if the proportional feedback could only affect changes then the greenhouse gas portion of the energy balance would be unchanging (preindustrial) and therefore it’s feedback would be zero: it is not. The feedback to constant inputs is not zero and therefore the proportional gain in the climate system must also be affecting constant inputs. When the greenhouse gas concentration is constant the feedback does not go to zero. Proportional gain is essentially an amplifier with some gain and has no problem dealing with constant or changing inputs.

Kristi Silber

“if the preindustrial climate was fixed and unchangeable as some scientists believe”

Who the heck believes that???

tkonerman

go and learn some system theory nick.

“go and learn some system theory nick”

In fact my PhD thesis was in linear system theory. So what would you like to teach me?

dodgy geezer

That’s interesting. My degree dissertation was on the mediaeval derivation of certain European fairy-tale stories.

While I would never claim authoritative status for qualifications in an argument, I suspect that my training may be of more value in the field of climate science mathematics than yours….

“my training may be of more value “
I doubt it. But the specific proposition was that I need to learn about system theory. I await instruction.

Monckton of Brenchley

The central point at issue is how inanimate feedback processes can distinguish between the reference temperature (to which, by some magic, they do not react) and any subsequent change therein (to which, by some more magic, they react vigorously).

One of our co-authors, a professor of control theory, considers that feedbacks respond to the entire input temperature, and not merely to some arbitrary fraction thereof.

Mr Stokes thinks feedbacks don’t respond to the entire input temperature, but only to some perturbation thereof.

The tests we conducted at a government laboratory were designed to answer questions such as this. It was clear from the results of the experiment that feedback processes respond to the entire input signal.

Our paper is now being read by another professor of control theory, and I shall be meeting him in early September. In the meantime, our paper continues to be out for review, and we have recommended as reviewers many of the leading IPCC specialists in this field.

We want to know who is right, so we have put all our cards on the table and have made our argument available for scrutiny in the formal setting of peer review by those with whom we think we disagree.

In due course, I shall report here the outcome of that scrutiny. Empirical evidence suggests we are correct: the temperature trend we predict is near-coincident with that which is observed.

On verra.

“The central point at issue is how inanimate feedback processes can distinguish between the reference temperature (to which, by some magic, they do not react) and any subsequent change therein”
It makes no sense to say they react. Suppose you have a steady state – no perturbations at all. But you still have the reference temperature as an “input”, to which the system presumably must react. Bot how? What should it do? Why should it do anything other than remain in the same steady state?

What has steady state to do with climate? Seems to me a rather desperate argument.

bit chilly

nick,if you could just tell me which period in , years, months, days, minutes or seconds the climate was in a “steady state” it might make your point easier to understand.

See - owe to Rich

I think the real problem with all this is non-linearity. If the Sun’s input was small enough to allow snowball Earth then increases in its input would have only a small effect on Earth’s temperature. But as soon as it gets large enough to melt a portion round the equator then the greenhouse effect of water vapour takes off and the gradient d(temperature)/d(solar forcing) increases suddenly, not to mention the decrease in albedo.

That is why not each K in 255K has equal effect on the greenhouse feedback, which Monckton’s theory assumes. Differentials do matter.

Rich.

richard verney

One thing that you can be sure about is that Nick is highly intelligent, and understands his maths. He also frequently supports his arguments with linked references.

Some may consider that that aptitude makes him more dangerous, since it is less easy to dismiss out of hand the points that he raises. Whether his arguments are good, or whether he is always objective, is a matter for the reader to evaluate for themselves.

I for one always like to read Nick’s comments, and to take the time to consider the point(s) he makes. It is embarrassing that it appears that so many down arrow his remarks, simply because they do not like the point he makes, or because it is Nick making the point.

Being a sceptic is a two way street. In my opinion, one should be sceptical of the veracity and/or relevance of arguments on both sides of this debate.

Bob boder

i agree, I enjoy reading Nicks comments and often skip through till I find one from him, however my BS meter goes off many times with Nick’s comments as well and after years of reading his replies i can’t help but think he is way too invested in the Global Warming scare to really be objective. He is like a boy growing to be a man and finally realising his father is not a saint but is human and fallible like any man, some can face the fact and still love their father as much as ever and some can’t and blind themselves to the truth until the illusion is shattered.

honest liberty

Bob, I’ve been frequenting this site just over a year and that is pretty much my sentiment regarding this gentleman.

jim hogg

Thank you Richard Verney for promoting bias free evaluation. . .

honest liberty

jim. You folks on the left wouldn’t know neutral commentary or unbiased evaluation on your best day. Your worldview prevents it, so please, stop. You aren’t fooling anyone here, except maybe your brethren on the far left. Enough of the pandering to random commentators. You have no business commenting about neutrality or “bias”. NONE.

and grow up. There is no such thing as neutrality in evaluation. It is all built upon by previous work done by the evaluator, and depending on their worldview and what they perceive as factual, is how they will apply their understanding of logic. In the case of the post-modernists (most CAGW faithful), you refuse to accept logic and apply it accordingly. It goes against the very foundation of your worldview, and to claim otherwise is an outright falsehood.

Evidence: you believe in the religion of CAGW. If you actually looked at the evidence (not models, adjusted data, appeals to authority of corrupted “scientists”) then you would realize, logically, it is a ruse and you have been had. But you can’t. You are one of the faithful. G-d bless you boy, you are welcome in the group. But don’t you dare start asking tough questions about the foundation of the faith, for ye shall be stricken with a force ye have not yet been privy. Just ask any other left of center “non-faithful” who dared to question the party line. There be no room for individuals in your camp.

Crispin in Waterloo

Nick:

“In fact my PhD thesis was in linear system theory. So what would you like to teach me?”

The parts you missed. It may take some time.

There is a monetary analogy that is helpful, if one’s clarity of thought is not obscured by the dust of acquired knowledge:

For every $1.00 raised by the public to assist a child access a much-needed operation, a Foundation agrees to add $0.50. The public raises $100. What is the total accumulated? Is it $100 or $150? It is $150.

For each additional $1 the public raised raise above their initial $100, the Foundation continues to add $0.50. The public raises another $10. What is the new total? It is $150+$10+$5 = $165.

The climate models are programmed in such a manner that they report the answer to the first sum is $100, and the answer to the second is $115.

It is an error so fundamental as to be astonishing. In effect, the modelers say that if they found the total was $150 when they came upon the scene, then the public raised $150, and that the total contribution from the Foundation to the second total of $165 was $15, not $55. This error is of approximately the same magnitude as the error of the models: a factor of 3.78.

“The climate models are programmed in such a manner “
None of the nonsense here has anything to do with the way climate models are programmed, and nor does your comment. But all you have described is a multiplier to a perturbation. Give an extra $10 and the foundation gives an extra $5. There isn’t a component proportional to the assets of the Foundation, or whatever.

Nothing that you have said here is connected to anything in climatology at all.

bit chilly

you put ten bales of hay on a camels back. it looks ok so you add one more piece of straw,not a bale, just one straw of hay. the camels back breaks. does that mean it only took one straw of hay to break a camels back ?

MattS

“Feedback only makes sense in talking about variations from a state” A feedback does not know which energy it is to feedback. It applies to all, equally, so your statement is quite wrong.

Monckton of Brenchley

Matt S is right. It is extraordinary that Nick Stokes, who knows the equations perfectly well, continues to assert what he must know to be manifestly untrue, and to assert it over and over and over again.

I am beginning to get emails from scientists saying that it was only after reading his comments in this thread that they had begun to realize just how unprincipled the proponents of the global-warming doctrine have become. Therefore, in growing numbers they are beginning to study our result, and they are liking what they see.

Jim Gorman

Nick, the problem you have is that climate science dictates that greenhouse gases respond to radiation by increasing their temperature. Different gases absorb different wavelengths and therefore behave differently. This is simply saying that they are frequency sensitive feedbacks. Yet they all combine to one feedback signal and that is composed of temperature.

You may like digital models but the earth’s atmosphere is analog. The ultimate feedback signal in an analog amplifier is also analog so any computer model must also be able to output what that combined feedback signal looks like. Do any of the models do that? Not that I am aware of.

I am not a fan of using an amplifier to describe the atmosphere but since climate scientists have decided that ‘feedback’ is positive in order to increase temperature that is what we are stuck with. It may be that a feedback amplifier is appropriate but a lot of research is needed to define the multiple feedback paths such as clouds, different gases, etc. That research is being ignored and without it we will always be “in the dark” about how things really work.

Clyde Spencer

NS,
Assume that you have a system in equilibrium. A key component in the system is increased by 5%, and the system shifts its equilibrium by an amount that is not directly proportional. It is responding to the forcing in a manner suggesting feedback. Let’s assume that the same component is again increased by an amount that is 5% of the initial system output value. Your logic suggests that the first increase, which established a new equilibrium, could not have involved feedback because it was the the state existing just prior to the second change of equilibrium involving feedback. You are effectively de-Nyeing that feedback can ever occur because you insist that ‘initial’ or equilibrium states cannot come about through feedback.

Clyde
“You are effectively de-Nyeing that feedback can ever occur because you insist that ‘initial’ or equilibrium states cannot come about through feedback.”
I’m not denying that (ordinary spelling is safe now). I’m saying that a state is a state, and you don’t know or care how it got there. You just need to know how it responds to perturbation.

Take an ordinary amplifier circuit with DC bias voltages or currents. It’s natural to think that that was achieved just by building the circuit as seen, and switching on the supply voltage. But it might o’t have, and it doesn’t matter for the operation of the amplifier. It might have been fired up with other components in place, which were then removed. This might involve different feedback, or none at all. All that matters is the DC state, however achieved.

Lord M, in effect, analyses the state as if it had warmed from 0K. We know that didn’t happen, but that doesn’t matter either. What is, is.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Stokes continues to have difficulty in understanding that temperature feedback processes in the climate, being inanimate, have no mechanism by which they can do as Mr Stokes wishes them to do, namely to pick and choose what part of the input signal they respond to. The truth, as he knows perfectly well, is that feedback processes respond to the input signal they find. They neither know nor care whether they or other feedback process would have been present in the presence of some lesser signal, or how they would then have responded. They simply respond to the input signal as is.

Therefore, if one wishes to study the effect of a perturbation, one may start, as we have done, with an input signal before perturbation and, where the system-gain factor is known, derive the output signal. Then, as we have done, one may add the perturbation to the input signal, apply the system-gain factor, and obtain the output signal. Subtracting the two output signals gives the perturbation in the output caused by the perturbation in the input.

But one cannot ignore the fact – evident both in the block diagram and in the underlying math – that feedback processes respond to the entire input signal.

Matt G

The gap between emission temperature and observed temperature has never explained the difference between ice ages and interglacial periods. Understanding and developing knowledge from variations in solar input producing feedbacks would contribute hugely to solving this problem.

StephenP

What would happen if the solar output FELL by 10%?. Would there be negative feedbacks?

MattS

No, there would be less +ve feedback.

StephenP

At what temperature does the feedback become significant, and is it a straight line response?

Also is the feedback due to CO2 linear in proportion to the CO2 level, or does it follow a curve?
As I understood it the response was logarithmic so the law of diminishing returns operated, and the higher the CO2 level the smaller was the the response to the change in CO2 level.

Monckton of Brenchley

We did not address the question at what temperature feedback becomes significant. We did no more than ask the question what was the reference temperature before feedback in 1850 and what was the equilibrium temperature after feedback in the same year. Then we did the same exercise for 2011. The feedback system-gain factors for both years were identical at 1.13.

Temperature feedbacks respond to temperatures. At a doubling of CO2, reference sensitivity (before feedback) is 1.04 K. Therefore, after feedback, equilibrium sensitivity will be 1.04 x 1.13 = 1.17 K. The same would apply for each subsequent doubling of CO2 concentration.

StephenP

Thank you.

David A Smith

Feedback from atmospheric gases cannot occur until they are warm enough to stop being liquids and solids and form into gases. The evaporation or sublimation temperature is the likely point at which feedback starts. Though I would expect liquids to have feedbacks as well just as the ocean absorbs and stores heat.

From this perspective, then, all parts of the energy balance are a feedback to the input of solar energy. Even greenhouse gases and clouds cannot exist without energy input from the sun. All calculations should be calculated as a feedback to solar energy since without the sun none of the other effects could exist.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Smith is quite right. Feedbacks respond to the entire, absolute input signal – in the climate, that is the reference temperature – and not to some arbitrarily small fraction thereof.

Jack Miller

That was my understanding as well

Kristi Silber

Why would solar input “cause” feedbacks? The feedback mechanisms are already there. They don’t “care” if the energy is from the sun. The energy could just as well come from massive volcanic eruptions. The feedbacks are responding to the energy that is already in the atmosphere – they don’t respond to the sun that is reflected away from it, for example. In theory, you could have a 10% increase in solar output that was entirely reflected by an increase in aerosols.

Solar energy is not the control, it is the input. If it were the control, according to control theory, its output would be affected by the feedbacks. The system output is the energy escaping from the Earth’s atmosphere into space.

Analogous figure:
comment image

Monckton of Brenchley

In response to Kristi Silber, who has at last addressed the science rather than doing the usual climate-Communist thing of attacking the reputations of those who have proven effective in publicly opposing the Party Line, the Sun is indeed the greater part of the input signal. Feedback processes respond to the entire input signal, including that substantial fraction of it which is contributed by the Sun. Once that easily-verifiable fact is accepted, it becomes possible to derive the feedback system-gain factor directly as the ratio of equilibrium temperature to reference temperature.

milwaukeebob

Dear Lord, WRITE THE BOOK! – – -please. With simple explanations.

Climate scientists stuffed up when they tried to work out the reason for the difference between the theoretical temperature of the Earth, given measured exposure to solar radiation, and the observed temperature of the Earth.

They attributed out all the different known climate feedbacks like clouds and CO2, but forgot that the sun itself produces a huge feedback in the climate system, which accounts for most of the gap they were trying to account for.

Since the gap between theoretical and observed temperature which needs to be attributed to CO2 and other climate forcings is much smaller than climate scientists thought, the effect of CO2 on global temperature must be much smaller than the scientists who forgot the sun hypothesised.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Worrall has gotten it in one! A wonderfully concise statement of our result.

Kristi Silber

What feedback does the sun produce?

Kristi Silber

The reviewers thought it was junk science? Now there’s a surprise!

Which bit did Monckton get wrong Kristi?

If solar forcing produces no feedback, then changes to solar forcing would also produce no feedback, which is plainly a ridiculous proposition.

All climate forcings produce feedbacks.

Face it Kristi, your friends got it wrong when they ignored the feedback from the solar forcing.

Percy Jackson

Eric,
It is simple — the feedbacks are calculated about an arbitrary reference temperature and forcing. So the reference temperature corresponds to the reference solar forcing and so does not get included in the feedback formula.

Monckton of Brenchley

The feedback system-gain factor we have derived is calculated not from an arbitrary reference temperature and pre-industrial greenhouse-gas forcing, but from credible, published intervals encompassing theses values.

Kristi Silber

Eric,
“If solar forcing produces no feedback, then changes to solar forcing would also produce no feedback.” This is not a logical inference. Imagine the sun shines at a steady state, and there are no other forcings. What feedbacks would there be? But then, imagine the sun gets a little hotter. Temperature rises. There is an increase in water vapor in the atmosphere. Being a GHG, that makes temperature rise more. Etc. A very simplistic scenario, I know, but just an illustration.

I don’t see how there can be feedback without perturbation, at least when it comes to climate. Simple as that. There are no data to suggest that has ever happened. When questioned about it, Monckton simply refers to Bode or electrical circuits; as far and I’m aware, he has never directly explained how it works in the actual climate. I could be wrong about that – I haven’t read all of the 5 or more explanations of his theory posted here in their entirety.

“My friends” did not ignore feedback from solar forcing. Even the much-loathed Hansen talked about it back in 1984:
“Our 3-D global climate model yields a warming of ~4OC [~4 degrees C] for either a 2 percent increase of So [solar irradiance] or doubled C02. This indicates a net feedback factor of f = 3-4, because either of these forcings would cause the earth’s surface temperature to warm 1.2-1.3OC to restore radiative balance with space, if other factors remained unchanged. ”
http://www.350.me.uk/TR/Hansen/Hansenetal84-climatesensitivityScan.pdf

It’s not that solar feedback is ignored, scientists believe it is not the principle factor in the warming trends we see today. The data don’t support it. For example, in a 2003 paper by Solanki (and Krivova), whom Monckton himself (misleadingly) quotes in at least one presentation, the authors assert that “We have shown that even in the extreme case that solar variability caused all the global climate change prior to 1970, it cannot have been responsible for more than 50% of the strong global temperature rise since 1970 through any of the channels considered here. We believe that even this fraction is too high. ” Of course, that’s not what Monckton quotes.

comment image
Caption: Total solar irradiance and terrestrial temperature versus time. The solid curves prior to 1979 represent irradiance reconstructions ((a) cycle‐length based, (b) cycle‐amplitude based). From 1979 onward they represent total irradiance measurements ((solid) composite of Fröhlich and Lean [1998a, 1998b]; (dot‐dashed) composite following Willson [1997]). The dashed curves represent Northern Hemisphere (Figure 2a) and global surface (Figure 2b) temperatures. All curves have been smoothed by an 11‐year running mean. After the epoch marked by the vertical dotted line the averaging period has been successively reduced. (c) The irradiance curves plotted in Figure 2a have been shifted by 11 years in order to produce the best match with the climate curve (Northern Hemisphere temperature).”

Greg Cavanagh

Indeed. Give a paper critical of one’s ability to do complex math, to that person who can’t do complex math, and what result were you expecting?

The paper needs to be given to someone outside the field of Climate Science. A pure mathematician, an electrical engineer, thermal engineer, sound engineer, and a statistician. Then you might get some answers that aren’t “He’s wrong because I say so”.

Chris

Greg, what do electrical engineers, thermal engineers, sound engineers and statisticians know about atmospheric physics? Speaking as someone who has both an BSEE and MSEE, I can tell you I took exactly zero classes relating to climatology.

ironargonaut

How does an amplifier work? Can you create a circuit that causes runaway feedback? Why does a cheap mike placed next to a speaker cause that god awful noise, what is it called again oh yeah, feedback? How do you dampen a circuit? I would think an MSEE worth their salt would know a hell of a lot about this topic. I call BS on the zero classes thing. You took physics, mechanical engineering, and statistics. All of which are directly used in climatology. Here is a simple one for you is temperature equal to energy? Is temperature a measurement of energy? No? Then why is it used interchangeably for talking about heat/energy and heat/rise of mercury in a glass tube? When someone says warming what do they mean? Does the addition of heat/energy always create a rise in temperature? Is there a linear correlation? think heating ice water. So why then are we using temperature to measure energy? Everyone knows a 2C change in temperature is way smaller then seasonal changes, so we only care because we assume it also means a change in energy. Now remember we know temperature is not a measurement of energy and it does not correlate well to changes in temperature. So, why do we care about a 2C rise? You don’t need to be climate scientist to know the units need to match on an equation.

Greg Cavanagh

Both of those are electrical engineering. Bachelors and Masters I’m guessing, as I’m not familiar with the terms.

I fail to understand how you don’t relate the feed backs from electrical circuits, to feed backs in the world energy budget.

I didn’t study electrical, but I did study hydrology and liquid dynamics. I can see a lot of similarities with water and air, and how turbulence work.

But regardless, giving the paper to ones opposition is naturally going to generate opposition. It’s not going to be a teaching moment for the reviewer (assuming he’s wrong).

Crispin in Waterloo

Chris, you reply as if “climate scientists” have Gnostic knowledge (secret, privileged knowledge) about the climate that is not available to others. Not so.

The question addressed by Monckton is a physics question (feedbacks) and involves a mathematical error. So this matter should therefore be properly addressed by physicists and mathematicians. Anyone who doesn’t understand the error and its correction is clearly neither a physicist nor a mathematician with the necessary skills.

Monckton of Brenchley

Crispin in Waterloo is correct. Climatology had borrowed the mathematics of feedback from control theory without having understood it properly. It had therefore made an error of definition that prevented it from using the simple equation in the head posting to derive the system-gain factor simply, straightforwardly and reliably.

bit chilly

it’s better here than the arctic sea ice forum,eh chris 😉

Roger Knights

“The paper needs to be given to someone outside the field of Climate Science.”

How about submitting it to a journal outside the field of climate science? (Although there’s value in not doing so initially, as the rejections by climate journals doubly damn the field.)

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Knights makes a most interesting and constructive suggestion. However, one difficulty with submitting to -say – a control-theory journal is that its specialists don’t know enough about the climate to be able to assess whether we have fairly chosen the variables and values and methods that matter.

However, we shall persist in submitting our paper for review until someone provides a more credible case against our argument than those that have appeared in these columns, or until someone eventually publishes our result.

The gatekeepers may think that, even if we are right, they can keep us from publication and, therefore, keep us from gaining the credibility and publicity for our result that would follow upon publication.

But the word that we are not being treated reasonably by the reviewers (or by the likes of Mr Stokes) is getting out. We are getting an increasing stream of enquiries from people who realize that the responses to our result do not pass the sniff test.

So we shall persevere until someone produces an argument against our result that makes some sort of scientific sense.

john f pittman

Perhaps, a chemical engineer would be appropriate for inclusion. Reference temperatures are a necessary part of the formulation for chemical processes. With respect to objections of reference material, I noted years ago that a chemical engineer with a focus on math was only 2 courses from having a Masters in Climate science from some universities. One was atmospheric physics, and the other was atmospheric modelling.

ironargonaut

Not to anyone who read the climate gate emails.

beng135

Kristi, in much earlier news, a review of the findings of a denier of the existence of witches was also unanimously found to be “junk science” by the Inquisition, thus proving that he himself was a witch and subsequently burned at the stake.

honest liberty

Beng…these folks are too obtuse to put together complex streams of thoughts or recognize patterns, most especially, when it directly negates their worldview. What was that study that was done about reinforcing previous held positions in light of evidence to the contrary?

Either that or they willfully IGNORE information that negates their worldview. No matter how you look at it, they are deceivers. To themselves, to us, or both. Kristi is not only no exception to this, she is the poster child

Kristi Silber

“What was that study that was done about reinforcing previous held positions in light of evidence to the contrary?”

Why do you think those who disagree with you are the only ones susceptible to this?

“Either that or they willfully IGNORE information that negates their worldview. ” This is nonsense. I don’t ignore it at all, I look further and more deeply into it, and draw my conclusions. Of course, you can’t afford to believe this is the case – it contradicts what you want to think about me. It’s more about you than about me. After all, you don’t know me. All you know is what I type, and that doesn’t reveal much about me at all. I play devil’s advocate because I find it stimulating intellectually. Better than going along with the crowd – that doesn’t take any brains. Nor does it take any brains to insult people, which seems to be your area of expertise.

Monckton of Brenchley

There is no vailue in “playing devil’s advocate”. There is value only in making a genuine effort to attain the objective truth.

Bellman

There is no value in “playing devil’s advocate”.

I thought you said you were playing devil’s advocate in this post. You continously say that you are accepting arguments only for the sake of argument – how is that different from playing devil’s advocate?

John Endicott

A devil’s advocate generally takes a position he/she disagrees with and basically defends it in it’s entirety. That’s is not what his Lordship is doing here. Here his Lordship is not defending the position he disagrees with at all, he’s accepting the majority of it “for the sake of argument” in order to put it to one side (i.e. to neutralize it as an issue of debate in order to limit unnecessary distractions from what he wishes to discuss) so that he can concentrate on the one section of it that he is vigorously disputing.

BTW nowhere in this thread (up to the present time) will you find the words “Devil’s Advocate” in Lord M’s posts. So you are not just mischaracterizing what Lord M has said but you are outright lying when you claimed Lord M said he was “playing devil’s advocate in this post”. Kristi, nor Lord M, is the one who claimed to be playing Devil’s Advocate.

Bellman

So you are not just mischaracterizing what Lord M has said but you are outright lying when you claimed Lord M said he was “playing devil’s advocate in this post”.

Sorry if I gave the impression that Monckton had used the words “devil’s advocate”. I should have said that he had effectively said he was playing devil’s advocate.

I disagree with your main point for a couple of reasons. First a devil’s advocate does not necessarily have to disagree with the position they take. But mainly, Lord Monckton makes it abundantly clear that he does disagree with the claims he is only accepting for the sake of argument. He uses phrases like “holding his nose”, “bending over backwards to accommodate the totalitarian argument” etc.

A better argument would be that “devil’s advocate” usually means taking a controversial or opposing argument, whereas here Monckton is allowing main stream science might be correct for the sake of argument. Whether you see this as playing devil’s argument would depend on your point of view. Many here do see accepting climate science could be right as a controversial argument.

John Endicott

Disagree all you want, that just means you are 100% wrong. He’s not playing devil’s advocate because he’s pushing the bits he’s “accepting” outside of the argument altogether in order to focus on the bit he’s disagreeing with (ie he’s “accepting” them in order to dismiss them as an issue). a devil’s advocate doesn’t push the stuff they are “advocating” outside the argument instead they are making it the center of the argument (Ie they are “accepting” them in order to discuss them as an issue) – which is the complete opposite of what Lord M is doing.

Bellman

That’s a better distinction, and so, arguendo, I’ll agree that Lord Monckton is not playing Devil’s Advocate. Not that I think his “sake of argument” games are as pure as you suggest.

Gary Pearse

“…accepting this simple estimate as plausible would require rejecting all previous work by scientists to understand the physics of climate change, …”

This more or less is what was said by the president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 1927 when confronting the offerings of Alfred Wegener on his theory of Continental Drift. I don’t have a link to the actual quote, but it shouldn’t be hard to find (I’m up in northern Canada in a mining camp and should be in bed for our early morning start but I had to read Monckton!) It was to the effect that ‘If we were to accept Wegener’s thesis it would mean putting much of geological knowledge gleaned over the past hundred years in the dust bin.’ The much uglier dental mechanic’s term “Plate Tectonics” came in in the 1960s, I believe to not have to refer to Continental Drift.

Philip Mulholland

“The much uglier dental mechanic’s term “Plate Tectonics” came in in the 1960s, I believe to not have to refer to Continental Drift.”
Spot on Gary!
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet;”

drednicolson

Such an objection as quoted is textbook Sunk Costs Fallacy.

John Endicott

Here is one such quote, not sure if it’s the one you were thinking of.

“If we are to believe in Wegener’s hypothesis we must forget everything which has been learned in the past 70 years and start all over again.” – geologist R. Thomas Chamberlain

The reviewers are of course right. Let’s go through
“Simply inserting emission temperature…is a massive violation of energy conservation”
Well, yes it is. And the answer here is a complete non sequitur. The fact that someone built an analog computer to show a solution of the equations supplied verifies only that the circuit does what it was designed to do.

“the whole temperature difference from absolute zero into the equation by fiat and without physical justification. It’s plain rubbish.”
Yes. as I said at some length in the earlier threads. The feedback circuit to illustrate is also nonsense. The input is a flux, not a reference temperature. And to close the circuit, the output has to be able to influence the input. You can’t do that with a reference temperature.

The reason why the theory deals with increments is that it looks at variations from equilibrium where everything has come into balance. It can’t react to a pre-existing temperature; if that ever made sense, it already has. The only input is a change, and the response is a proportionate change.

“The analogy to a Bode amplifier, on which the authors place so much emphasis”

Indeed, the reverence for Bode is ridiculous and innumerate. It is based on the fact that a couple of authors mentioned it about 30 years ago. In fact the relevant theory, as explained here, is just linear algebra of the most elementary kind. Bode explained that to engineers over sixty years ago, and they think he invented it.

“The energy-balance equation used by climate science is just a Taylor-series expansion… “

Indeed it is, and based on perturbations. Sunshine is part of the state analysis, which says how things got to be the way they are. If sunshine varies, then there will be a response.

How on earth do you imagine a model could work ignoring sunshine?

“the literature evaluating the linearity or otherwise of feedbacks”

Yes. In fact, linear feedback theory is based on small perturbations of highly non-linear devices, especially in Bode’s day. I showed how this works for some real electronics here.

“should have given the authors pause “

Yes, it should. Stuff works, and you need to see why.

“The sensitivity of any climate model is what it is – it cannot change due to any post-hoc analysis of its feedbacks.”

Absolutely. As I pointed out here and elsewhere, at some length, the arithmetic in the paper doesn’t even use the feedback terms. They are entered, but they cancel out. You can put in any numbers and get the same answer.

“The analysis given is both rudimentary and fundamentally flawed and I cannot recommend publication by a reputable journal.”
Indeed.

RicDre

Mr. Stokes: “The fact that someone built an analog computer to show a solution of the equations supplied verifies only that the circuit does what it was designed to do.”

This argument could also be applied to digital computer Climate Models: The fact that someone built a digital computer Climate Model to show a solution that CO2 controls atmospheric warming verifies only that the Climate Model does what it was designed to do.

Monckton of Brenchley

Let me respond to the few elements in Mr Stokes’ comment that appear to be discussing science rather than merely shrieking “Yah, boo!”

Mr Stokes says taking account of the Sun via its emission temperature is “a massive violation of energy conservation”, though – of course – without providing anything recognizable as evidence for that silly assertion. Almost in the same breath, he goes on to say that, after all, in the current models “sunshine is part of the state analysis” and asks “How do you imagine a model could work ignoring sunshine?”, which logically suggests that Mr Stokes considers the models on which he has hitherto faithfully if rather naively relied are guilty of “a massive violation of energy conservation”. But at least he has grasped the main point of the head posting, which is that the models do indeed ignore the sunshine at a vital point in their calculations and, therefore, that they do not work.

Next, Mr Stokes says that including the entire input signal in the calculation is “plain rubbish”. If he had ever conducted experiments using electronic circuits, as we have done with the assistance of a government laboratory, he would have discovered that any processes in the feedback block respond just as much to the input signal as they do to any perturbation thereof. One of our experiments was to set the gain block to unity – i.e., no amplification of the input signal – and to set the feedback block to a nonzero value. Hey presto! The output signal differed from the input signal, and by precisely the expected margin.

Next, Mr Stokes says the Taylor-series expansion used in deriving the variant form of the system-gain equation from the energy-balance equation is “based on perturbations”. So it is. But the variant equation cannot tell us anything about the magnitude of the feedback system-gain factor. It is only when one recalls that the Sun is shining and includes its warmth in the calculation that one can derive the system-gain factor.

Next, Mr Stokes says linear feedback theory is based on small perturbations of highly nonlinear devices. So it is, but so what? We are looking at the feedback response over a very tiny fraction of the Earth’s existence. The evolution of the climate system was inevitably highly nonlinear, but over the short period from 1850-2011 that is the focus of the head posting we are able to see that the state of the system does not change sufficiently to prevent us from assuming that, with respect to feedback, it behaves linearly.

Finally, Mr Stokes says , “The arithmetic in the paper does not even use feedback terms.” Then let him answer me this. If the reference temperature in 1850 was 255 K and the equilibrium temperature was 287.5 K, what – other than temperature feedback – accounted for the difference between the two values?

But let us do things Mr Stokes’ way. Let us forget the mainstream system-gain equation from control theory and use only climatology’s variant system-gain equation that considers only deltas, carefully ignoring nearly all of the input signal, including the contribution from the Sun. IPCC (2013, fig. SPM.5) takes 2.29 Watts per square meter as its central estimate of net anthropogenic forcing. Using a Planck parameter of 0.3 gives about 0.7 K reference sensitivity to 2011. Measured warming from 1850-2011 was 0.75 K, but one must allow another 0.27 K to reflect the imagined (and probably imaginary) 0.6 W/m^2 “radiative imbalance”. Make that 1 K, then. In that event, the system-gain factor is 1 / 0.7, say, 1.43. Then, for reference sensitivity 1.04 K (implicit in Andrews 2012), Charney sensitivity is 1.5 K. So, even if one uses the variant system-gain equation (which, as the head posting points out, is a valid equation) one gets a Charney sensitivity right at the bottom of IPCC’s interval, and well below the bottom of the CMIP5 interval.

Monckton of Brenchley

And one more point. Mr Stokes quibbles to the effect that one can’t denominate the input signal to a temperature feedback loop as a temperature. Of course one can. It’s not flux-density feedbacks we’re looking at: it’s temperature feedbacks. Let him run the numbers using flux densities (not, as he imagines “fluxes”) and show how different the result would be.

RicDre

“Let us forget the mainstream system-gain equation from control theory and use only climatology’s variant system-gain equation that considers only deltas…”

Thank you for providing this paragraph of explanation, it clears up what was bothering me about Mr. Stokes’ comment “Feedback only makes sense in talking about variations from a state”.

Kurt

Again, I have to agree with Nick on this one. Feedback only applies to a signal input into a system, and a signal requires a change from one state to another. If there is no change, there is no signal. It makes sense to say that there is feedback on a signal that steps up voltage from 2V to 4V, and then back down after a period of time, to either reinforce or dampen those changes in input. It does not make sense to say that some constant state at an input, such as absolute steady state temperature occurring before an impulse is applied to an input, itself has a feedback component to it, and somehow try to separate that temperature into a natural response and a feedback.

If it’s a steady state temperature, what is there to magnify or dampen, and how on earth would you even begin to calculate what that “feedback” amount would be if it’s a constant steady-state condition? Remember, systems are always driven by changes in state variables at an input. It’s the difference in voltage over the input terminals that drives electrical systems, etc. Temperature is no different, even though unlike voltage it has an absolute scale. For there to even be a signal present at an input, the input has to be changing.

The pdf summary you linked makes this statement:

“Climatologists had, however, erroneously assumed that feedback responses arose only when the climate was perturbed. In effect, they forgot the Sun is shining.”

Climatologists may be horribly wrong on a lot of things. But they are right on this one.

RicDre

Kurt, so that I understand you correctly, when you said “Feedback only applies to a signal input into a system, and a signal requires a change from one state to another”, are you saying that a system with a steady input signal (say 4V) has zero feedback or that it has zero delta feedback?

Jim Gorman

Kurt, what you are describing is an AC coupled amplifier. That ignores the fact that in order to achieve amplification you must DC bias that amplifier to an “operating point”. With an AC coupled amplifier, you do only see the ‘differences’ in the signal and not the DC component because it is blocked, probably by using a capacitor. I am not sure what atmospheric component would simulate a capacitor.

By using this as your example, you are ignoring all the stuff going on in the amplifier such as a gain factor which is controlled by the operating point. In other words, you should look at the amplifier side of the capacitor to see what else is going on, i.e. the DC + AC components.

Dave Miller

Actually, water is the most important “capacitor” in the climate system (through its uncommonly large heat capacity and heat of vaporization) – a method for “storing energy” aka a capacitor.

Monckton of Brenchley

Kurt is, with respect, wrong. Though many in climatology, having been brought up on the IPCC definition, think feedbacks respond only to perturbations, we have tested this very question on a rig built for us by a government laboratory. it is absolutely plain from the results of the experiments that feedbacks will occur even if the gain block is set to unity. As long as there is an input signal, such as the temperature from the Sun that is known as emission temperature, feedback processes in the climate system will respond to it.

What is interesting is that one or two people in this thread, claiming to hold doctorates in the relevant field, are trying to deny this simple point. That denial is unimpressive, because the point can be so very easily tested – which is precisely what we did.

Paul Penrose

Kurt,
So, for argument’s sake, let’s say you are right about feedback only applying to change in a system. So as a thought experiment, let’s say that we have a system were there is a change to the input. By your rules this means there is a feedback. Now say the inputs don’t change for some arbitrary period of time. Does the feedback disappear because the input is not changing anymore? If the signal changes again, we can of course observe another change in feedback, but isn’t the total feedback the result of both changes?

“Mr Stokes says taking account of the Sun via its emission temperature is “a massive violation of energy conservation””
The reviewer said that, though I concur. A feedback input necessarily carries some energy, which may be amplified. A “reference temperature” carries no energy.

“Next, Mr Stokes says that including the entire input signal in the calculation is “plain rubbish”. If he had ever conducted experiments using electronic circuits, as we have done with the assistance of a government laboratory”
It was the reviewer who said it was plain rubbish. I concur. I have in fact soldered many electronic circuits, without the aid of a government laboratory. They produced music very well, and did not need weird feedback theories.

“If the reference temperature in 1850 was 255 K and the equilibrium temperature was 287.5 K, what – other than temperature feedback – accounted for the difference between the two values?”
This is just a nonsense argument. What accounts for the difference in temperature between Pitlochry and Timbuctoo? It isn’t that one is feeding back on the other. The difference between the 255 K and the 287.5 K is the greenhouse effect.

“with respect to feedback, it behaves linearly”
Yes. it does linearly modify small perturbations. The “reference temperature” is not a small perturbation.

“But let us do things Mr Stokes’ way.”
That is not my way, or the way of science. “Charney sensitivity” is equilibrium sensitivity. None of this argument gets close to that, or to relating the time-scale to any standard transient response.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Stokes now asserts that “a feedback input necessarily carries some energy, which may be amplified. A reference temperature carries no energy.” That is nonsense, and Mr Stokes knows it is nonsense. The flow of energy incident upon a single square meter of the emitting surface of a planetary body, i.e., the flux density, is denominated in Watts per square meter. There is a fourth-power relation between that flux density and the temperature of the emitting surface, given by the fundamental equation of radiative transfer. And the feedback processes in the climate respond to that emission temperature. For the water vapor feedback, the space occupied by the atmosphere is capable of carrying 7% more water vapor per Kelvin of the temperature of the space it occupies, and that feedback does not concern itself with whether the temperature is from the Sun or from the greenhouse gases.

Next, Mr Stokes says he has soldered electronic circuits. So have I. Mr Stokes considers that the theory of feedback is “weird”. So it is. It is counterintuitive, to say the least, that the feedback response is dependent on the output signal rather than the input signal, but there it is. The theory of probability is “weird”, too. So is quantum theory. Get over it.

Next, Mr Stokes argues that there was no feedback response to emission temperature and no feedback response to the warming from the pre-industrial greenhouse gases, but that there was a feedback response to the tiny anthropogenic perturbation. On what rational basis does he make such an argument?

Next, Mr Stokes makes the common mistake of assuming that because the reference temperature is large the feedback response to it is somehow more nonlinear than the feedback response to the subsequent anthropogenic perturbation. This is to misunderstand, fundamentally, the operation of feedback. A temperature feedback process responds to the temperature it finds. In 1850, the feedback processes were responding to emission temperature plus the warming from the noncondensing greenhouse gases. In 2011, they were responding to these two plus a minuscule anthropogenic perturbation. As our calculations, show, the system-gain factor is effectively constant under modern conditions. The feedback processes, being inanimate, do not know or care how they might have responded under conditions other than modern conditions.

Mr Stokes, having rejected the fact that feedbacks respond to temperature and not just to temperature change, then rejects the notion that they respond to temperature change. One understands that, in his desperation to defend the collapsing case for climate extremism, he may find the more untenable tenets of that dismal doctrine increasingly uncongenial: but, like it or not, climatology uses the variant equation that Mr Stokes now rejects just as he rejects the mainstream system-gain equation. If he rejects both equations, then he must explain why he considers feedback to be an issue at all. Mr Stokes rejects the whole of control theory. Fair enough: but our paper is based on mainstream control theory. He is of course free to write his own paper saying why he thinks climatology is altogether incorrect to rely upon even the variant equation that appears throughout the literature on climate sensitivity.

Dave Miller

“The difference between the 255 K and the 287.5 K is the greenhouse effect.”

Checkmate.

You can continue to obfuscate, but many here see through.

Monckton of Brenchley

It is endlessly astonishing how totalitarian true-believers respond to discussions such as this with an open mouth rather than an open mind.

Mr Miller cannot have read the head posting with any care and attention. If he had, he would appreciate that 255 K is the reference temperature before accounting for feedback: its composition is explained in the head posting. He would also appreciate that 287.5 K is the equilibrium temperature after feedback. Therefore, the difference between the two is the feedback response in Kelvin. The feedback response constitutes part of the greenhouse effect, but not the whole of it.

If, as Mr Stokes mendaciously states, the difference between these two values were accounted for solely by forcing rather than feedback, the corollary is that feedback does not operate in the climate at all, in which event Charney sensitivity is not the 1.17 K we find but just 1.04 K.

Alan Tomalty

Nick stokes replied
***********************************************

The reviewers are of course right. Let’s go through
“Simply inserting emission temperature…is a massive violation of energy conservation”
1) Well, yes it is. And the answer here is a complete non sequitur. The fact that someone built an analog computer to show a solution of the equations supplied verifies only that the circuit does what it was designed to do.

“the whole temperature difference from absolute zero into the equation by fiat and without physical justification. It’s plain rubbish.”
2) Yes. as I said at some length in the earlier threads. The feedback circuit to illustrate is also nonsense. The input is a flux, not a reference temperature. And to close the circuit, the output has to be able to influence the input. You can’t do that with a reference temperature.

The reason why the theory deals with increments is that it looks at variations from equilibrium where everything has come into balance. It can’t react to a pre-existing temperature; if that ever made sense, it already has. The only input is a change, and the response is a proportionate change.

“The analogy to a Bode amplifier, on which the authors place so much emphasis”

3) Indeed, the reverence for Bode is ridiculous and innumerate. It is based on the fact that a couple of authors mentioned it about 30 years ago. In fact the relevant theory, as explained here, is just linear algebra of the most elementary kind. Bode explained that to engineers over sixty years ago, and they think he invented it.

“The energy-balance equation used by climate science is just a Taylor-series expansion… “

4) Indeed it is, and based on perturbations. Sunshine is part of the state analysis, which says how things got to be the way they are. If sunshine varies, then there will be a response.

How on earth do you imagine a model could work ignoring sunshine?

“the literature evaluating the linearity or otherwise of feedbacks”

5) Yes. In fact, linear feedback theory is based on small perturbations of highly non-linear devices, especially in Bode’s day. I showed how this works for some real electronics here.

“should have given the authors pause “

6) Yes, it should. Stuff works, and you need to see why.

“The sensitivity of any climate model is what it is – it cannot change due to any post-hoc analysis of its feedbacks.”

7)Absolutely. As I pointed out here and elsewhere, at some length, the arithmetic in the paper doesn’t even use the feedback terms. They are entered, but they cancel out. You can put in any numbers and get the same answer.

“The analysis given is both rudimentary and fundamentally flawed and I cannot recommend publication by a reputable journal.”
8) Indeed.

************************************************

LET US TAKE MR STOKES POINTS ONE BY ONE

1) Any violation of energy conservation has to be the concept of back radiation because everybody forgets that any amount flowing downward has to have an equal amount heading upward because CO2 is isotropic in emissions. As to the climate sensitivity equations, if you don’t include the sun’s emission temperature (255K reference temperature) you are indeed committing a massive violation of energy conservation.

2) You can’t get an ending or resultant temperature without including a reference or starting temperature.

3) Feedback theory may use simple algebra but it is the basis for numerous scientific phenomena including atmospheric science and climate sensitivity.

4) In any Taylor series the sum of the Taylor polynomials is simply the original function. That has got nothing to do with energy balance per se.
5) Rubbish response
6) Again rubbish response
7) There wasn’t any post hoc analysis of the feedbacks. I will quote Monckton “Feedbacks …………..can be altogether ignored with little error.”
8) Again rubbish response

” The input is a flux, not a reference temperature.” According to Mr. Planck, radiative fluxes correspond to reference temperatures.

“The only input is a change” This is just bat shoot crazy. The system is not, and has never been since at least the big bang; in equilibrium.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Stokes has unfortunately confused a radiative flux (denominated in Watts) with a flux density in Watts per square meter. And Gymnosperm is right: there is a correspondence between flux densities and temperatures.

On Gynmosperm’s second point, one can of course imagine a local or transient equilibrium even in a dynamical system whose state is changing continuously. For instance, we have assumed that the global mean surface temperature in 1850 was an equilibrium temperature, on the ground that there was no change in that temperature for another 80 years. And we have contrived an equilibrium in 2011 by adding to the 0.75 K warming since 1850 a further 0.27 K to allow for the imagined (and probably imaginary) “radiative imbalance”.

“Mr Stokes has unfortunately confused a radiative flux (denominated in Watts) with a flux density in Watts per square meter.”

No, this is nonsense. The input that actually changes the state of the system is a flux (watts). You may choose to calculate that by multiplying an area by a flux density in W/m2. Or even integrating a varying flux density over the surface. But the quantity which makes the change is the flux.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Stokes is being calculatedly obtuse. He knows very well that the units in which the fundamental equation of radiative transfer is denominated are Watts per square meter. He knows very well that the units in which feedback processes are denominated are Watts per square meter per Kelvin of the temperature that triggered the feedback.

“According to Mr. Planck, radiative fluxes correspond to reference temperatures.”
Care to spell out that correspondence? It isn’t true.

“[not] in equilibrium”
You analyse for changes around a state, as you do in electronics. An amplifier does not have to have ever been in an equilibrium state for feedback analysis to work.

lee

“You analyse for changes around a state, as you do in electronics.”
In AC theory only. In DC theory not so. Is Climate Theory AC,DC or indeterminate?

“In DC theory not so.”
Then you have to do a non-linear analysis. The only use for linear feedback in DC theory is stability. That is, how would the circuit respond to a change, if it happened. The reason is, again, the only basis for linearity is usually differentiability – proportionality if response to perturbation.

lee

So you are saying a change in input, raw, sunlight, has an impact.
Proportionality is a very mixed bag. Depending on where on the appropriate curve you calculate the change. The climate models don’t show any expertise.

Jim Gorman

Nick, wait a minute. If an amplifier is not in equilibrium, then there will be a signal plus your “change in state”. How do you separate the two when you look at the output?

If you measure the flux across the spectrum, you have the temperature. If you measure the temperature, you have the flux.

The state of the planet is continually transitional with only grossly coarse grained regularity. This would be unacceptable in an amplifier. The natural (including unknown) inputs that dictate the state of transition are also changing. As long as these changes are included, and as long as water is not treated as “feedback only”, we can agree.

Monckton of Brenchley

One may analyze for changes around a state, but in doing so one must accept that feedback processes respond to the entire input signal and not to some arbitrarily small fraction of it.

Paul Penrose

Nick,
Your arguments remind me very much of those by the scientists of Einstein’s time who were objecting to his theories of relativity: they violated this or that principal, were too simple, or were just impossible. Of course, they were invested in positions that were soon to be toppled by his theories and thus felt threatened; a similar position you are in today.

honest liberty

winner winner chicken dinner!

Clyde Spencer

NS,
You said, “You can put in any numbers and get the same answer.” Then what good are the equations if the answer is pre-determined and inputs are irrelevant? It would seem that the equations need to be simplified so that only variables that have an influence are included.

Clyde
“Then what good are the equations if the answer is pre-determined and inputs are irrelevant? “

The answer is a variant of something a reviewer said:

“The sensitivity of any climate model is what it is – it cannot change due to any post-hoc analysis of its feedbacks.”

You can’t infer the feedback in a circuit just by observing input and output. And that is what Lord M is trying to do. You can have an amplifier where the active device has a gain of 10, or an op amp with negative feedback giving the same gain. You cannot tell the difference just by observing input and output.

I have set down at the end of this thread (using TLM’s notation) the relevant linear equation
ΔTq1 = G'(E) ΔE + F'(Tq1) ΔTq1
g=G’ is the open-loop gain, and f=F’ the feedback factor. That makes two parameters for 1 linear equation, where only one is needed. You can write it
ΔTq1 = g/(1-f) ΔE
You can only decide by black box observation the factor g/(1-f). You can put in any value of f and there will be a corresponding g that gives the same closed loop gain.

Anyway, the point is that my statement that you quote is simply true, as I demonstrated at length.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Stokes should consult the block diagram in the head posting. There is no need to set the gain block to any value other than unity. If one sets the gain block to unity and simply adds any perturbation directly to the input (i.e., to reference temperature), the system is functionally equivalent to Bode’s diagram but simpler to work with.

By taking this approach, one can at once infer the feedback system-gain factor: it is simply the ratio of the equilibrium temperature to the reference temperature incremented by the perturbation.

Mr Stokes should really not dig himself in any deeper until he has built a test rig and run some experiments.

“There is no need to set the gain block to any value other than unity”
The top diagram, since it is not restricted to perturbations, makes no sense. But if it were a real feedback system, the feedback-modified gain would be G=g/(1-f), g=open-loop gain. That uses two degrees of freedom to get one parameter G. You can make the arithmetic work by setting g=1, f=1/(G-1). But then g probably doesn’t correspond to the earlier notion of open-loop gain, and f isn’t identifiably feedback.

Monckton of Brenchley

Do the math, Nick. Feedback processes will respond to the input signal, regardless of whether it is a perturbation of an absolute value, the absolute value itself or the sum of the two.

Suppose that, in 1850, the reference temperature before accounting for feedback were 255 K, and the feedback factor were 1.115, equivalent to a system-gain factor were 1.13. Then the equilibrium temperature would be 288 K or thereby.

The equilibrium temperature will be equal to
255 * 0.115^0 + 255 * 0.115^1 +255 * 0.115^2 + … ad inf.

In other words, the equilibrium temperature would be 255 x 1 / (1-0.115), or 255 x 1.13, or 288 K.

In this instance, we have set the mu gain block to unity. We can leave it there if we want, and simply add any perturbations of the input signal directly to that signal before passing it into the feedback loop.

bit chilly

i have no trouble admitting i am way out of my depth here nick,but when you say

“It can’t react to a pre-existing temperature; if that ever made sense, it already has. The only input is a change, and the response is a proportionate change.”

surely it has to ? the pre existing temperature is what creates the existing condition that the perturbation acts upon ? if the pre existing temperature and atmospheric co2 content were higher or lower the result of the perturbation would be different ?

“the pre existing temperature is what creates the existing condition that the perturbation acts upon ?”
Any number of things may have been involved in the creation of the existing condition. It just is; for feedback analysis you don’t have to work out how it got there. The basic thing is, if that was the state and the temperature had always been so, and no new event happens, what response to that temperature do you expect? The answer is, simply, continuation of the state – ie no response at all.

It is possibly, likely even, that the response to perturbation would be by a different factor if the state temperature were different. The state temperature modifies the amplifier property (eg gain). But it isn’t the signal. It’s like twiddling the volume control. It changes the volume, but it isn’t a signal. The amplifier doesn’t amplify (or feed back) the modification, it becomes an amplifier with different properties.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Stokes may care to consider the equilibrium state of the climate in 1850. The global mean surface temperature would show no trend for 80 years thereafter, and certainly our influence was very small by that stage.

Start with Lacis et al. (2010), who, using a GCM, considered that in the absence of the pre-industrial, non-condensing greenhouse gases the Earth’s albedo would be 0.418. Assuming today’s insolation, the emijssion temperature given that albedo would be 243.25 K. It was Mojib Latif who advised us to use Lacis’ paper.

Now go to Schmidt et al. (2010), who find that the CO2 forcing to date had been of order 30 Watts per square meter. Deduct the 1.68 Watts per square meter CO2 forcing to 2011 (IPCC 2013, fig. SPM.5) to get 28.32 W/m^2 CO2 forcing to 1850. But CO2 forcing is about 73% of all ghg forcing (IPCC loc. cit.), so that the net ghg forcing to 1850 is about 38.6 W/m^2. The product of this value and the Planck parameter 0.3 K/W/m^2 is about 11.5 K. So the reference temperature in 1850, before feedback, was 243.25 + 11.5, or about 254.8 K. The equilibrium temperature was 287.55 K. The difference between these two temperatures was the feedback response. And the feedback factor was thus 287.55 / 254.8, or 1.13.

The temperature of the Earth was thus in equilibrium in 1850, but part of the equilibrium temperature was attributable to feedback.

bit chilly

thanks for taking the time to reply nick. that sounds a lot like a theoretical situation that could never occur in the real world. the “Any number of things may have been involved in the creation of the existing condition” involve the things we are talking about here.
i know the response we get from the human contribution at a total of 400ppm is going to be different to the same human contribution at say 285ppm ,but the response is surely a result of the total sum of co2 in the atmosphere ?

the mechanisms involved in the hypothesised warming due to anthropogenic co2 all operate as a result of the total amount of co2 in the atmosphere ,not just the small amount that is the human element.so the amplifier with different properties has those different properties as a result of the new total amount of co2 .

reading that back i have probably failed to understand what you are stating due to my lack of knowledge on this subject.thanks for trying anyway.

In addition to being “the biggest, costliest scientific error in human history” it was the biggest, costliest political and propaganda fraud in human history.

sailboarder

The sensitivity value ends up relying on the accuracy of the 1850 to 2011, ie, delta Tr.

Given the degree of uncertainty in Tr2 – Tr, it adds uncertainty to the sensitivity calculation.

Monckton of Brenchley

We had the advantage of a professor of statistics as a co-author. He conducted a meticulous Monte Carlo simulation, based on the uncertainties in all relevant variables. And his conclusion was that Charney sensitivity is 1.17 +/- 0.08 K. Not much uncertainty there.

One reason for the narrow Charney-sensitivity interval, of course, is that the tiny 0.7 K anthropogenic reference sensitivity from 1850-2011 is only a minuscule fraction of the 255 K reference temperature as it stood in 1850. For that reason, the system-gain factor 1.13 that we derived for 1850, which doesn’t depend in any way on what subsequently happened, did not change by 2011.

sailboarder

You miss my point. If the suns activity caused the 1850 to 2011 warming, due to some yet unknown mixture of factors, then the Monte Carlo simulation is just playing with the known toys, but not the unknowns. Yes, your argument uses what the IPCC uses, which is exactly the right approach, but at the end of the day, the reality of climate/sun interactions still can confound the IPCC conventional wisdom you use. Still, if the corrected feedback equation gives much better model results, that would raise confidence in the conventional IPCC wisdom. I look forward to published tests of the revised models.

Monckton of Brenchley

Our result is much more useful than Sailboarder imagines. If we are right – and nothing in the thread here has offered any serious and credible objection – then we can prove that, if reference sensitivity to doubled CO2 is 1.04 K, equilibrium sensitivity thereto is 1.17 K. And that’s the end of the climate scare. We don’t need to get into the weeds of whether there is or is not a greenhouse effect. There is – get over it. Can we quantify it correctly? Probably not. But we can demonstrate that one can omit all consideration of feedbacks without significant error. And that alone is enough to bring this whole nonsense to an unlamented end.

Rich Davis

“would you like to be kept abreast of developments with occasional pieces here?”

Yes, please.

Monckton of Brenchley

If our kind host pleases, I shall keep everyone abreast of events, whatever is eventually decided. Since I am a layman, I am acutely conscious that I may not be correct. But the reviews we have had to date do not demonstrate that we are incorrect, merely that our result is uncongenial.

jeanparisot

Thank you. Is the “test rig” to be described in the paper something that can be reproduced by a group with modest means?

Monckton of Brenchley

In response to Mr Parisot, yes, the test rig can be constructed very affordably from a small number of precision components. However, because the warmings we are capable of achieving are so very small, it is necessary to make sure that the componentry is of sufficient quality, and either to run wires from the rig so that the temperature of the operator does not affect its output or enclose the rig in a temperature-controlled chamber.

jeanparisot

Thank you, I have access to very fine temperature controlled equipments and am looking forward to the paper and perhaps replicating a portion of it.

Thanks for your contributions Christopher. I find this whole discussion of climate model errors riveting. Only 4 years ago I would’ve instinctively sided with the so-called consensus. Today, I realize they’re wrong. I arrived at that mindset-change by watching how people discuss this topic. It’s always the consensus who are first to insult, to predict catastrophe (from a model), to apply moral blackmail on the basis of a false morality. If they were right they’d just do a better job explaining their science; just like Richard Feynman would’ve. Instead they hide their science in obtuse formulae buried in computer code. Code needing supercomputers. Every explanation they ever gave me rested on something I had to take on trust; models, testamony of ‘experts’, the ‘consensus’, … Never on simple science; clearly explained at the level one might expect on an undergrad science course. The first 10 times I watched them not explain their science I put down to laziness or conceit. But literally every explanation they (fail to) give is a non-explanation.

It’s tragic how they messed this up. By not listening to any criticisms of anything they say or publish. By refusing and censoring scientific discussion. Our offspring will curse them as we curse Lysenko.

Monckton of Brenchley

I am most grateful to Mark Pawelek for his perceptive comment. I, too, was once willing to accept the Party Line on climate change, but when I was asked to look at it properly it was at once evident that the science did not stack up. Not only did the conclusions of the usual suspects depend on impenetrable, unverifiable, unverified models: but, when I first approached some of them in good faith to ask them to explain their models and the science behind them, i was repeatedly told that the science was settled and that I should not be asking any such questions.

i hope that Mr Pawelek will find our own result sufficiently well disclosed and accessible. So far, we have been given no reason in these threads to think that we are incorrect, though I continue to keep an open mind.

HotScot

Rich Davis

Seconded!

Alan Tomalty

Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone forgot that when you take a derivative, you cannot integrate yourself back to the original because in taking the derivative you have lost any constants that are independent from the independent variables. The sun is that constant.

Please keep me abreast.

Monckton of Brenchley

Most grateful to Mr Tomalty for his enthusiastic comment. He is of course quite right about the constant of integration. Our simple point, to which the usual suspects have been unable to provide any convincing answer, is that feedback processes, being inanimate, cannot distinguish between the entire reference temperature and some arbitrarily small fraction thereof. They cannot respond only to that arbitrarily small fraction. Once one accepts, as one must, that feedbacks respond to the entire input signal, one can at once derive the system-gain factor for 1850 and, with a little more work, for 2011.

Tom Abbott

Is it common practice for reviewers to describe what they review as “rubbish”? Or was that just one isolated jerk?

Monckton of Brenchley

This particular reviewer (we have a pretty good idea who he was) has been poisonous for decades in condemning anyone who questions the climate-Communist Party Line to which he so mindlessly clings. Frankly, language of the sort that he used in his review should have been enough to persuade the editor to sling out the review, which was lamentably lackluster as far as scientific content was concerned. But the editor was probably a climate Communist too. There are a lot of them about.

Yes, that one caught my eye. The reviewer says “Instead of feeding in the perturbation temperature and asking what the perturbation in the top-of-atmosphere energy budget is, they shove the whole temperature difference from absolute zero into the equation by fiat and without physical justification. It’s plain rubbish.“.

Let’s analyse that statement: Its structure is: Instead of [doing A] they [do B]. It’s plain rubbish. The reviewer has presented absolutely no argument at all for why they find that doing B instead of A is rubbish. They simply assert it. Now maybe in the field of peer-review of science this is normal practice, but surely an editor would expect to be given reasons for rejecting a paper – otherwise how could an editor justify rejection??

I also have difficulty with the reviewer’s qualification “by fiat and without physical justification“. Here, CM points out that control theory uses entire, absolute temperatures in Kelvin and that the starting point for CM’s argument was Earth’s state as it would be without the sun. The paper’s Abstract begins “Abstract
:
In any dynamical system, feedback responds to the entire absolute input signal, not merely to perturbations.
“. To my mind, that is “physical justification”, and if it is incorrect, then wouldn’t the reviewer have pointed it out??

Percy Jackson

Mike,
The reviewer is correct. The authors have taken an approximate equation for small
temperature variations and decided that it works for arbitrarily large variations. If you calculate the derivate of a function about the point x=255 you would not expect the function to have the same slope at x=0 which is what Monckton and co are doing. As stated before this is in effect a completely new law of physics which they have declared valid by “fiat and without physical justification”. As the reviewer stated “it’s plain rubbish”

Percy Jackson and Nick Stokes both miss the point. The reviewer gave no argument in support of “it’s rubbish”. They simply said the author did B instead of A. It’s rubbish. Not, I would think, a satisfactory review for the editor, who surely needs cogent scientific argument on which to base the publishing decision.

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Jackson is perhaps ignorant of how a feedback loop works. In effect, the loop acts as the generator of the product of the input signal and an infinite series of powers of the feedback factor f. Where | f | <1, the sum of that series is the system-gain factor A, which is the reciprocal of (1 – f). It is at once clear, when this is stated, that the equation – and it is a precise equation – works not only for "small temperature variations" but also for the much larger pre-existing input signals.

Read Bode. There is nothing in that text (see p. vii for the symbols and their meanings) to state that the input and output signals must be deltas only.

“The reviewer has presented absolutely no argument at all for why they find that doing B instead of A is rubbish. They simply assert it.”
The problem is that the paper presents no rational argument for doing B instead of A. They simply assert it.

Don’t agree? Then please describe the rational argument.

Robber

And Mr Stokes, where is the hot spot?

Look, over there!

Bitter&twisted

Nick, that is unworthy of you.

HotScot

Bitter&twisted

Aw come on, it was funny.

Monckton of Brenchley

It was funny, and an admission of defeat.

Sunsettommy

Without that much ballyhooed “hot spot” to show for, their AGW/ Positive feedback fast warming argument dies very fast.

Lurker Pete

except that the answer A provides does not match real world observations, whilst the answer B provides does?

Details please. What observations are matched by B but not A?

Monckton of Brenchley

The predicted anthropogenic warming from all sources is approximately equal to the predicted warming per doubling of CO2 concentration. Our result, therefore, indicates that the world should have been warming since 1990 at a rate equivalent to about 1.2 K/century. Taking the mean of the HadCRUT and UAH datasets, the actual warming rate since 1990 is equivalent to about 1.5 K/century. IPCC (1990) had predicted 2.8 K-century.

What is the experimental justification for using A?

Monckton of Brenchley

Mr Stokes says our paper presents no rational argument for using absolute quantities in the feedback equation rather than deltas. One assumes, then, that he has seen a copy of our paper. Or is he, as so often, making stuff up?

honest liberty

One thing is for certain…Nick et. al. cannot match wits with M.o.B.!
Thank for the continued dedication and hilarious wit!

paul courtney

Please allow me. The rational argument is that if the sun causes feedback from 255+K up to 288K, then didn’t it cause feedback at 254? 253? All the way down? Does the IPCC include that? Gee, that was easier than I thought!
I’m reminded of Monty Python Meaning of Life scene, where Terry Jones is a glutton at a fine restaurant- you know, eats himself full, then the mint blows him up. IPCC/AGW seems to think it’s ALL the mint, and the food consumed ahead of the mint has no effect.
Maybe a good analogy, maybe not, but how bad can it be if it’s MPFC?

ripshin

“…but it’s wafer thin…”

LOL!

rip

D. Cohen

I assure you that this sort of bad manners is widespread in many fields of science and engineering, simply because (usually) the reviews by the “peer reviewers” are anonymous. Look at how people express themselves when allowed to make anonymous statements on the internet! The reason for this anonymity is the same in both places — the people in question don’t want to take any responsibility for the correctness of their statements.

Tony

Chris,
What would you calculate the effect on temperature would be, for an increase of 92 W/m2 ?
This is the annual change that the Earth experiences as it passes from perihelion to aphelion. Look at the temperature at Kiribati on the equator for 12 months. This massive change, 25 TIMES that for a doubling of CO2, has ZERO impact on temperature!
The Earth’s feed backs are much stronger than you assume.

Monckton of Brenchley

That’s an interesting point: but the great merit of our method is that once one knows the reference and equilibrium temperatures for a given year one can derive the system-gain factor immediately: it is the ratio of the latter to the former. In 1850 it was 1.13. In 2011 it was also 1.13. And that is not a lot.

And why is the feedback system-gain factor so small? Precisely because of the thermostatic properties of the climate system, not the least of which is the enormous heat capacity of the ocean. For interest, I once did a calculation of how much the temperature of the top 7 m of the ocean, treated as a slab, would fall overnight. The answer was a quarter of a Kelvin.

And that led to another interesting thought. At present, official climatology calculates the emission temperature of the Earth by a single instance of the fundamental equation of radiative transfer, converting global mean flux density to global mean temperature. But that ignores Hoelder’s inequalities between integrals, for the Stefan-Boltzmann equation is a fourth-power relation.

So I looked at the Lunar Diviner experiment and discovered that, as far as I could see, none of the papers reporting the results of its 2.5 billion separate measurements of surface temperature all over the Moon had stated its global mean surface temperature. So I performed a hemispheric integration for the dayside and found the mean dayside temperature would be 306 K. Then I plotted the results for individual latitudes against the Diviner latitudinal graph and the two graphs coincided, so I had done the integration correctly.

Next, I took the Diviner values for the nightside and concluded they gave a mean temperature of 88 K. The mean of the dayside and nightside temperatures was thus 197 K. But doing the calculation as climatology does it the answer is 270 K (see Nasa’s moon factsheet).

So I wondered what the error on the Earth was. Again, I did a dayside hemispheric integration, but this time assuming a terrestrial albedo of 0.418 (Lacis+ 2010) in the absence of non-condensing greenhouse gases. The mean dayside temperature would be 275 K. At night, based on Merlis (2010) in a study of aquaplanets, it would be about 246 K. So the global mean temperature would be 260 K, not not 243.3 K, as the single-use SB equation would give.

The error on Earth is in the opposite direction from that of the Moon, owing to the heat capacity of the ocean, which is orders of magnitude greater than that of the lunar regolith.

I then recalculated our result, just for fun, using the 260 K result and adding 11 K to it for the warming from the pre-industrial non-condensing greenhouse gases. The system-gain factor was then 287.55 K (the equilibrium surface temperature of the Earth in 1850) divided by the reference temperature of 271 K – i.e. 1.06, somewhat below the 1.13 we had calculated ont he basis of a 255 K global mean surface temperature including the non-condensing greenhouse gases. And that would cut Charney sensitivity from the 1.17 K we had originally found to just 1.10 K.

The point is that the influence of the Sun is so great that one can alter most of the numbers quite a bit and still end up with a Charney sensitivity below 1.5 K. I even modeled what would happen if one started with a snowball Earth with an albedo 0.66. Charney sensitivity would still be below 1.5 K.

Alan Tomalty

Lord Monckton

There is something that is troubling me about the energy balance equation diagram.

I am sure you are quite familiar with the Trenberth energy balance equation and it’s 1000
other versions whereby the climate sensitivity is derived.

1) Any violation of energy conservation has to be the concept of back radiation because everybody forgets that any amount flowing downward has to have an equal amount heading upward because CO2 is isotropic in emissions.

2) Most versions of Trenberth including the latest one on the NASA site give total evapotranspiration of ~ 86W/m^2 The NASA one gives 86.4 When I calculate the latent heat that the 86.4 represents within the water molecules by starting backwards from the hydrological diagrams I get a difference in order of magnitude of 200 times that amount or 17,500 W/m^2.
The total water precipitation or its equally opposite evapotranspiration is 486- 505 x 10^3 km^3/yr. Wiki gives 505 and others give as low as 486. There are 2,256,000 Joules per kg of water and 1km^3 = 10^12 kg. The surface of the earth is 5.1×10^11 m^2. There are 3.1536 x 10^7 seconds in a year. The final answer I get is ~ 70000 W/m^2 which you have to divide by 4 to account for the earth being a sphere and the night and day aspect. So that leaves 17,500 W/m^2 which is still ~200 times the amount in the energy diagram of NASA. Where did I go wrong? The whole point of the exercise was to do the calc backwards from water to heat to check NASA’s figure.

Clyde Spencer

Alan,
You said, “1) Any violation of energy conservation has to be the concept of back radiation because everybody forgets that any amount flowing downward has to have an equal amount heading upward because CO2 is isotropic in emissions.”

It seems to me that because of the curvature of the Earth, the cone of upward emission is going to be wider than the cone of back radiation. That is, there is essentially, at least hemispherical emission to space. However, probably some fraction of the downward radiation will escape to space where the fraction is determined by the height of emission. That is, I suspect there is a small imbalance, with the majority escaping to space.

Tony

Chris,
You are talking theory. Anyone can say you are mistaken by using a different theory. Does your theory include the effect of tropical thunderstorms, discussed at length here by Willis? Of course not.
My comment is based on empirical evidence. Climate scammers can’t argue with the facts (of course they can change them). Have a look at the annual rainfall, month by month on Kiribati, compared to the rock steady temperature. Now why is that? Your theory (and others) don’t even consider these fundamental effects that control our climate.
If an effective 25 TIMES CO2 doubling has ZERO impact, that should be enough!

ThinkingScientist

Using the Diviner data I have computed the area weighted T^4 average temperatures. I get values of:

“Day” hemisphere = 320.1 K
“Night” hemisphere = 102.5 K

“Day” means maximum hemisphere average, “night” means minimum hemisphere average. In the Diviner data, these are centred at Hour 7 (“day”) and Hour 19 (“night”).

The arithmetic average of those two values is 211.3 K but the T^4 average is 269.9 K. The latter agrees with NASA and is also the same as the T^4 area weighted average for the whole lunar surface, as would be expected.

Temperatures for daytime maximum as a function of latitude agrees very closely with insolation using S-B using solar flux of 1368 W/m^2 and albedo = 0.115. There are slight differences at the poles, due to low angle indirect illumination.