# 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!”

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.

“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 –

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 –

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 that would obtain without feedback. The output signal is the global mean surface equilibrium temperature after allowing for feedback. The feedback response constitutes the entire difference between equilibrium and reference temperatures, such that the feedback factor , which is the fraction of equilibrium temperature that constitutes the feedback response, is equal to . The system-gain factor is equal to , i.e. .”

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 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:

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 –

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 –

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 –

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 –

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

## 818 thoughts on “Climatology’s startling error – an update”

1. Hocus Locus says:

“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 says:

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

• Joel O’Bryan says:

… 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 says:

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

• honest liberty says:

• Utterbilge says:

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

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

• Farmer Ch E retired says:

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

• Farmer Ch E retired says:

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 says:

Thank you mods – point taken

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

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

2. RyanS says:

…forgot the Sun!?

3. Patrick J Wood says:

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

• john harmsworth says:

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

4. MarkMcD says:

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

AGW in court again.

5. NeedleFactory says:

“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 says:

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

• Darryl L says:

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 says:

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

• Greg Cavanagh says:

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.

6. R. Shearer says:

Jolly good!

7. Peter Lewis Hannan says:

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 says:

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.

8. Percy Jackson says:

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 says:

Oh my!

• Eric Worrall says:

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.

• Eric Worrall says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

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 says:

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 says:

“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 says:

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!

• EdB says:

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

• commieBob says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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

• Percy Jackson says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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

• John Endicott says:

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

• john harmsworth says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

“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 says:

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

• Honest liberty says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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

• Richard S Courtney says:

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 says:

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 says:

Chris,

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 says:

“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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

“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 says:

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 says:

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

• Kristi Silber says:

“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 says:

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.

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

• Tim Groves says:

Particularly when speaking to the nobility

• Bitter&twisted says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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

Cherchez la femme!

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

“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 says:

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 says:

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.

https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/michaels-102-ipcc-models-vs-reality.jpg

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

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

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 says:

“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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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.

9. Greg F says:

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 says:

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 says:

Possibly, but not definitively.

• Greg F says:

As Edward J. Wegman has stated:

• Jim Gorman says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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.

• Joe Born says:

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 says:

“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.

• Philip Mulholland says:

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.

• Joe Born says:

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 says:

“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.

• Joe Born says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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:

Best, Allan

• Steven Mosher says:

“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”

• 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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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

• David Smith says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

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

10. Eric Worrall says:

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.

• Eric Worrall says:

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 says:

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 says:

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.

• 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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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 says:

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

• jim hogg says:

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

• honest liberty says:

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 says:

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 says: 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 says: “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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: What would happen if the solar output FELL by 10%?. Would there be negative feedbacks? • MattS says: No, there would be less +ve feedback. • StephenP says: 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 says: 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 says: Thank you. • David A Smith says: 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 says: 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 says: That was my understanding as well • Kristi Silber says: 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. • Monckton of Brenchley says: 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. 11. milwaukeebob says: Dear Lord, WRITE THE BOOK! – – -please. With simple explanations. • Eric Worrall says: 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 says: Mr Worrall has gotten it in one! A wonderfully concise statement of our result. • Kristi Silber says: What feedback does the sun produce? 12. Kristi Silber says: The reviewers thought it was junk science? Now there’s a surprise! • Eric Worrall says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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. https://wol-prod-cdn.literatumonline.com/cms/attachment/13e5eb54-542e-4914-b5de-3fcf9ca2f048/jgra16888-fig-0002.png 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: it’s better here than the arctic sea ice forum,eh chris 😉 • Roger Knights says: “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 says: 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 says: 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 says: Not to anyone who read the climate gate emails. • beng135 says: 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 says: 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 says: “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 says: There is no vailue in “playing devil’s advocate”. There is value only in making a genuine effort to attain the objective truth. • Bellman says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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. 13. Gary Pearse says: “…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 says: “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 says: Such an objection as quoted is textbook Sunk Costs Fallacy. • John Endicott says: 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 14. 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: “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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: “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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: “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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: winner winner chicken dinner! • Clyde Spencer says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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. 15. In addition to being “the biggest, costliest scientific error in human history” it was the biggest, costliest political and propaganda fraud in human history. 16. EdB says: 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 says: 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. • EdB says: 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 says: 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. 17. Rich Davis says: “would you like to be kept abreast of developments with occasional pieces here?” Yes, please. • Monckton of Brenchley says: 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. • Jean Parisot says: 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 says: 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. • Jean Parisot says: 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 says: 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 says: Rich Davis Seconded! 18. Alan Tomalty says: 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 says: 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. 19. Tom Abbott says: Is it common practice for reviewers to describe what they review as “rubbish”? Or was that just one isolated jerk? • Monckton of Brenchley says: 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. • Mike Jonas says: 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 says: 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” • Mike Jonas says: 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 says: 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 says: And Mr Stokes, where is the hot spot? • Bitter&twisted says: Nick, that is unworthy of you. • HotScot says: Bitter&twisted Aw come on, it was funny. • Monckton of Brenchley says: It was funny, and an admission of defeat. • Sunsettommy says: Without that much ballyhooed “hot spot” to show for, their AGW/ Positive feedback fast warming argument dies very fast. • Lurker Pete says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: “…but it’s wafer thin…” LOL! rip • D. Cohen says: 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. 20. Tony says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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 says: 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. • Monckton of Brenchley says: ThinkingScientist’s results broadly accord with mine: there is a startling difference, attributable to Hoelder’s inequalities between integrals, between the 270 K mean lunar temperature imagined by NASA and the 197-211 K derivable from the Diviner experiment. The significance of the discrepancy is much less on Earth, and is in the other direction. 21. dodgy geezer says: Some of the mathematical assertions of Mr Stokes look convincing – though a lot of his argument seems to consist of stating that his opponent has written ‘rubbish’, without further detail. Which gives me the suspicion that he has no comprehensive refutation of My Lord Brenchley’s paper. However, the key point for me is that Stokes is arguing that the IPCC calculations are correct, and ignoring the fact that observation of the real world (even heavily ‘corrected’) does not match these calculations. While his opponent proposes an approach which has the merit of complying with what has been measured. Mr Stokes would do well to remember an early lecture of Prof. Feynman’s, on the principles of scientific thought, which Youtube has been helpful enough to preserve: • Monckton of Brenchley says: Most grateful to Dodgy Geezer for his comment. One of our verifications was to plot the global mean surface temperature trend since 1850 against the IPCC’s original interval of predictions and against the predictions based on our result. The IPCC predictions were grievously excessive, while our own trend-line was a little below the observed trend-line. We think that that may be because the trend-line is somewhat influenced by the recent el Nino, and we are expecting that the rate of warming will settle back towards coincidence with our predicted trend-line over the next year or two. For the difference between the two lines is small. • JRF in Pensacola says: dg: Exactly!!! JRF • “However, the key point for me is that Stokes is arguing that the IPCC calculations are correct, and ignoring the fact that observation of the real world (even heavily ‘corrected’) does not match these calculations” In fact the “IPCC” GCM calculations do not use feedback models at all, or any of Lord M’s “official theory”. • JRF in Pensacola says: Nick, I get what you are saying, and I don’t want to put words in dg”s mouth, but if we accept that LMoB is wrong, then why have the bulk of the “models” overestimated warming by a factor of two or three (or more if we go back years) compared to land and satellite data? (Someone please cue the spaghetti graph of models vs. actual data.) I am certainly not expert in this area and you may be right in your criticisms of LMoB. But dg”s question still remains: why the difference? Are the models’ physics wrong in some other area? Are the actual data wanting (and the models are “correct”)? Not enough data through time? Is the task too complex for our current understanding of climate and the modelers” ability (and I’m not criticizing the modelers)? Model iteration and rounding? Or, is it that “the “IPCC” GCM calculations do not use feedback models at all, or any of Lord M’s “official theory””? • Richard M says: Nick, and that is a big problem. The models get a hot spot that doesn’t exist. The most likely reason is the models fail to incorporate enhanced convection that leads to the high altitude reduction in water vapor. Claiming Lord M is wrong because you accept programming that is obviously wrong is actually quite laughable. • Alan Tomalty says: It doesnt matter what the GCM’s use. What Monckton has done; has proved through the data and through basic mathematics that any feedbacks that there are (which is the basis for AGM theory) cannot possibly cause any CAGW. If that is the case then what in the hell are we worried about? Nick, you are scared of your own shadow. • Monckton of Brenchley says: Mr Stokes is relentlessly disingenuous. It matters not whether the GCMs still rely upon the system-gain equation as once they did. What matters is that, if one uses the corrected version of that equation, derivation of the correct feedback system-gain factor becomes very simple. One can then apply that factor to derive Charney sensitivity and see whether the models were in the right ball-park. They weren’t. • With a proper refutation, one would never call anything rubbish, even if it was. Mr Stokes seems so used to treating science as politics that he forgot how science is discussed; assuming he ever knew. Mr Stokes is one of his argument’s worst enemies. 22. Michael Moon says: You wasted a lot of time on this. “Feedback” is virtually impossible without an active energy source which is increased by a control loop. However, “Climate Scientists” have propounded this for years, so your efforts to dispel their pronouncements are appreciated. Your efforts to beat them at their own game are misguided, probably impossible for you to take and pass courses called “Conservation of Energy” and “Automatic Control.” So, what is a Control Loop? It is a device which measures the active energy source, looks at the results of this Active Energy Source on the desired result, and then either increases or decreases the Active Energy Source to produce the desired result. Fundamental to the concept of Automatic Control, you cannot control an effect you cannot measure. If, rainfall for example, or cloud cover, or CO2, actually produced an Active Feedback effect to increase the average temperature of the surface of the Earth, life could not have existed after CO2 increased because it is a runaway, every single time. There is no such thing as “Diminishing Returns” with positive feedback. Positive feedback produces disasters if not immediately canceled. Your Lordship, your continual efforts to beat them at their own game are ineffectual because their initial efforts ignore basic Physics. Write me at mikermoon@hotmail.com if you would like to discuss this. Regards, Michael • William C. Rostron says: Michael, You said, “You wasted a lot of time on this. “Feedback” is virtually impossible without an active energy source which is increased by a control loop.” and also, “Your efforts to beat them at their own game are misguided, probably impossible for you to take and pass courses called “Conservation of Energy” and “Automatic Control.” So, what is a Control Loop? It is a device which measures the active energy source, looks at the results of this Active Energy Source on the desired result, and then either increases or decreases the Active Energy Source to produce the desired result.” Well, I’ve done controls and systems engineering for most of my life, and your comment shows that you aren’t viewing the earth system correctly. The definition of “feedback” in this system relates to the change in surface temperature due to changes in the energy transfer associated with the atmosphere surrounding the earth. The equilibrium in this system correctly reflects energy conservation. So, in a very narrow sense it’s not an active feedback, it’s passive; just as the blanket on your bed causes you to be warmer than otherwise. Too cold? Add more covering. Now suppose that there is a way to automatically change the insulating characteristic of the bed blanket by taking a little energy from the heat flux through the blanket. This could constitute an automatic thermostat for bed stuffers. Would that work? There are many potential active control elements in the atmosphere; they control the change in the characteristics of earth’s “blanket” due to whatever there is that can affect that blanket. There is plenty of “active energy source” in that system to effect change, simply due to the massive energy flux flowing through the system. The control of the “blanket” is accomplished by taking energy out of both the incoming and outgoing energy streams through the blanket. The blanket is the atmosphere, and any identified control within it, whatever it is, it due to the physics of that process. Observation trumps theory. There is an active energy source in the system: it’s the sun. The controls of the system operate off the energy stream, just as a four terminal active signal isolator device draws energy off of the input current source to generate an electrically isolated downstream current. The power to operate the internal circuitry comes from the differential power between the input and output; though the electrical current output may the same as the input, the voltage drop across the input must always be larger than the voltage produced by the output. So the atmospheric control system (whatever that entails) draws its energy from the incoming power stream of the system. The end result is what it is. There is no argument that the earth is habitable because of the water upon it and the atmosphere around it, and the sun that supplies energy to it; there is massive energy flow associated with it. Lord Monckton’s math isn’t merely close; it’s exactly right. By basing the analysis from absolute zero he correctly arrives at the proper result. This is the same basis as Carnot’s analysis of thermodynamic efficiency which must use the absolute temperature scale to correctly describe the system. The problem using only the derivative form of system equations has been identified; the reference system integration term is lost because the thermodynamic reference term is lost. The earth energy system must obey the laws of thermodynamics. The correct reference for analysis is absolute zero. -BillR… • Monckton of Brenchley says: I am most grateful to Mr Rostron for his very kind and learned comments. If he will be kind enough to contact me at monckton[at]mail.com, I should like to take advice from him. • Philip Mulholland says: “The correct reference for analysis is absolute zero” -BillR… The key to establishing where the error lies is to identify the correct datum for the climate system. That datum is absolute zero. Thank you for providing this beautiful insight. • “By basing the analysis from absolute zero he correctly arrives at the proper result. This is the same basis as Carnot’s analysis of thermodynamic efficiency which must use the absolute temperature scale to correctly describe the system.” The fact is that the earth has never been at absolute zero, never will be in our time frame, and many non-linear things would happen if you did try to approach 0K. But the basic issue is what you say here: “The definition of “feedback” in this system relates to the change in surface temperature due to changes in the energy transfer associated with the atmosphere surrounding the earth.” Feedback necessarily relates changes. But Lord M contends that there should be a feedback response to a reference temperature, which does not chnage. This would occur presumably even if there were no perturbations. I can’t even imagine what such a response, not requiring perturbations, would be. But it is the omission of response to this unvarying temperature which is the supposed “startling error” of climate science. • Monckton of Brenchley says: Mr Stokes continues to be wilfully disingenuous. He knows perfectly well that the equation for feedback system gain in the absence of a mu gain block (i.e., where mu := 1) is Tq = Tr / (1 – f). For those who, unlike him, do not have a doctorate in linear systems theory, let us do the math. The input signal Tr passes via the summative node to the feedback loop. There, it goes round and round and, at the nth pass, Tr f^n is added, and so ad infinitum. Now, the sum of successive powers of f, under the convergence condition | f | < 1, is simply the reciprocal of (1 – f). That is the system-gain factor A. Therefore, the output signal Tq is simply Tr A. Consider, then, the position in the absence of any non-condensing greenhouse gases. The emission temperature Tr0 is 243.3 K. But we do not know what A is, because we do not know what the equilibrium temperature would have been in the absence of the pre-industrial non-condensing greenhouse gases. Now add the 11.5 K warming attributable to the presence of those gases up to 1850 (the value could be argued about, but it is somewhere between 8.9 and 13.5 K). The equilibrium temperature, after feedback, in 1850 is simply the global mean surface temperature for that year: i.e., 287.5 K. Now we know A for 1850. It is 287.5 / (243.3 + 11.5): i.e. 1.13. Now add the anthropogenic perturbation of 0.68 K from 1850-2011. The new reference temperature is 243.25 + 11.5 + 0.68: say, 255.45 K. The equilibrium temperature in 2011 is a little harder to find, because not all of the warming our small perturbation has engendered may have manifested itself. A "radiative imbalance" of some 0.6 Watts per square meter is imagined. So we must add to the observed 0.75 K warming from 1850-2011 another 0.25 K, making 1 K in all. Then the equilibrium temperature is 287.55 + 1 = 288.55 K, and the system-gain factor A for 2011 is 288.57 / 255.45, or 1.13, exactly as before. Not much nonlinearity there, then. • Richard S Courtney says: Nick Stokes, You say, “But the basic issue is what you say here: “The definition of “feedback” in this system relates to the change in surface temperature due to changes in the energy transfer associated with the atmosphere surrounding the earth.” Feedback necessarily relates changes. But Lord M contends that there should be a feedback response to a reference temperature, which does not chnage. This would occur presumably even if there were no perturbations. I can’t even imagine what such a response, not requiring perturbations, would be. ” I am surprised at your stated lack of imagination because your history demonstrates your great ability and willingness to imagine and proclaim extraordinary fantasies when it suits your purposes. However, there is no need to imagine anything in this case. The effect of the feedback response to a reference temperature is the difference between the observed reference temperature and the temperature which would have existed in the absence of the feedback. If that is incomprehensible to you then consider the following analogy. An amplification system consisting of a microphone, amplifier and speaker is positioned near a source of constant sound (n.b.) CONSTANT and not changing sound). The amplification system provides a feedback response to the sound and, therefore, the total sound volume depends on whether the amplification system is switched on or not. Indeed, the amount of amplification (i.e. amount of feedback response) provided by the amplification system determines the total volume. Richard • “The effect of the feedback response to a reference temperature is the difference between the observed reference temperature and the temperature which would have existed in the absence of the feedback.” Well, that is the input; the effect is some multiple of it. But that is the key. The input is the difference, not the reference temperature itself. And if there is no difference, there is no effect. Response to a constant is what I can’t imagine, and I haven’t had any help here. A feedback amplifier produces a response to a change. But the claim here is that it produces a response to a reference value itself, which is unchanging. What kind of response could that be? Does it go on for ever? Getting bigger? Smaller? “constant sound (n.b.) CONSTANT” No, sound by definition is not constant. It is an oscillation, and the system amplifies those oscillations (changes). But it does not amplify atmospheric pressure. • Richard S Courtney says: Nick Stokes, Your answers to my clear statements are daft and I refuse to believe you are as stupid as those answers indicate you are. Taking your latter point first. . Amplifier feedback increasing sound volume is NOT – as you assert – negated by sound being an oscillation Similarly, any feedback from CO2 increasing TEMPERATURE is not negated by IR radiation being an oscillation. And atmospheric pressure is an irrelevance to ECS which is about temperature (NOT pressure) although temperature change affects pressure. You really, really must be desperate if you think that assertion is the best argument you can make. The rest of your post is blather that my post you purport to be answering refuted. I said, “The effect of the feedback response to a reference temperature is the difference between the observed reference temperature and the temperature which would have existed in the absence of the feedback.£ If that is incomprehensible to you then consider the following analogy. An amplification system consisting of a microphone, amplifier and speaker is positioned near a source of constant sound (n.b.) CONSTANT and not changing sound). The amplification system provides a feedback response to the sound and, therefore, the total sound volume depends on whether the amplification system is switched on or not. Indeed, the amount of amplification (i.e. amount of feedback response) provided by the amplification system determines the total volume.” To which you replied, “Well, that is the input; the effect is some multiple of it. But that is the key. The input is the difference, not the reference temperature itself. And if there is no difference, there is no effect. Response to a constant is what I can’t imagine, and I haven’t had any help here. A feedback amplifier produces a response to a change. But the claim here is that it produces a response to a reference value itself, which is unchanging. What kind of response could that be? Does it go on for ever? Getting bigger? Smaller?” AND YOU RECOGNISED THAT RESPONSE WAS DAFT SO YOU ATTEMPTED TO BOLSTER IT BY CLAIMING MY ANALOGY WAS WRONG BECAUSE SOUND “is an oscilation”! Have you no shame? Richard • John Endicott says: Having read many posts by Mr Stokes, the answer is very obviously that he absolutely has no shame. • john f pittman says: Nick states “The fact is that the earth has never been at absolute zero, never will be in our time frame, and many non-linear things would happen if you did try to approach 0K.” The fact the earth has never been at absolute zero is a not the point. Using a bulk properties method, it does not matter much for small changes that there are non-linear things happening. Or even if his model is wrong. What matters is if the model does a better job at what it is intended to do. • Derg says: Is that handbook published by the IPCC 🙂 • bonbon says: Yes they did – Newton’s action-at-a-distance, which even he told Hooke was spooky. Of course when you look at Newtons alchemical writings, spells, as biographer Maynard did, you realise where it came from. So magic parading published as science is not new, rather a long tradition. • Dr. Strangelove says: Newton’s alchemy was not part of chemistry and physics. What’s so magical about action at a distance? Magnetism was known to Thales in 600 BC. William Gilbert wrote a book on magnetism in 1600. They were not magicians and warlocks. Newton copied it from Gilbert, from Galileo’s law of falling bodies and Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. They were the giants that Newton was standing on. • bonbon says: Newton himself told Hooke action at a distance made no sense. His hypothese non fingo motto is betrayed by the incredible nuttiness of the essence of green stone in his alchemical notes. Biographer Maynard wrote Newton was not the first modern, rather the last of the alchemists. Newton fell of the shoulders of giants, unfortunately. • Dr. Strangelove says: Scientists don’t care what Maynard wrote. Physicists and engineers still study Newtonian mechanics to this day. Quantum mechanics and theory of relativity made even less sense but they do work. Had Newton just wanted to make sense, he would have been a poet not a scientist. Maynard would rather say the glass is 5% empty than it’s 95% full. • Jeff Alberts says: Depends on the initial state of the glass. If that initial state is full, then removing 5% would be 5% empty. • Matt G says: Page 2 of MAGIC.SPELLS. and POTIONS. See back of index for ingredients referring to letters A-Z Earthquake spell – Add 12xCO2, D, F, G, Z then wait 1 hour. Hurricane spell – Add 9xCO2, A, N, W, Y then wait 10 minutes. Drought spell – Add 4xCO2, remove H20, F,H, J then wait one minute. Tropical storm spell – Add 6xCO2, B, G, H, F then wait 7 minutes. Volcano spell – Add 10x CO2, A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,M then wait 45 minutes. Wet spell – Add 5CO2, 10xH20, B,G,H,Q,X then wait 10 minutes. Thunder and Lightning spell – Add 5xCO2, B,C,G,H, then wait 4 minutes. Hail Spell – Add 4xCO2, G,J,K,L,P then wait 2 miutes to cool. Tsunami spell – Add 8xCO2, 15xH20, A,D,H,L then wait 20 minutes. Blizzard spell – Add 7xCO2, 8xH20, G,K,L,P,Q then wait 10 minutes. Snow spell – Add- 4xCO2, 4H2O, G,K,P then wait 7 minutes. Disease spell – Add 3xCO2, 3 H2O, Q,R,S,T,Y then wait 4 minutes. Sorry couldn’t resist this. 23. Pmhinsc says: Per this post:“What this means is that all one needs to know to find the system-gain factor 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. Am I correct in interpreting this to mean that the feedback under discussion includes feedback from all sources (e.g. CO2, H2O, aerosols, pixie dust, etc.) and says nothing specifically about CO2? • kcrucible says: Yes. The equation simply uses NET feedback (or rather determines it, for any given temperature difference.) The reason this is likely more accurate than the IPCC has been throwing out is that more than likely they’re throwing away a natural feedback that moderates things as they’re assuming that ONLY CO2 feedback changes with increasing temperature delta. • Monckton of Brenchley says: kcrucible is correct. IPCC are indeed throwing away the sunshine and the feedback consequent thereupon. If it were to restore the sunshine, it would be able to settle the climate question in minutes, as we have done. • bonbon says: Apologies if this sounds off, but that is why I keep thinking of demodulation when I see the IPCC deltas – throwing away the carrier signal, something from radio engineering. Are they in effect saying CO2 is an AM signal to be tuned into? • Monckton of Brenchley says: In response to Pmhinsc, yes, the feedback we are talking about does indeed include feedback from all sources. We can derive the emission temperature from the insolation, the albedo and the Stefan-Boltzmannj constant. We can derive the pre-industrial greenhouse warming from published estimates of the relevant radiative forcing. The sum of these two is the reference temperature in 1850, i.e., without feedback. The equilibrium temperature, after taking account of feedback, is the observed temperature for that year, i.e. 287.5 K. The system-gain factor is simply the ratio of equilibrium to reference temperature, i.e. 1.13. • Pmhinsc says: Thank you for the reply. This post along with some excellent comments has been very illuminating! 24. Doug S says: I enjoy the language used by Lord Monckton. ‘Once, Twice, Thrice’. Thrice is a word that is seldom used here in the United States and more’s the pity. Beautiful language. • Nigel Sherratt says: “Woe, woe and thrice woe!” Senna the Soothsayer, ‘Up Pompeii’ (BBC sit-com 1970) 25. davidmhoffer says: I was startled by the circular reasoning and arrogant nonsense in some of the reviewer comments. I know, I shouldn’t be, I’ve followed this debate long enough to know better. Still, it is astounding. I would like to see Monckton’s math presented in a slightly different way. He has, at the end of the day, constructed a model. A model’s value can only be shown by its ability to predict the future. Except 2011 to now isn’t a long enough period of time for any divergence between Monckton’s model and reality to emerge. The vaunted climate models have been around long enough that their divergence from reality is so obvious as to be dumbfounding. Can we put Monckton’s model to a similar test? It would be interesting, to me at least, if Monckton did the calcs over again, but instead of using 1850 to 2011, use 1850 to 1934 with the same math. Based on HadCrut4, that temp increase is a much smaller trend than 1850 to 2011, but the CO2 increase was ALSO much smaller. If the model spits out numbers that predict the temp change from 1935 to present with accuracy… My reservation being that I don’t think 168 years of data is sufficient, much less so 84. But the outcome would be of interest. • Monckton of Brenchley says: Mr Hoffer makes an interesting point about predictions. The reason why we chose 1850 as our first equilibrium year was that there was an actual temperature equilibrium that year. There would be no trend in global temperature for another 80 years. Also, that year the HadCRUT global mean surface temperature dataset began. The reason why we chose 2011 was that that was the year to which IPCC brought all its estimates of net anthropogenic forcing up to date, and because it was the closest year to the present for which such data were available from a “mainstream” source. Since the system-gain factors for both years are 1.13, and since the reason for the near-identical values is that the vast majority of the feedback response is to the Sun and the pre-existing greenhouse gases, I should not expect a significant departure from that value in the intervening years. Therefore, we predict that global warming per doubling of CO2 concentration is about 1.2 K. Since the predicted 21st-century anthropogenic warming from all sources is about the same as the predicted warming at CO2 doubling, we are, in effect, predicting a warming of order 1.2 K this century. At present, the warming rate since 1990 is running at about 1.5 K/century equivalent. So we are a lot closer to the mark than IPCC, whose original prediction was for 2.8 K/century equivalent as far as 2025. • Alan Tomalty says: The UAH satellite data give about 1.3K/century • Monckton of Brenchley says: Mr Tomalty’s point is excellent. The HadCRUT data would also have given about 1.3 K/century till they were tampered with (whether with or without justification) a few years ago. • Bellman says: So we are a lot closer to the mark than IPCC, whose original prediction was for 2.8 K/century equivalent as far as 2025. Is this accepting that the previous claim that the IPCC predicted 3.3°C/century was wrong? At present, the warming rate since 1990 is running at about 1.5 K/century equivalent. I’m guessing you are using the two lowest warming data sets to get your 1.5 figure. Looking at all the data sets, only one shows a trend less than that (UAH with 1.27°C/century), all other data sets show warming between 1.72 and 2.09°C/century since 1990. • Monckton of Brenchley says: In response to the childish Bellhop, IPCC in 1990 variously predicted 3.3 and 2.8 K warming per CO2 doubling. For the sake of kindness, I have here adopted the lower figure as a point of comparison. I am using the HadCRUT dataset, which is the one the IPCC uses and is therefore an appropriate point of comparison, together with the UAH dataset. Bellhop is free to use any other datasets he may prefer. 26. Wiliam Haas says: “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.” I think that sums up where all the reviewers are really coming from. If the IPCC really knew what they were doing they would have only one simulation model now but they are still considering a plethora of models that means a lot of guess work has been involved. All their models have predicted warming that has not happened so something has got to be wrong somewhere but they will not admit it and will talk down any criticism as to what they have done. For many of the reviewers their livelihood depends on it. The peer review seen here is more of a political review rather than a real science review. The AGW conjecture is full of holes but those whose careers depend in it will not admit it. After more than two decades of effort the IPCC has been unable to determine the climate sensitivity of CO2, They have been unable to narrow their initial range of guesses one iota. • Monckton of Brenchley says: One of the most useful aspects of our research is that we have been able not only to reduce the Charney sensitivity to a more reasonable value but also to constrain its interval to less than one-sixth of a Kelvin from lower bound to upper bound. • Clyde Spencer says: William, Yes, it appears that there is no consensus on what goes into a skillful GCM, or what values to use in parameterization. Hence, there are many similar, but not identical models. However, it seems that most of them are running hot (with the notable exception of the Russian model). That is prima facie evidence that they are unskillful. That is likely because, as Monckton is pointing out, there is a serious structural error in the mathematics. • This “startling error” (not) has nothing to do with the mathematics of GCMs. • Monckton of Brenchley says: Mr Stokes is disingenuous. If our approach is correct, then it demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that the GCMs in which he has for so long placed his faith were false gods. • Wiliam Haas says: If the IPCC was really serious about doing science they would have already discarded the worst models in terms of their having predicted warming that did not happen. But it is really politics that allows funding of studies based on wrong models. Monckton and his team are just one of many who have found that CO2 is not as dangerous to the climate an the IPCC and “official climatology” previously thought. • Robin Browne says: Absolutely! Millions of us – especially those who have worked around the world on engineering projects that require some understanding of climate – know from our own research and analysis, that carbon dioxide has only a minor influence on world temperature. Lord Monckton’s paper now explains why the so-called “science”, supporting global warming, is a crock! And William Haas has it right – a generation of global warming enthusiasts has a lot to answer for and a lot to lose. • RyanS says: “….know from our own research and analysis, that carbon dioxide has only a minor influence on world temperature” is olympic grade arm-waving. Meantime, scientists extract this sort of data: • pbweather says: RyanS, I tell you what is Olympic grade arm waving is any data on that graph prior to 1979 and even after that is basically roughly estimated on many variables. • Monckton of Brenchley says: Mr Browne is right on the button. Of course our result is a threat to a multi-trillion-dollar rent-seeking industry. No surprise then, that one or two handsomely-paid trolls for that industry are busy trying to disrupt the thread here with arrant nonsense. But our demonstration of officialdom’s error is simple. If correct, it will eventually come to be seen by everyone as true, and all who wish to understand it will be able to do so. If it is not correct, well, at least we tried! 27. ReallySkeptical says: this diatribe would be easier to follow if we had, maybe as a separate archive: 1. the journal 2. the reviewer’s comments, one reviewer at a time. (three reviewers, I assume?) 3. the editor’s response. • DW Rice says: Interesting that at least 3 people voted this comment down. Makes you wonder why these people *don’t* want to see the reviewers’ and editor’s comments published. • RyanS says: Popularity contests are not based on substance. • BallBounces says: “Diatribe” rankles. • John Endicott says: Interesting that at least 3 people voted this comment down Makes you wonder why these people *don’t* want to see the reviewers’ and editor’s comments published. Why do you assume that’s what the down votes mean? The down votes don’t have a comment as to their reason attached. People can and do down vote for a variety of reasons. • bit chilly says: sometimes they vote down due to suspecting dual accounts being used to promote a viewpoint. i am not one of the three, but was tempted to make it four. • Clyde Spencer says: Probably because of the pejorative use of “diatribe.” If it was a simple request to have more information, it would have been received more warmly than stating up front what RS thinks of the article. Ye reap as ye sow. • Monckton of Brenchley says: In response to ReallySkeptical, I have faithfully extracted what seemed to me to be the more serious scientific comments directed at the main point we are making. I have reproduced them warts and all, and, of course, the cheerleaders for the Party Line have enthusiastically parroted those comments, many of which were unacceptably politicized in their tone. I have not included the numerous heroically idiotic comments. One, by a reviewer in a prominent position at NASA, was to the effect that I had been wrong to state that the ratio of the Earth’s surface area to that of its great circle was 4. He said that a great circle was the shortest distance between two points on the Earth’s surface. However, I am a Trustee of the Hales Trophy for the Blue Riband of the Atlantic. What the hapless reviewer was describing was a “great circle route” – i.e., a route between two points on a great circle. My formulation in the paper was precise and correct. There were dozens of inconsequential fatuities of this kind in the reviews, but I did not think it right to burden the readers with them. By convention, I have not named the journal in question. I have provided plenty of information to embody the substance of the reviewers’ comments. And I have done so openly and frankly. If ReallySkeptical were really skeptical, he would appreciate that he has probably never seen so much detail on the reviews of a scientific paper ever before. Be grateful for what you’ve got, because you’re not getting any more till the next round of reviews comes through. • John Endicott says: The ratio of the Earth’s surface area to the area of its great circle does indeed work out to be 4. Once the hapless reviewer realizes his/her misunderstanding, I’m sure they’ll be quite red-faced whether or not they ever publically admit to their error. 28. richard verney says: What is the difference in forcing between the quiet sun, say during the early period of the solar system, and the sun today? Is it not clear that prior to the industrial period, the temperature must be made up by the direct forcing and a certain component of feedback, which component is consequent upon the change in direct forcing that has occurred over time, ie as from the planet’s inception through to the industrial period. I have yet to hear anyone convincingly explain how there could have been no feedbacks as at the start of the industrial period, and why feedbacks only begin to kick in once CO2 starts to rise from the pre industrial level. • Monckton of Brenchley says: Mr Verney’s is the$64,000 question. My prediction is that it will be met either with silence from the usual suspects, or with nonsense.

• Clyde Spencer says:

Feedbacks are part of complex dynamic systems. That doesn’t mean that the feedbacks are constant or even linear. Somewhere in the domain they may be negligible, while they may be significant elsewhere, in a non-linear fashion. That is why the question of absolute temperatures is important and temperature difference don’t adequately represent the atmospheric system.

• “My prediction is that it will be met either with silence from the usual suspects”
Never! As I have expounded here and elsewhere, feedback is analysed, for necessary reasons, as perturbation of a state. States just are, they don’t incorporate feedback, because for the analysis, you don’t care how they came to be. Just as well, because there is no unique such path to which you could ascribe feedback..

In this case, the 1850 climate is the state, and the effect of CO2 is the input, to which the problem is to calculate the response, including feedbacks.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

My prediction was correct. Mr Stokes has responded to Mr Verney’s \$64,000 question with nonsense. Feedback processes respond to the input signal they find. They are inanimate and cannot discriminate and decide only to respond to some arbitrarily small perturbation of the input signal.

If, therefore, one wishes to study the effect of a perturbation, one adds it to the input signal. Not difficult, really. The feedback processes, which simply respond to the input signal they find, will respond to the increased input signal.

29. Mark - Helsinki says:

“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”

The reviewer that wrote this has no business being anywhere near this topic of science.

“physics of climate change”.

There is no such theory or predictive model for “climate change” and never has been. There is just no scientific theory called climate change. This reviewer is an ideologue and a fool. Climate models cannot model climate, never have modeled climate and never were meant to model climate, because they can’t model weather, and climate is weather over time, and climate models have 0 predictive power for any weather in any specific location and time on earth.
Even over short term, NOAA completely blew the forecast for Jan Feb 2018 with their Oct 2017 forecast, it was a catastrophic failure of a forecast.

If you cant model weather\time you cant model climate.

Of course these reviewers were already waiting for this paper, and already ready to reject it before they even seen it. There was and is no scope for them to accept it, they cannot, because the ramifications for the entire field are immense. There is a lot of standing and kudos and money to be lost, hundreds of millions over years, they are not going to let one paper ruin all of that.

30. Susan says:

What strikes me is the irrational confidence they have in the models. Should it not be understood that models are an artificial construction and may need amending in light of new information? How can they be regarded as proof of anything?

• knr says:

These are what they based their careers on , and what ever else they can smell a ‘consensus’ when they see one .

• johanus says:

@Susan: “How can they [models] be regarded as proof of anything?”

Models are useful only to the extent that they explain and/or predict _observable events_.

George Box said it best: ‘All models are wrong, but some are useful’

• Richard S Courtney says:

johanus:

A model is right when its predictions agree with observed reality to within determined accuracy reliability and precision.

A model is wrong when it fails to provide predictions that agree with observed reality to within determined accuracy reliability and precision.

In other words, George Box was mistaken because
(a) all useful models are right
and
(b) wrong models are worse than useless because they are misleading.

All the climate models are wrong.

Importnatly, the above article by Viscount Monckton of Brenchley explains one of the reasons why all the climate models are wrong.

Richard

• DW Rice says:

The current models are CMIP5. These will shortly be replaced by CMIP6. Obviously there were also CMIPs 1-4. And yes, they do incorporate knew information into the latest versions.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

… and yet the CMIP3 and CMIP5 models produced precisely the same intervals of equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2: [2.1, 4.7] K. It is as though the result had been predetermined.

• Clyde Spencer says:

A GCM is a very complex hypothesis expressed in mathematics and the formal language of digital computer programming. As with any hypothesis, it should be tested against reality. If it is shown to be wanting in its predictive powers, then it should be modified and re-tested. That is the essence of the Scientific Method!

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Or one can adopt our approach, which is to demonstrate that the models’ implicit estimate of the feedback system-gain factor, and hence of equilibrium sensitivity, is excessive.

• Clyde Spencer says:

You aren’t disagreeing with me. Instead of actually comparing the GCM to reality, which isn’t a trivial task, you have built a physical model of reality and compared that to the GCMs, and found the GCMs to be wanting for reasons that you explain.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Bingo!

31. AndyHce says:

Quote
“for equilibrium temperature is greater than reference temperature, and feedback response constitutes the entire difference between them.”

If there is a reference temperature from basic theory
and
there is the current temperature

how does one know
there is not some additional input energy,
such as energy stored in the system over time
that is currently being released back into the system
effecting the current temperature
or
there is input energy
not currently being expressed as temperature
because it is going into longer term storage?

If either of these conditions exist
would it not be the case that a feedback factor
calculated from the current temperature
is either too large or too small, depending?

The “climate” at the approximate end of the Little Ice Age
differed from today’s “climate”
(if it is in reality meaningful to call the general weather then
and the general weather today different climates)

It seems that this consideration of differing inputs
would also apply if there were
additional input from outside the system
or
less than average input from outside the immediate earth system.

• DW Rice says:

“….how does one know there is not some additional input energy, such as energy stored in the system over time that is currently being released back into the system effecting the current temperature…”

One can’t *know* that for sure; it’s just that they’ve looked pretty hard at all the alternative *known* heat reservoirs and inputs and there isn’t any evidence that this is occurring. For example, the oceans, being the most obvious heat reservoir in the climate system, have been gaining heat energy over the same decades-long period that the atmosphere has warmed. Therefore atmospheric warming can’t have come from the oceans, otherwise one would have expected to see a concurrent reduction in ocean heat content, not the opposite. All this happened over a period when the sun’s output was in decline, by the way. Once one eliminates the oceans and the sun as the source of the atmospheric warming, options become rather limited.

• Clyde Spencer says:

DWR,
You said, “options become rather limited.” It would be more accurate to say “known options.” If the models are not performing well, then it would appear that something unknown is missing, or that the known things are not being represented correctly. It isn’t sufficient to have blind faith in what one is dealing with if the results don’t match reality.

• Richard M says:

DW Rice: So, you are saying that when the sun rises in the morning and warms up the ground, the ground cannot heat the atmosphere …. LOL.

I have seen others make the same silly claim. Let me help you out. If the oceans are warming for any reason then it makes sense they would share some of that heat with the atmosphere.
Face::palm.

BTW, that is exactly what has happened.

32. Robber says:

Name those reviewers, and get them to present their own explanation of the deviations between “their” climate models and reality.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Alas, we can’t name the reviewers, because we’re not supposed to know who they are, though they know who we are.

Frankly, we have not been very impressed with the peer-review system. Here is how I think it should work:

1. A paper is submitted – and not necessarily through the clunky online systems most journals use.

2. The paper, if not obviously nonsense, should be sent out for double-blind review. The authors should not know who the reviewers are, and the reviewers should not know who the authors are.

2. The reviewers should be paid for their trouble. The journals can well afford it.

3. Any review that is intemperately expressed should be slung out.

4. On any contentious subject, the editors should be required to appoint reviewers on both sides of the controversy.

5. There should be a strict time limit for reviews to be conducted, and for the authors to make consequent revisions.

6. There should be an appeal process to prevent politicized reviewers from wrecking an uncongenial paper’s chance of publication on specious grounds.

33. richard verney says:

Why are we starting at 1850, rather than say at the Holocene Optimum?

If we were to perform this exercise starting say at the Holocene Optimum, what would that say about Climate Sensitivity to CO2?

If that exercise gives a different result, why is that? What would such an exercise tell us about Climate Sensitivity and/or about our understanding and/or limitations?

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

We start in 1850 because that is the first year of the global temperature record; that is early enough in the industrial era to allow us to assume a negligble pre-existing anthropogenic influence; and it is close enough to the present to minimize any nonlinearities in the feedback processes.

If we were to start the exercise at the Holocene climate optimum, we’d have to know not only the emission temperature but also the equilibrium temperature, as well as the forcing from the naturally-occurring, non-condensing greenhouse gases. And we couldn’t be sure that the feedback processes acting in the very different world of that time would be close enough to today’s to allow a fair comparison between system-gain factors.

• Matt G says:

Problem with starting at 1850 being there was virtually no southern hemisphere coverage either on land or ocean. (page 9 link below)

By 1885 it was hardly any better (page 10)

This means generally relying on mainly the Northern Hemsiphere data which building up over the decades makes comparision with recent decades and older periods with global temperatures in this term such a farce.

Knowing the southern hemisphere emission temperature and equilibrium temperatures during the early stages makes it no different from the holocene Optimum where both would need proxies to be relied upon.

https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/10178730

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

One of the advantages of our method is that it is not very sensitive to small changes in the base data. The published uncertainty in the HadCRUT4 temperature data is quite large for the earlier decades, but, within reason, one could take almost any plausible value up or down by a degree or two from the current value without much altering the result. The point is that the influence of the Sun and of the pre-industrial greenhouse gases on feedbacks are so very much larger than our tiny perturbation that one can ignore feedback responses without much error.

34. richard verney says:

With all due respect to Lord Monckton, and whilst I understand why he seeks to go about this task, this is simply an exercise in futility. I say that since we do not have data of sufficient quality to test the assertion that the Climate is Sensitive to CO2.

But such data that we have (poor quality as it is) does not, on any time scale, suggest that CO2 drives temperature. To the extent that one can read something into our limited data, it suggests that CO2 is a response, not a driver, of temperature change. CAGW proponents are putting the cart before the horse.

I would suggest that it is no coincidence that the best sampled land with the most complete historic data , ie., the contiguous US, shows no warming. If CO2 is a well mixed gas, then someone needs to explain what geographical and/or topographical features of the US render the US, an outlier. Unless someone can adequately explain the physics behind why the US is an outlier, the obvious conclusion is that if we were to have better data on a global scale, then we would find something similar to the US.

It is because most of the data on a global scale is simply estimated (made up if you will) that the global construct differs from the US. Don’t forget that both Hansen and Jones in the early 1980s acknowledged the problems and limitations with Southern Hemisphere data, and Phil Jones, in the Climategate emails, was more candid saying that most of the SH data outside the Tropics and below Antarctica is simply made up. He is right on that since there is no worthwhile data of ocean temps pre ARGO. Ocean temps (pre ARGO) are all made up.

Hansen has recognised the problem, and has, for a long time, sought to argue that global constructs are different to the US, without offering any good reason why the US should be regarded as an outlier. Even in 2010, NOAA were showing that there had been no warming in the US since the mid 1930s, or indeed for that matter since 1880. See:

There is a plethora of other data that suggest the same, eg. if one looks at the unadjusted temps for Greenland and Iceland, one see something similar.

The starting point is to get a proper handle on temperatures, by selecting only the best sited stations and then compare each station individually to itself, without making any global or hemispherical wide construct. Preferably, we would retrofit the best sited stations with the same LIG thermometers that were used in the past and take modern day obsrvations using the same practice as was used at each station (eg., the same TOB) and then we would obtain modern day RAW data that needs no adjustment whatsoever that can be compared with the unadjusted RAW historic data for the station in question (each with itself). We would then know whether there has actually been any temperature change at any given point. Once that has been ascertained we can then investigate wider issues such as the reason why there has been a change (if indeed there has been a change).

• “Even in 2010, NOAA were showing that there had been no warming in the US since the mid 1930s, or indeed for that matter since 1880. See:”

This is a curious thing to cite. It is a reanalysis product, which means it isn’t very good on homogeneity, and hence trends. But it isn’t any ordinary reanalysis. From here:
“20th Century Reanalysis and PSD: Until recently, the earliest reanalysis product started from 1948, leaving many important climate events such as 1930’s dust bowl droughts uncovered. To expand the coverage of global gridded reanalyses, the 20th Century Reanalysis Project is an effort led by PSD and the CIRES at the University of Colorado to produce a reanalysis dataset spanning the entire twentieth century, assimilating only surface observations of synoptic pressure, monthly sea surface temperature and sea ice distribution”

IOW, it doesn’t even use land surface measured temperatures.

• richard verney says:

Nick

You are right that it is a reanalysis, but then again, all the data constructs are, and that is why they habitually change. Almost every year, the past appears to be different.

No one knows what Climate Sensitivity is, and no one can estimate it for 2 reasons. First, the data is not fit for scientific purpose and does not withstand the ordinary rigours of scientific analysis and scrutiny. Second, until we know everything there is to know about natural variation, what it comprises of (ie., the forcing associated with each and every constituent component), the upper and lower bounds of each constituent component, when each component is operating at any given moment in time, in which direction the forcing associated with each individual component is operating at the relevant time, the extent of each component in operation at any given time, we will never be able to disentangle the forcing, if any, of CO2 from the forcing of natural variation.

It is simply an impossible task given our present understanding and available data.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Verney is unduly pessimistic. One can only draw the conclusion that it is impossible to derive an accurate estimate of Charney sensitivity if one has at least conducted a proper sensitivity analysis.

If we are right that feedback processes respond to the entire input signal and not to some arbitrary fraction thereof, then we are able to say to 2-sigma confidence that Charney sensitivity will be 1.08-1.25 K, with a mid-range estimate 1.17 K. The reasons why this interval is so narrow are interesting. Not the least of them is that the feedback response to the emission temperature and to the pre-industrial greenhouse gases is a great deal larger than any response to our puny addition to reference temperature. Another reason is that for feedback factors <0.5 the slope of the rectangular-hyperbolic Charney-sensitivity response curve is small and near-linear. For these and suchlike reasons, even quite large variations in the underlying quantities do not engender large uncertainty as to Charney sensitivity.

• richard verney says:

Lord M.

I am not being unduly pessimistic. I understand the tactic behind your desire to point out what you perceive to be a fundamental error, but the problem is far more deep rooted than that. It is an intractable problem given the poor quality of data and our limited understanding of matters (in particular, what drives changes in temperatures).

I am simply pointing out an inconvenient fact, namely that the data is not fit for purpose, and we are unable to attribute any warming to a forcing change brought about by an increase in CO2, since we do not know what temperature changes have been driven exclusively by natural variation. Indeed, we do not know whether this planet is any warmer today than it was in the late 1930s/early 1940s, or for that matter since about 1880. Whilst there has obviously been some warming since the LIA, and whilst there is considerable multidecadal change, we do not know whether there has been any warming at all since 1880.

One fundamental problem is that this planet is never in equilibrium, such that there is no equilibrium state: T eq1 (3:45 of your video presentation). You state: “In 1850 the temperature wasn’t going to change for about another 60 years, it remained more or less level…”

I do not know where you got that idea from, since we know that the temperature did not remain steady. If one looks at HADCRUT3, the temperature changes from a negative anomaly of -0.8degC in 1850 to a positive anomaly of +0.39 in 1879. Thus in a period of 29 years there was a change of temperature of approximately 1.2degC That somewhat conflicts with your assertion, and the premise upon which your assessment is made.

First, we know from this that the planet was not in equilibrium as at 1850, far from it. Second, we know that the about1.2 degC of warming was not caused by any change in forcing caused by rising CO2 levels between 1850 and 1879 simply because there was all but no increase in CO2 during this period. According to the Law Dome Ice Core Data, the change in CO2 during this period was about 3ppm,

With such huge variations in temperatures, which cannot be explained by CO2, I am sure that you will see the obvious problem.

• EdB says:

Your red herring is well said.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Verney may care to calculate the least-squares linear-regression trend on the HadCRUT4 data for 1850-1930. That is 81 years, and the trend is just about zero.

And I quite understand that there are many who would prefer to discourage us by saying that our seeking the truth is futile. But seeking the truth is never futile. Like it or not, that is what science does. If we are right, no one will love us. The skeptics will hate us for finding the actually quite simple error we have identified, and they will wonder why they didn’t find it first. The true-believers will hate us for demonstrating their superstition to be false. But the truth is the truth and, if our research is correct, then the truth will prevail, however uncongenial or unprofitable or futile people may think it to be.

We are going to pursue this research until either it is demonstrated that we are wrong or it is published and found to be right. No one pays us. We are interested, and curiosity is the foundation of all true science. Mr Verney is entitled not to be much interested, but that is his affair.

• richard verney says:

Lord M,

I note that you have not addressed the point I make about equilibrium. If the data sets can be relied upon, the temperatures were certainly not stable and in equilibrium in 1850, as all data sets show considerable warming through to 1880 with all but no increase in CO2 during those 30 years, such that natural variation is the only explanation for the change (ie., we do not know what caused the change, but it was not CO2, and we do not know whether what caused the change was already built in as at 1850, or whether it was something that occurred during the intervening years). The 60 years that you refer to is a cherry pick, just as the 29 years that I refer to are a cherry pick, save that the 29 years I refer to establishes that there was no equilibrium in 1850.

The data sets are not fit for purpose. The notion that we have any handle on the average temperature of this planet in 1850 is farcical, and would be laughed at, in any real science. HADCRUT4 is an amalgram and there is no worthwhile ocean data going back to 1850, nor is there any worthwhile SH data going back to that date. Phil Jones, correctly quipped that most of the SH data (outside the Tropics and Antarctic) is simply made up. Even today the SH is not well sampled and there are relatively few SH stations with historic data going back to the 1930s let alone 1850.

I suspect that if we were to identify say the best 100 sited stations in 1880, ie those that comply with standards CRN Class 1, and which have undergone no significant environmental change from then through to today (ie., they are still CRN Class 1), and if we were to retrofit those stations with the same type of enclosure (volume, construction paint etc) and use the same type of LIG thermometer as was used in 1880 (calibrated as those LIG thermometers were calibrated in 1880) and take measurements today using the same TOB as used at each station, such that modern day RAW data could be compared directly with historic RAW data, on a station by station basis, we would find that there was no statistically significant warming covering a period of nearly 140 years!

You are not seeking to get to the truth. What you are seeking to show is that one farcical component upon which warmist rely, has been incorrectly assessed, and I consider that you are probably correct on that. Now showing that might be useful, but it is not getting to the truth, namely the ascertaining whether there is any Climate Sensitivity to CO2 whatsoever, and if so what it actually is.

It may be that I am suffering from boredom since in previous articles which you have posted on this subject, we have discussed whether you are right or wrong. In those previous posts, I have expressed the view, for what it is worth, that I think that you are correct that an error has been made. Since that has been flogged to death, I have chosen with respect to this current article, to comment on more fundamental issues relating to Climate Sensitivity. If you rely upon cr@p data, you inevitably end up getting cr@p results.

• Philip Mulholland says:

“the data is not fit for purpose” (July 31, 2018 10:56 am)
Richard,
True, the data are not fit for purpose and you may consider that Lord Monckton is just tilting at windmills in the style and futility of Don Quixote, but at least he is aiming at the windmill he can see!

• richard verney says:

I agree with that. I agree that he is actually doing something, which is to be applauded.

Chipping away, little bits here and there, may cause the edifice to crumble. But I suspect that it is only when there are either no votes in Climate Change, or when reality kicks in that will cause the edifice to collapse, eg., when they face the wall that wind and solar are incapable of supplying energy on a reliable grid structure, and that presently back up storage is fantasy, a lesson gradually being learnt in Germany and Australia, or if Arctic ice makes a significant recovery for a prolonged period of time. Temperatures can be adjusted away, but it is more difficult to conceal physical realities such as growing ice, growing glaciers etc.

It appears that the political climate is slowly changing, and it would be easier for this paper to be published once Governments have given up on seeking to achieve a cap of 1.5degC warming.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Verney says I am not seeking the truth. He is entitled to his opinion. But his evidence is appallingly inadequate, as well as incorrect.

One of our co-authors is a professor of statistics. When we were seeking to establish whether the global mean surface temperature in 1850 was an equilibrium temperature, he had no problem in accepting that, if one were to take a linear trend of sufficient length on the data after 1850 and were to find a zero trend, it would be acceptable to conclude that the temperature in 1850 was an equilibrium temperature.

Since the climate object is chaotic, there will be departures up or down from the trend line. But if for 80 years the trend is zero, the temperature at the beginning of that period may be taken as being an equilibrium temperature.

Mr Verney is unhappy at the wide uncertainty interval in the HadCRUT data. So let us allow for it. The published uncertainty for 1850 is 0.35 K. That would not alter the system-gain factor for 1850 by enough to make any difference. The interval would be 1.129 [1.127, 1.130], leaving Charney sensitivity unchanged at 1.17 K.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

In response to Mr Mulholland, one of the advantages of our method is that even quite large variances in the underlying data don’t make very much difference compared with the very large impact of correctly accounting for the fact that the Sun is shining. In any event, climate sensitivity cannot much exceed 1.5 K, and is more likely to be in the region of 1.2 K.

• https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/30/climatologys-startling-error-an-update/#comment-2417638

While it is difficult to precisely estimate the value of climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2, I do think it is possible to “bound” this parameter, and to demonstrate that it is far too low to be of concern to humanity or the environment.

I have included some related thoughts below, when they appear from moderation, at
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/30/climatologys-startling-error-an-update/#comment-2417670

Regarding the close relationship between dCO2/dt and global temperature T, and the resulting ~9-month lag of atmospheric CO2 trends after temperature trends, I do not say (as some others do) that temperature is the only significant driver of atm. CO2 – other drivers such as fossil fuel combustion, deforestation etc probably contribute and even dominate this equation.

I do say that for this clear dCO2/dt vs T signal (and the resulting ~9-month lag of atmospheric CO2 trends after temperature trends) to exist, climate sensitivity to increasing atm. CO2 must be extremely low, far too low for any dangerous man-made global warming to exist.

I recently determined WHY the approx. lag of atmospheric CO2 trends AFTER global temperature trends is ~9 months:
The integral of a sine curve (atm. CO2) lags the sine curve (global temperature and dCO2/dt) by 90 degrees, which equals 1/4 of the 360 degree full cycle. The average cycle for ENSO, based on UAH LT temperatures, is 36.3 months, so ¼ of that is ~9 months.

I should have realized this conclusion years ago, but then, hardly anybody wanted to discuss my 2008 observation that CO2 trends lagged temperature trends by ~9 months in the modern data record. The verification of this observation by Humlum et al in 2013 met with a similar “ho-humlum” response.

I guess everyone is having too much fun arguing about the magnitude of climate sensitivity, which may in reality may be too small to measure. The observation that “the future cannot cause the past” tends to spoil the party. 🙂

Regards, Allan

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Verney has not, perhaps, appreciated the beautiful simplicity of our intellectual approach. We start by saying that we shall accept ad argumentum all of official climatology except what we can prove to be incorrect. Then we do our calculations, adjusting only those matters that are proven incorrect. Then we calculate the equilibrium sensitivity that official climatology would have calculated if it had not erred in the fashion we have described.

In fact, our conclusion is, to a remarkable extent, proof against quite large variations in the underlying data. All we need to know is approximately (say, to plus or minus 5%) what the emission temperature would have been without non-condensing greenhouse gases, and what the warming from those gases in the pre-industrial era to 1850 would have been, and the equilibrium surface temperature actually observed in 1850. Within those variances, the math is such that we are able to say with 95.4% confidence that the true Charney sensitivity is 1.17 [1.08, 1.25] K.

• richard verney says:

Lord M

I do not know why you state: “Mr Verney has not, perhaps, appreciated the beautiful simplicity of our intellectual approach.” given that I, myself, stated “whilst I understand why he seeks to go about this task…”

Of course, I understanding what you are doing, and why. But nonetheless it is an exercise in futility, for reasons that I have outlined above.

Further, anyone who has read the Climategate emails would immediately realise that there is no prospect of this paper passing peer review such as to enable it to be published in one of the well renowned Climate Science journals. It does not matter whether you are correct, there is no way it will be published until such time as the consensus view is that Climate Sensitivity is less than 1.5 degC per doubling. As we know, this is not about science, but about politics.

Over recent years, the majority of recent papers are suggesting ever lower figures for Climate Sensitivity. If this trend continues (as it will if there is no significant warming in the next 10 years) there will come a time when the IPCC will be forced to adopt a lower bound for Climate Sensitivity. It is only when (and if) the IPCC accepts a Climate Sensitivity range of say 1 to 2 deg C per doubling, that there are prospects that your paper may get published in a recognised Climate Science journal. Even then it will be difficult, since if a crass error has indeed been made, as you suggest, there will a reluctance to own that error.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Verney thinks we won’t get our paper published. Two possibilities. 1: we are wrong, in which event our paper will not deserve to be published. 2: we are right, in which event there will come a point where continuing attempts improperly to thwart publication will constitute fraud and will be treated as such. I’m not having any nonsense: if we’re right, then we can explain to the fraud police that we are right. But I don’t think it will come to that.

The merit of our approach is that, if correct, it constitutes absolute proof that the climate models are wrong, feedback responses are all but irrelevant and equilibrium sensitivity is simply too low to matter. In the end, an absolute proof cannot be denied. Yes, the Stokeses of this world, much admired by Mr Verney, will continue to state that black is white and that, by some magic, feedback processes are intelligent enough not to respond to the entire input signal but only to respond to some arbitrarily small fraction thereof mandated by the High Priests of the New Superstition. But who will pay them any heed?

Already, our proof is quietly circulating among mathematicians and scientists, one or two of whom have commented here. Already it is being spoken of at international conferences, in whispers at this stage. If we are correct, then this is the end of the global-warming scare. And I don’t find anything futile in bringing that nonsense to an end.

• richard verney says:

Lord M

I hope that I am proved wrong, and that you get your paper published. I wish you well in that regard, but I doubt that I underestimate the forces of evil at work here.

I am at a loss to understand the fraud case. There is no automatic right to have a paper published in any journal, and if your paper is rejected, are not the police bound to think that this is just a scientific debate of differences in scientific opinions? That happens all the time.

It is difficult to see how a Judge could resolve the difference. You will call Experts supporting your view. Opponents will call Experts supporting their view. How does the Judge decide which of these competing Experts is correct?

And when you are alleging fraud, the burden of proof is the criminal standard of beyond all reasonable doubt. No one knows precisely what that means, and it is subjective, but it is thought to means near absolute certainty, eg., say around 95% certain. So even if the Judge thought that you were probably right, eg., say he thought there was a 75% chance that you are correct, that would be insufficient for your purposes, if your case against the Journal and/or the reviewers is based upon fraud.

It is not an easy case to run.

Of course, there may be behind the scenes discussions, and even expressions of disquiet about your paper. But then again, these people have known for years that their models run hot, and that Climate Sensitivity cannot possibly be at the high end, and yet nothing is done to address that. There is no attempt made to weed out the worst performing models, and use say only the best 25 performing models etc.

Again, one only has to look at the fanciful projections of an ice free Arctic, not one of these projections being remotely correct. One of the prime reasons why these predictions/projections are wrong, are that Climate Scientists overlook the geometry of the planet, and its axial tilt. This means that there is a very short melt season, and a very long recovery time. The tilt of the planet is akin to a negative feedback attenuating the ice melt, and promoting ice recovery.

The error that Climate Scientists make with the Arctic is rather similar to the error that you claim that they have made in overlooking that the sun shines.

PS. You would come across far better if you were less snidey. It is not an attractive character trait, and only detracts from the merits of any argument.

I am an extreme sceptic, but I consider sceptism to be a 2 way street. I have yet to see convincing evidence that the planet is today warmer than it was in the 1930s/early 1940s, or convincing evidence that CO2 is a GHG (albeit it is a radiative gas, the radiative properties being well known). For me, all aspects of this debate are up for grabs. I am open to be persuaded, either way on all aspects.

You are right, I do respect Nick (although we rarely see eye to eye). I make no apology for that, and I am not in the slightest way ashamed by that. I know him to be highly intelligent, and an extremely good and solid mathematician. For the main part, he puts forward well constructed arguments supported with evidence citations. I also respect that he takes the time to come here, and post his comments, notwithstanding the vitriol that he is subjected to, which I, for one, find embarrassing (but then again I am from the old school, where manners maketh the man, and it is regrettable that over the years you appear to have lost that valuable lesson). This site would be far poorer if Nick did not frequent it with his comments and view points. This site would be far the poorer if it were pervaded solely by group think.

Finally, you have posted many articles on this paper/draft thereof, and I have expressed the view, in these earlier articles, that I consider that you are probably right.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Verney seems to regard it as his mission to be relentlessly discouraging and, this time, more than a little preachy. Well, he is entitled to his opinion, and to his manner of delivering it. But we shall not be discouraged. We are made of sterner stuff than that. If we are correct, then we have provided an absolute proof that official climatology is in error. If, under that circumstance, attempts are made in certain quarters to prevent that proof from seeing the light of day, the question of fraud arises.

Since I have in the past acted both on behalf of those defending themselves against fraud charges and on behalf of those investigating such charges, I am well familiar with the law relating to fraud on both sides of the Atlantic.

Fraud is more difficult to prove than murder. For one must demonstrate not only an actus reus – in the present instance, a refusal by a scientific journal to publish a correct and, if correct, not unimportant scientific result without reasonable justification – but also not one but two instances of mens rea. For in fraud there is a double intent: the intent to deceive, and the intent to profit or cause loss by the deception.

Now, in any ordinary circumstance, attempting to prosecute a scientific journal for refusing to publish an important result on improper grounds would not give rise to a fraud charge. However, let us assume ad argumentum that we have proven what we say we have proven. In that event, we shall have no difficulty in proving to a judge that we have proven what we say we have proven. Recall that any experts prayed in aid by the other side can be cross-examined. Any dishonesties of the sort that have been evident on the part of certain commenters in these threads will be ruthlessly exposed.

In such circumstances, this would be an eminently winnable case.

However, as I have said, I am hoping it will not come to that. In due course, the scientific method will probably work. Either the reviewers will come up with some compelling reasons to reject our argument, in which case the matter ends there, or they will not, in which case the paper will either be published or be left unpublished until the fraudsters have been dealt with.

There is general agreement among all but a few parti-pris commenters here that the reviewers have, thus far, not covered themselves in glory. Mr Verney preaches at me for giving as good as I get when the paid trolls here direct often highly personal attacks against me. But he is silent when he sees the unacceptable tone in which the reviewers thus far have seen fit to express their disagreement with our result. Why this double standard?

• richard verney says:

Lord M

First, I am not seeking to discourage you. Presumably, unless you decide to pull this paper, matters will simply run their usual course.

Second, you state;

let us assume ad argumentum that we have proven what we say we have proven. In that event, we shall have no difficulty in proving to a judge that we have proven what we say we have proven.

I am unsure whether that is circular reasoning, or wishful thinking. One thing for sure is that is not how the Law works, and often eminently winnable cases do not succeeed.

It is a pre-requisite in order to get your case off the ground that you prove to the Judge’s satisfaction that you are correct, ie., there are no gimmes and you will have to establish the correctness of the following basic assertions:

(i) In any dynamical system, feedback responds to the entire absolute input signal, not merely to perturbations. and
(2)… climatology has used a variant system-gain equation that omitted from the input signal in the temperature feedback
loop not only the emission temperature but also the warming from pre-industrial non-condensing greenhouse gases, and
(3) Using control theory’s mainstream equation, the system gain factors for 1850 and 2011 are found identical at 𝟏. 𝟏𝟐𝟗 rather than the current 3.25, reducing the 2 𝜎 interval of Charney sensitivities from 3.35 [2.1, 4.7] K to just 𝟏. 𝟏𝟕 [1.09, 1.25] K. and
(4) [It is correct to frame the assessment of Charney sensitivity in the manner set out in your paper.]

That is the very first hurdle that you will encounter. Should you fail to convince the Judge on that, your case will be thrown out before you get onto the wider fraud issues. You are correct that the Experts on both sides can be cross examined, but whether that assists is moot, although there may be some elements of common ground on partial issues. What is of more assistance to you, is that it may well be the case, that this aspect of your claim (ie., the first hurdle) need only be established on the basis of the civil burden of proof, ie., on the balance of probabilities, and that it is only the wider fraud issues that will be subject to the more onerous criminal standard of proof. It will take a bold Judge to disturb the apple cart.

Third, I consider good manners to always be in fashion and to be capital. I do not approve of anyone using insulting or discourteous language, but 2 wrongs do not make a right. As a writer of articles published on this site, you become an ambassador, such that you should, if anything, set a higher standard. There is no need to drag yourself into the gutter alongside those ‘trolls’ to whom you refer. Further, it does not reflect well on Anthony when Authors of Articles published on this site lower the tone.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Don’t be pompous. If you don’t like the vigorous discussions here, get out of the kitchen.

The only point we need to prove to the criminal standard is that feedback processes respond to the absolute input signal and not merely to some small and arbitrarily-selected perturbation thereof. Once that point is established, which can be done by the simplest mathematics, all else inexorably and unarguably follows.

The point is that we are not the only ones running out of patience with the climate Communists and their fraudulent ways. If we are right in our central point above, and if the totalitarian gatekeepers of the learned journals cannot refute our result but refuse to publish it, then there will in due course be a fraud investigation.

• Richard S Courtney says:

Monckton of Brenchley:

You say,
“Mr Verney thinks we won’t get our paper published. Two possibilities. 1: we are wrong, in which event our paper will not deserve to be published. 2: we are right, in which event there will come a point where continuing attempts improperly to thwart publication will constitute fraud and will be treated as such. I’m not having any nonsense: if we’re right, then we can explain to the fraud police that we are right. But I don’t think it will come to that.”

Your paper warrants publication whether or not it is “right” or “wrong” because – as this thread demonstrates – the truth of the issue it raises deserves serious discussion in the literature.

However, my experience demonstrates that there is no real possibility of your paper being published especially if it is”right”; see https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc0102.htm

And I am very interested to know why you think the “fraud police” would have any more interest in the treatment of your paper than they had in the treatment of my paper that is the subject of my submission to Parliament recorded in Hansard at the link I have provided.

Richard

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Richard, – how very good to hear from you. The reason why we think we are on very strong ground is that – if we are right in our result – then the matter is indisputable and formally demonstrable in a manner that even the most hostile of expert witnesses for climate Communism would be unable to refute under cross-examination.

Suppose, for instance, that the Communists who now control the universities of the West were to decide that they could enrich themselves by denying that the theorem of Pythagoras is true. Suppose that they got a global scam going. And suppose I came along and tried to publish a paper demonstrating that the theorem is true after all. And suppose they refused to publish that paper, even though it was manifestly and demonstrably true. Then they could be prosecuted for fraud, and the prosecution would have an excellent chance of success.

I am making the perhaps rash assertion that the error we have found right at the heart of official climatology is of the same elementary kind as a rejection of the theorem of Pythagoras. If I am wrong in that assertion, the process of peer review will eventually expose my misunderstanding and that of my distinguished co-authors, and that will be that.

But if it is quite clear that we are right, but the totalitarians refuse to publish our paper, the question of fraud begins to arise at that point.

To take another instance, we have already reported climatology’s error to the IPCC secretariat. But, in defiance of its own protocol for the recording and investigation of alleged errors, it has not had the courtesy to reply. We are about to report it to the Swiss Ambassador, for it is headquartered in Switzerland, on the ground that IPCC is not responding because, if it did so, it would have to investigate and report back on the error we have found, which it knows perfectly well to be a real and serious error. And we shall be inviting His Excellency to report the IPCC to the Bureau de l’Escroquerie for being at the center of the largest fraud the world has known. For it becomes not merely an error but a fraud when those who profit by it are told of it and refuse to correct it.

• Richard S Courtney says:

Christopher,

Sincere thanks for your greeting. I trust all is well with you and your family.

Thanks to advice from Allan MacRae my pain relief has been amended. This amendment enables me to reduces my pain relief (instead of stopping it) so I can think sufficiently clearly for me to contribute here. Hence, I am now making contributions in threads which I think merit support such as to be worth the pain.

This thread is clearly worth supporting for two reasons.

Firstly, some responses to your reported paper (such as that in this thread from Nick Stokes which I have refuted ) are silly. They need to be refuted, reviled and ridiculed to stop them from being adopted and promulgated by the host of ‘useful idiots’ who serve the Green Totalitarians’.

Secondly, you say you intend to fight the improper blocking of papers by use of legal action. I have personal reason to hope your intention is successful (e.g. see the link to Hansard I provided in my post you answered). If the matter does go to law then it is not likely that I will then be available to help were you to want to use the very clear example explained in the link. Were you to want another indisputable example then I suggest you contact Ed Berry about the ludicrous reasons reviewers gave to explain their rejections of his recent paper.

All my best to you

Richard

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Very grateful to Richard Courtney, an old friend, for his reappearance. I’m delighted that he is now better than he was.

I am certainly hoping not to have to go to the bother of laying fraud information against any scientific journal. I don’t really see that as the best way to advance science. But, if science has become as corrupted as it appears to be in this field, there may be no other option.

But first we must be sure we are right. So far, the true-believers here have not found it possible to land a blow on our result.

• All my best to you, Richard.

So nice to hear from you, my friend.

– Allan

• Bellman says:

“Within those variances, the math is such that we are able to say with 95.4% confidence that the true Charney sensitivity is 1.17 [1.08, 1.25] K.”

Does that mean you no longer believe sensitivity of 0.5 K is likely? Or is this only the true sensitivity if your assumptions are true?

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

The hapless and furtively pseudonymous Bellhop should stick to delivering trousers to the guests’ rooms. I have made it repeatedly plain in these threads that for present purposes we are holding our noses and accepting ad argumentum that all of official climatology is true except what we can prove to be false.

So let’s do some math. Professor Harde has calculated that the CO2 forcing has been overstated by 30%. Professor Happer has concluded, for entirely different reasons, that it has been overstated by 40%. Since the current CMIP5 estimate of reference sensitivity (before feedback) to doubled CO2 is 1.04 K, if both Professors are correct that should be 0.57 K. Allowing for feedback, make that 0.65 K. But all of this assumes that all of the warming of recent decades was manmade, which may well not be the case.

However, our estimate originally published in the Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015 is that Charney sensitivity is not 0.5 but 1.2 K, and our present result confirms that estimate.

Whether the true value is 0.65 or 1.2 or even 1.5 K, it is now clear that there is no need to take any action whatsoever to mitigate global warming. There will be too little to matter.

• Bellman says:

I have made it repeatedly plain in these threads that for present purposes we are holding our noses and accepting ad argumentum that all of official climatology is true except what we can prove to be false.

Yes you have, hence my questioning your statement “…we are able to say with 95.4% confidence that the true Charney sensitivity is 1.17 [1.08, 1.25] K.”.

If your premise is false you are obviously wrong to claim that you now with 95% certainty what the true sensitivity is.

… if both Professors are correct that should be 0.57 K. Allowing for feedback, make that 0.65 K. But all of this assumes that all of the warming of recent decades was manmade, which may well not be the case.

So you think it could be less than 0.65 K.

However, our estimate originally published in the Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015 is that Charney sensitivity is not 0.5 but 1.2 K, and our present result confirms that estimate.

But you’ve confirmed it’s 1.2 K. (Except you will go on to say that this is only true if you hold your nose, so you haven’t really confirmed anything).

Whether the true value is 0.65 or 1.2 or even 1.5 K, it is now clear that there is no need to take any action whatsoever to mitigate global warming.

Which suggests you don’t care what the true value is as long as it’s small enough not to require any action. However, you don’t know what the true value is, so you cannot establish that it isn’t higher than any of these values.

There will be too little to matter.

Which is a non sequitur, nothing in these articles establishes what a safe sensitivity is.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

The Bellhop continues to be silly. Under the assumptions stated in our paper, which are the assumptions made by official climatology except where otherwise stated, Charney sensitivity will fall on the interval mentioned, which was derived by a Monte Carlo simulation with 30,000 trials.

The fact remains that, if we are correct, equilibrium sensitivities are very considerably below the official estimates. And I say that 1.2 K per CO2 doubling is not enough to worry about because that warming falls well within natural variability. The planet will cope with it just fine. If the sensitivity is less than 1.2 K, the same is true a fortiori.

• Bellman says:

Under the assumptions stated in our paper, which are the assumptions made by official climatology except where otherwise stated…

And my silly point is that if these assumptions are wrong then any figure you derive might also be wrong. You seem to accept that as you suggest your value for sensitivity might be out by a factor of two.

Yet you write at length about the validity of your result, there’s no mention of these assumptions in the head post, and refer to it as the true sensitivity. You also say that you have verified this value using temperature records, but how can this be? If you are correct that this value is wrong it just demonstrates that the validation used was wrong.

If the only point of this paper is to establish an upper bound for ECS then you should spell that out rather than pretending you know the exact value.

And I say that 1.2 K per CO2 doubling is not enough to worry about because that warming falls well within natural variability.

That’s you opinion and for all I know could be right (though I doubt it), but it’s irrelevant to the question about the value of ECS, and doesn’t follow from your argument. Hence, it’s a <em non sequitur.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

The bellhop, not being very growed up, is not familiar with Socratic elenchus, where one takes the opponent’s argument and accepts as much as possible of it ad argumentum, so as to demonstrate its inherent falsity by revealing contradictions in it.

If the bellhop would get his kindergarten mistress to read the head posting to him, he would see that the basis for calculation, including all relevant assumptions, are explicitly stated therein.

The fact is that, if we are correct in understanding that feedback processes respond to the entire input signal and not to some arbitrary fraction thereof, Charney sensitivity must be about one-third of the official mid-range estimates. I do not propose to quibble about what might happen in some other world, or where yet more of the official climatology on which we have relied proves to have been incorrect.

However, we have taken more than a little trouble to verify our result by multiple methods, not least by plotting our predicted warming rate against the observed warming rate since 1990. Our prediction is far, far closer to the observed warming rate than the official predictions.

• Bellman says:

Funny. I thought I was engaging in a sort of elenchus argument. Taking your words and trying to find a contradiction. Myabe I need to be more direct.

Either the 1.2K sensitivity figure is true in which case it can be used to contradict the IPCC’s 1.5 – 4.5K estimates, or it is not true in which case it does not refute the IPCC’s estimate.

It is no good saying that you used their methods – if their methods were wrong you any figure obtained by it is wrong, and cannot be used to refute any other figure. This is a problem with Socratic arguing, you can use it to show that your opponent might not be correct, but you cannot use it to show that they are wrong.

However, we have taken more than a little trouble to verify our result by multiple methods, not least by plotting our predicted warming rate against the observed warming rate since 1990.

And agin, the problem is that if you have verified that sensitivity as close to 1.2K, then it cannot be 0.5K and all the talk of the 1.2K figure only being for the sake of argument is irrelevant. On the other hand if 0.5K is correct and the 1.2K value was only for the sake of argument, then the validation must be wrong.

Incidentally, one reason the trend since 1990 might not be a good validation, is that some people calim there was some sort of pause during much of that period. Personally I don’t see much evidence for this, but if there was something stopping warming for half that period any estimate based on the trend over that time would be underestimating the warming caused by CO2.

• Richard S Courtney says:

Bellman,

Your post is silly. I write to refute it.

Whatever you “thought” you were trying to do is not relevant. This post is about the above article from Monckton of Brenchley and, therefore, your attempts at self-agrandisement merely waste space in the thread.

Your failure to cite any fault in the method used by Monckton of Brenchley is not surprising because the method is correct.

As Monckton of Brenchley told you,
“However, our estimate originally published in the Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015 is that Charney sensitivity is not 0.5 but 1.2 K, and our present result confirms that estimate.

Whether the true value is 0.65 or 1.2 or even 1.5 K, it is now clear that there is no need to take any action whatsoever to mitigate global warming. There will be too little to matter.”

You have ignored that and have replied by writing this tosh,
“And agin, the problem is that if you have verified that sensitivity as close to 1.2K, then it cannot be 0.5K and all the talk of the 1.2K figure only being for the sake of argument is irrelevant. On the other hand if 0.5K is correct and the 1.2K value was only for the sake of argument, then the validation must be wrong.”

That is completely irrelevant to the point that any value of 1.2 K or less is “too little to matter”. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more irrelevant non sequitur than that response from you.

Is irrelevance so much your nature that it is all you can offer?

And if that nonsense were not sufficiently silly then you end with this nonsense,
“Incidentally, one reason the trend since 1990 might not be a good validation, is that some people calim there was some sort of pause during much of that period. Personally I don’t see much evidence for this, but if there was something stopping warming for half that period any estimate based on the trend over that time would be underestimating the warming caused by CO2.”

There was a ‘Pause’. Live with it,

And it is more likely that the ‘Pause’ was because nothing was causing global warming than that there was “something stopping warming”.

Richard

PS
The standard of trolls has declined on WUWT recently. On the basis of your performance, I suspect the trolls’ employers are getting desperate to employ anybody.

• Bellman says:

Sorry.

It was Lord Monckton who bought up Socrates. Maybe I was trying to be too clever in my argument – I’m not much of a fan of philosophy, so if I misunderstood Socratic elenchus, I apologize.

Your failure to cite any fault in the method used by Monckton of Brenchley is not surprising because the method is correct.

I have not attempted to point out any fault in Monckton of Brenchley’s methods for the simple reason that I don’t claim to have much understanding of the subject and leave it to those better qualified to debate the issue. For all I know Monckton’s method is correct. Which is why I’m interested in determining why Monckton himself seems to think it isn’t correct.

You have ignored that and have replied by writing this tosh…

I don’t think I am ignoring Monckton’s point. I just don’t agree with it. He’s saying on one hand that he can prove that the true sensitivity is 1.2K and that this is less than IPCC estimates. But then he says that the 1.2K figure is based on assuming things he doesn’t agree with and that the true value might be much lower.

My problem is that if the value could be much lower it could also be much higher – and I don’t see any argument made why it couldn’t be higher.

Even if there was a proof that sensitivity couldn’t be as high as 1.5K or whatever, in choosing to highlight one value as the true value, whilst insisting it isn’t the true value I feel Monckton undermines his argument.

That is completely irrelevant to the point that any value of 1.2 K or less is “too little to matter”.

My quote this is addressing wasn’t in response to the question of what is “too little to matter” it was in response to the claim that Monckton’s sensitivity value had been verified by warming since 1990.

There was a ‘Pause’. Live with it,

And it is more likely that the ‘Pause’ was because nothing was causing global warming than that there was “something stopping warming”.

If nothing was causing causing global warming during the pause when CO2 was increasing, then Monckton’s sensitivity figure must be wrong.

• Richard S Courtney says:

Bellman,

I wrote to explain that your post was silly.

I have read that reply, decided it is too silly to deserve the bother of writing a refutation and, therefore, I let it stand as it is for everybody to laugh at it.

Richard

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Bravissimo, Richard!

• Bellman says:

Yes, that’s me told.

But lets try to cut through the silliness and just answer one simple question – do you think the true value of ECS is closer to 1.2K or 0.5K?

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

• Bellman says:

A telling response.

OK. Lets do as you suggest and reread the head posting. My interpretation of it is that you think the true ECS is around 1.2K, and is very unlikely to be below 1.08K. I see nothing in the head posting to contradict this claim or suggest it is contingent on assumptions you disagree with. I therefore infer that you believe that the true value of ECS is highly unlikely to be as low as 0.5K.

Do you agree that that is a correct reading of the head posting? If not could you point to a specific part of the head posting showing my error?

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Under the assumption that the papers we cited are correct, so that, for instance, reference sensitivity to doubled CO2 is 1.04 K, Charney sensitivity is 1.17 [1.08, 1.25] K. If Professors Harde and Happer are correct – and both are formidable – then reference sensitivity is 0.57 K and equilibrium sensitivity is 0.65 K. If, as seems highly likely, much of the warming of recent decades was of natural origin, then it is possible that Charney sensitivity is still less than 0.65 K. Professor Lindzen, for instance, finds it to be 0.6 K, and Drs Spencer and Braswell agree.

Our own paper focuses solely on the question of feedback, demonstrating – contrary to the previously-imagined position – that feedback can, in practice, be ignored in the derivation of all equilibrium sensitivities, since, for the reasons explained in the paper, feedback response is minuscule.

• Bellman says:

Thanks for that reply. To summarize and to see if I’m understanding your answer, you do think that ECS might be a lot lower than the 1.2K figure, iff the sensitivity to CO2 sans feedbacks is wrong, but you are pretty sure you have the feedback response correct.

This leaves me with the same questions though:

1. Why do you constantly refer to the 1.2K figure as the true sensitivity?

2. If you think it is possible the true sensitivity is lower, how did your verification tests lead you to confirm 1.2K?

• Richard S Courtney says:

Bellman,

(a) motivation
and

Richard

• Bellman says:

My purpose in questioning Lord Monckton is to try to get answers.

As far as this particular question is concerned I don’t think it’s irrelevant. This article and others is making a very strong claim – that this paper has proven the correct value of ECS to within a very tight margin of error.
Moreover, it’s insisting that this value proves the IPCC estimates are wrong and that this means we do not have to worry about global warming. It seems relevant to question if Monckton thinks this value given with high levels of precision is correct or not.

The only answer to this seems to be that it doesn’t matter what the true value is, as long as it’s too small to require action. But if this is the case, why not state that in the head posting? Why claim with no qualification that you know the “true”value, when you admit in the comments that you don’t?

I’d have liked Lord Monckton to answer that, hence my questioning. But the obvious answer is that he is trying to make the case seem stronger than it is.

• paul courtney says:

Bellman: Hey, are you the bellboy in Return of the Pink Panther? Did Clouseau get you the promotion to Bellman? Or did your manager think “obtuse” was a good quality?

By the simple device of refusing to get the obvious, you succeeded in stringing this merrily along. The obvious- 1.2 is the upper bound based on assumptions that the IPCC is right about something. The author has made perfectly clear in both posts and comment strings (a prolific and generous responder, don’t you agree?) that he does not concede the IPCC got it right (my personal opinion, might be they got it right in the full report, but not in the Summary for Rubes and Reporters) and it could be lower. He does show it can’t be higher, even if you don’t see it. You admit that you don’t understand it at all, then pretend you’re not getting it. Here’s a prediction- you’ll respond to my comment by continuing not to get it.

• Bellman says:

I do agree that it’s good that Lord Monckton is prepared to answer questions, even mine, here. I might not agree with him much but it is good that he is prepared to engage with his critics. I would be happier if he didn’t feel the need to hand out personal insults, but it doesn’t worry me as I’m pseudonymous so I don’t take them personally.

At the risk of confirming your prediction, the point I don’t get is where Lord Monckton has proven that 1.2 is an upper bound. In any event that doesn’t answer my question, but as Richard S Courtney is hinting below this discussion is going nowhere, so time to stop wasting our time I expect.

• Richard S Courtney says:

Bellman,

You say,
“My purpose in questioning Lord Monckton is to try to get answers.”

That is clearly not true because you have repeatedly been given clear answers together with repeated statements that explanations are provided in the head post.

Your are clearly trying to disrupt discussion by your repetitious nonsense together with untrue claims that you are being refused information.

In plain English, you are being a pest and it seems your pestilential behaviour is deliberate.

Richard

• Bellman says:

Maybe I’m dense, but could you provide a quote from the head post that answers any of my questions?

• Philip Schaeffer says:

I’d like to see that too.

• Richard S Courtney says:

Bellman,

I am writing in the probably forlorn hope that you will at long, long last stop your nonsense.

“Maybe I’m dense, but could you provide a quote from the head post that answers any of my questions?”

Your request demonstrates that you are “dense”.
“But lets try to cut through the silliness and just answer one simple question – do you think the true value of ECS is closer to 1.2K or 0.5K?”

You were repeatedly told to refer to the head post for the answer, but you repeatedly claimed you could not find it (your post I am answering is the most recent such claim).

“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.”

1.17 K is closer to 1.2 K than 0.5 K.
I understand your problem because your comments in this thread demonstrate that the arithmetic needed to understand 1.17 K is closer to 1.2 K than 0.5 K probably poses a challenge for you.

Richard

• Bellman says:

Your point that the head post shows ECS is close to 1.2Kis exactly what Iinfered when Monckton said the answer was in the head posting.

Monckton’s respons was that this is only true under certain assumptions and he thinks it is possible ECS could be much lower. Hence my argument that the head posting does not answer all my questions.

• Richard S Courtney says:

Bellman,

Your “argument” is daft. Nobody will waste timed on such nonsense.

Richard

• Richard S Courtney says:

I add that I observe that my prediction of my hope probably being forlorn has proven to be correct. I hoped providing you with a clear and unambiguous answer would stop your nonsense but it did not.

• Bellman says:

I find it strange how many people complain that I’m keeping the discussion going and then insult me and expect me to shut up. If you are going to call my argument “daft” don’t be surprised if I try to defend myself.

You say you provided a clear and unambiguous answer, that Monckton believes ECS to be 1.17K. But that contradicts what Monckton says. He says that figure is the result of him holding his nose and accepting ad argumentum that all of official climatology is true except what we can prove to be false. He clearly does not think that 1.17K is unambiguous.

• Anthony Banton says:

“In plain English, you are being a pest and it seems your pestilential behaviour is deliberate.”

Typical WUWT “attack dog” post.
Bellman is asking questions here … among the very few – the rest just give our good Lord hugs and kisses.
His Classics and Journalistic degrees do not outweigh his peer-reviewers knowledge of physics and mathematics.
This isn’t “Alice in Wonderland” and logic still prevails.
This also on top of his “previous”…..
Get over it Courtney.
The man is a snake-oil-salesman and he comes here because it is the ONLY place he is validated.

• Richard S Courtney says:

Anthony Banton,

Smears, personal abuse and personal attacks are the worst kind of internet trolling.

Bellman is being a pest by repeatedly asking questions to which he has repeatedly been given clear answers. Both Monckton and I have given “The man” clear answers. It is quite proper to object to trolling such as the pestilential behaviour of Bellman.

Support for a disruptive troll by another troll is of no importance.

You are the worst kind of troll: i.e. you complain at objection to Bellman’s trolling and say the objection is a “Typical “attack dog” post”, while – in your same post – you ignore the subject under discussion and attempt to smear Moncktion of Brenchley.

Please note that I am not saying you are an “attack dog” because being on the receiving end of your post is more like being savaged by a dead sheep.

Richard

• AnthonyB says:

” It is quite proper to object to trolling such as the pestilential behaviour of Bellman.l

And no it’s not.
Is it OK (by inference) for denizens to do just what you accuse Bellman of?
It happens every thread when a dissenting voice turns up.
It is hypocricy of the highest order.
And should Monckton engage in honest debate, instead of batting away any and all criticism, finally resorting to ad hom himself if that fails, then I’m in the best company on “his threads”.
Vis….
“The bellhop, not being very growed up, is not familiar …. ”
“If the bellhop would get his kindergarten mistress to read the head posting to him …. ”
“The hapless and furtively pseudonymous Bellhop should stick to delivering trousers to the guests’ rooms.”
Very classy my Lord – well worthy of you upbringing and degree in the “Classics”.

The peer-reviewers said it all and it no such here because of the almost universaly uncritical nature of denizens

Also…
“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.”

FYI: His name is Peter Hadfield and is far from anonymous…..

Then you miss your hero in action Richard. His words recorded for posterity that Peter Hadfield shows to be lies, by direct referral to the PRIME sources. And which Monckton shied away from answering to in a debate on these very pages.

Here …

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/11/monckton-responds-to-potholer54/

That is why he is a snake-oil salesman. He makes claims that when called out on will not defend. Because, of course, he cannot by virtue of Hadfield’s going back to the source of his claims. And showing him as, err, being disingenuous. Does not admit them and apologise of course, which would be the action of somone who made a genuine interpretive error

Apart from the uncritical acceptance of anything that attacks climate science, another notable psychology of this Blog is (for some) to attack anyone here who has the temerity to be skeptical. It is not “trolling” to disagree with a post or an article, nor to be persistent in asking for answers.
Neither are we “socialist” – which what he accused me of being, which, of course precisely calls out his motivation.
Yours
Who dared to call a spade a bloody shovel on here.
And the attack dog duly appeared.
I must say thank you, I am honoured to have the mighty Richard S Courtney do such….

“Which brings me to the fascinating case of Richard S. Courtney, the noted climate sceptic, British coal PR spokesperson and non-scientist.”

Honoured Richard – that I am.

• AnthonyB says:

” It is quite proper to object to trolling such as the pestilential behaviour of Bellman”

And no it’s not.
Is it OK (by inference) for denizens to do just what you accuse Bellman of?
It happens every thread when a dissenting voice turns up.
It is hypocricy of the highest order.
And should Monckton engage in honest debate, instead of batting away any and all criticism, finally resorting to ad hom himself if that fails, then I’m in the best company on “his threads”.
Vis….
“The bellhop, not being very growed up, is not familiar …. ”
“If the bellhop would get his kindergarten mistress to read the head posting to him …. ”
“The hapless and furtively pseudonymous Bellhop should stick to delivering trousers to the guests’ rooms.”
Very classy my Lord – well worthy of your upbringing and degree in the “Classics”.

The peer-reviewers said it all and it no way alters that, that here the almost universally unskeptical (of skeptics) nature of denizens.

Also…
“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.”

FYI: His name is Peter Hadfield and is far from anonymous…..

Then you miss your hero ( and friend) in action Richard. His words recorded for posterity that are shown to be lies, by direct referral to the PRIME sources. And which Monckton shied away from answering to in a debate on these very pages.

Here …

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/11/monckton-responds-to-potholer54/

That is why he is a snake-oil salesman. He makes claims that when called out on will not defend. Because, of course, he cannot by virtue of Hadfield’s going back to the source of his claims. And showing him as, err, being disingenuous. Does not admit them and apologise of course, which would be the action of someone who made a genuine interpretive error

Apart from the uncritical acceptance of anything that attacks climate science, another notable psychology of this Blog is (for some) to attack anyone here who has the temerity to be skeptical. It is not “trolling” to disagree with a post or an article, nor to be persistent in asking for answers.
Neither are we “socialist” – which what Monckton accused me of being (it’s false of course), which, of course precisely calls out his motivation.
Yours
(Bless – Bet you call all your sheep that)
…. Who dared to call a spade a bloody shovel on here.
And the attack dog duly appeared.
BTW: I must say thank you, I am honoured to have the mighty Richard S Courtney do such….

“Which brings me to the fascinating case of Richard S. Courtney, the noted climate sceptic, British coal PR spokesperson and non-scientist.”

From watchingtheden###s
And
http://rabett.blogspot.com/2008/02/on-astounding-diplphil-courtney.html

Honoured Richard – that I am
Anthony

• Bellman says:

Richard S Courtney

“Both Monckton and I have given “The man” clear answers. ”

I think the usefulness in asking questions has run its course for now, and I think anyone look at this thread can form their own options as to how clear the answers have been.

• Bellman says:

Anthony Banton

Whilst I wouldn’t disagree with what you say, I don’t think ad hominem arguments are relevant or useful in this discussion. It provides a useful distraction from the argument and will just be used as evidence that all critics of Lord Monckton are “paid trolls”.

• AnthonyB says:

Bellman…
Thank you, but when they start the ad hom and then accuse others of that, and trolling – the hypocrisy should be called out else this (already) largely echo-chamber of uncritical skeptics will become a total one and drive itself down to the lowest common denominator.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

If furtively pseudonymous trolls post here and I attack them, I am not guilty of argumentum ad hominem, because the trolls are anonymous and deserve whatever they get.

• Bellman says:

Monckton of Brenchley does not appear to understand what an argumentum ad hominem is. In the modern sense it means to draw attention to some aspect of your opponent’s personality in order to imply their argument is invalid. Whether a recipient deserves an insult or not is irrelevant.

Personally I don’t consider any of your insults directed at me to constitute a strict ad hominem argument. Possibly they are an attempt at poisoning the well, but mainly it is just a diversion. Like sledging in cricket, you hope I’ll respond in kind and ignore the actual debate.

• Alan Tomalty says:

Not too many people know that summers in the northern hemisphere are 2C warmer on average than in the southern hemisphere because of the tilt of the earth axis. This skews the global average because there are more land temperature stations in the north. However the UAH satellite data has made this point moot.

• pbweather says:

This seems odd. The current elliptic earth orbit places the southern hemisphere summer closer to the sun than the northern hemisphere summer. i.e. there is more incoming solar radiation in the southern hemisphere summer than the north. So in theory the southern hemisphere summer should be hotter on land areas.

• richard verney says:

The SH may be “hotter on land areas.” Presumably the hottest lands are nearest the Equator.

It is all to do with the axial tilt and the amount of water in each Hemisphere.

The SH has a far higher percentage of ocean and this attenuates the SH temperature, when assessed on a Hemispherical basis. Also, of course, there is the Antarctic, which is significantly different to the Arctic.

• Richard S Courtney says:

Alan Tomalty,

The Earth is coolest (n.b. coolest) when it is closest to the Sun during each year.

Global temperature rises by 3,8 degrees C from January to June then falls by 3.8 degrees C from June to January each and every year. And nobody notices.

This annual and unnoticed variation in global temperature of 3.8 degrees C is nearly double the 2 degrees C rise in global temperature that alarmists claim would be a disaster.

The variation occurs because
(a) the northern hemisphere has more land than the southern hemisphere,
and
(b) land changes temperature more than oceans with the seasons,
and
(c) it is summer in one hemisphere when it is winter in the other.

Richard

• Richard S Courtney says:

Richard Verney,

My account is correct.

My statemenst that said,
“(a) the northern hemisphere has more land than the southern hemisphere,
and
(b) land changes temperature more than oceans with the seasons,”
say the same as your statement saying,
“The SH has a far higher percentage of ocean and this attenuates the SH temperature,

Richard

• Jeff Alberts says:

The Earth is always cool, man. Can ya dig it?

• Clyde Spencer says:

rv,
I seems to me that a significant problem is trying to focus on a single number, the average annual global temperature. We know that the Arctic is warming at a rate that is about 2X the global average. We should therefore expect that other climate zones have their own characteristic temperature and precipitation trends. Being able to say something quantitative about ALL the Earth’s climate zones might provide some insight on just what is actually happening.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

One can do things the hard way, as Mr Spencer suggests, or the easy way, which we have used. The results will not be much different either way, so we prefer the easy way.

• Clyde Spencer says:

Chris,
I’m not sure that my way is so hard. We pretty much have all the data necessary. It is a question of whether one aggregates all the data to arrive at a single number, or partitions the data to get classes. I’m suggesting that by extracting more information from the available data, further insight may be gained. Who knows, it might end up giving additional support to your easy claim. 🙂

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

In response to Mr Spencer, our own current paper focuses on a single very large error in official climatology. Removing that error removes the global warming without the need for further work.

35. Steve Borodin says:

Slightly off topic, I would like to ask a dumb question.

Imagine the Earth’s atmosphere without greenhouse gasses. Solar IR radiation will pass through the atmosphere and reach the surface of the earth. The radiation will heat the surface and some will be radiated back into space. Now add co2 to the atmosphere. The co2 will intercept some of the incoming IR from the sun and some of the outgoing reflected IR radiation from the surface. This energy will be re-radiated randomly in all directions. The latter effect (interception of re-radiated energy from the surface) is the conventional explanation of the greenhouse effect since it reflects energy back to the surface that would otherwise be lost to space. However, the former effect (interception of direct solar radiation – not considered in the conventional explanation) would have the reverse effect, and would be larger than the latter. My dumb mathematics suggests that the overall effect of adding co2 would be that less IR reaches the surface. What is wrong?

• Rich Davis says:

CO2 significantly absorbs long wavelength infrared from the surface but absorbs little of the visible/ultraviolent coming from the sun.

• “What is wrong?”
Very little of the incoming solar energy is in the thermal IR range.

• _Jim says:

THAT explains WHY if I want to warm myself in the winter I sit by the window where the sun is shining through … NOT.

• “I sit by the window where the sun is shining through”
Exactly. You are warmed by sunLight. The spectral energy distribution of insolation is a matter of measured fact, and there is very little in the range that interacts with CO2.

• Matt G says:

If solar energy was only IR the planet would be damn near absolute zero. It is irrelevant that sunlight hardly interacts with CO2 or not when it comes to feedbacks being solar orientated. The most important part are the shorter, higher energy wavelengths that interact with water and especially the oceans. This is where the feedback comes from as IR longwave energy over longer periods of time.

• Rich Davis says:

uh oh. I agree with Nick or Nick agrees with me, I must be wrong?
🙂

• richard verney says:

The reason behind your error is because of the wavelength of incoming solar irradiance. Very little incoming solar irradiance is at a wavelength that is absorbed by CO2,

The K&T energy budget cartoon suggests that some 78 w/m2 is absorbed by the atmosphere. See:

https://climateofsophistry.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/kt-energy-budget.jpg

However, whilst this cartoon suggests that the 78 w/m2 that is absorbed by the atmosphere is absorbed by greenhouse gases, what it fails to make clear is that almost all of this 78 w/m2 is absorbed by water vapour and clouds. Very little is absorbed by CO2!!! We know that to be the case since we know the absorption bands of CO2.

What is of interest is that CO2 does not appear to be doing anything of significance below the tropopause. See:

One can see how CO2 lights up in the stratosphere, say above 20km to >60km, but below the tropopause (say below 14km) CO2 is not illuminated. The take home is that it appears that CO2 only plays a significant role above the tropopause where it is effective at carrying energy to TOA wherefrom it is radiated to the void of space, but does not carry energy downwards to the surface warming the surface. Below the tropopause it is water vapour that is lit up and it is water vapour (not CO2) that is back radiating to the surface. Below the tropopause the dominant processes are conduction, convection and specific heat/latent heat,

• _Jim says:

This explains why cold-blooded creatures like lizards ‘sun’ themselves, is is NOT the thermal IR they seek, but, rather, the visible light?

• Rich Davis says:

Jim, they like the high energy photons much more than the pokey IR. When the high energy photons are absorbed they quickly thermalize. Which feels warmer, the bright blazing flame in a fireplace or the glowing embers?

• Bitter&twisted says:

A very interesting graph, Richard.
One that blows the “CO2 drives the climate” theory into the weeds.

• Is this measured under clear skies, cloudy skies or an average across the planet? I expect to see this between the surface and clouds, where the water in clouds would be absorbing surface emissions anyway. Under clear sky conditions, I would expect to see a larger fraction of the effect coming from CO2.

• Phil. says:

As I’ve pointed out to you before you have completely misinterpreted the Clough graph, I suggest you read the paper.
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/15/global-warming-today-is-now-haunted-by-an-almost-unbelievable-deceptive-beginning/#comment-2410382
As Clough says:
“A critical perspective for interpreting the effects of carbon dioxide in the troposphere for atmospheres with significant amounts of water vapor is the recognition that the effect of carbon dioxide is to moderate the strong cooling associated with water vapor.”

• Matt G says:

This doesn’t necessary mean CO2 is responsible because it drops to ~zero value at different wavelengths where H2O absorption is present, but CO2 absorption definitely isn’t.

What is causing it to drop to ~zero where H2O is present, but CO2 isn’t?

• eyesonu says:

RV,

Are there any cartoon graphs broken down showing non-averaged values as similar to the one you offered on Global Energy Flows?

I would like to see a ‘presentation’ of instantaneous energy flows on a typical clear sky and at the same geographical location on an overcast day. Pick a couple of typical locations (land and sea) and season/temp. Midday would let us see what’s really happening.

Averages will allow an extreme flood to be averaged with extreme drought to show all is just lovely with daily sprinkles. An average is a prescription for fraud or misconception. LMAO with a global average in atmospheric science. ROFLMAO combining land and sea!

• David Cosserat says:

You say, An average is a prescription for fraud or misconception. LMAO with a global average in atmospheric science. ROFLMAO combining land and sea!

Take care. Your observation about averages is very often correct, in climate science as elsewhere. But don’t fall into the trap, as others here have also done, that it is always wrong. Upthread, at least two commentators complain that the climate varies all the time so that using an average temperature is meaningless, as if to to rubbish the significance or relevance of the current debate.

Averaging temperature over a decade or more is a perfectly respectable way of factoring out natural short term oscillations in the long term energy balance between the incoming Sun’s energy flow and the outgoing flow of radiation to space. In that specific case, averaging a temperature over a long period is an exactly correct proxy measure for the long term heat content of a part of the system.

• Steve Borodin says:

Many thanks Rich, Richard, Nick and Jim.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Borodin asks “what is wrong” with the notion that interception of incoming solar radiance by CO2 actually prevents warming that would otherwise occur.

What happens is this. The solar irradiance enters the atmosphere. Getting on for half of it is in the near-infrared. If a near-infrared photon – whether on the way down on on the way up – interacts with a CO2 molecule, it sets up a quantum resonance or oscillation in the bending vibrational mode of that molecule, and the oscillation, being molecular motion, is by definition heat. It is like turning on a little radiator that would otherwise have remained off.

The rest of the radiation, whatever its wavelengths, will continue toward the surface, where it will be displaced to peak in the near-infrared before its outgoing journey. And the near-infrared is precisely the waveband characteristic of CO2. So more little radiators will be turned on.

The question, therefore, is not whether returning to the atmosphere some of the CO2 that was already present causes warming. The question is how much warming it will cause. Our answer is, “Not a lot.”

• I must beg to differ. CO2 does not absorb strongly in the near IR incoming solar spectrum. Water does.

https://geosciencebigpicture.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/spectrum.jpg

There is some minor absorption by CO2 at~2000nm/2microns/5000cm-1, but this is definitely not the fundamental bend of CO2 which takes place at 15000nm/15microns/267cm-1. According to Jordan Werbe-fuentes et al, CO2 absorption in the near IR results in the asymmetric stretch, and serves mostly to warm the mesosphere.

“Not a lot”, is nevertheless correct.

• Phil. says:

The solar irradiance enters the atmosphere. Getting on for half of it is in the near-infrared. If a near-infrared photon – whether on the way down on on the way up – interacts with a CO2 molecule, it sets up a quantum resonance or oscillation in the bending vibrational mode of that molecule, and the oscillation, being molecular motion, is by definition heat. It is like turning on a little radiator that would otherwise have remained off.

The CO2 bending mode doesn’t absorb in the near IR, certainly not in the solar irradiance.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

The CO2 bending mode is a resonance mode. Resonance is induced by interaction with a photon at an appropriate wavelength. If the CO2 molecule does not resonate in the bending mode in response to near-infrared photons, then the CO2 forcing has been very greatly overstated and equilibrium sensitivities will be a great deal smaller than we have found.

• CO2 does not intercept incoming solar radiation, but O2 and O3 can. In UV spectra. UV is more energetic than visible or IR; so the net energy absorbed must heat the upper atmosphere considerably.

The effect of IR GHG (CO2 and H2O) is often described as ‘trapping heat‘. In fact it would be O2 and N2 which trap heat! (if any heat is ‘trapped’). Because as soon as a GHG molecule absorbs a photon, the energy then in the molecule will be thermalized. That is to say, shared with other molecules via very frequent particle collisions (most of the atmosphere is N2 and O2). Once it’s been thermalized (shared with other molecules) there’s insufficient energy in the GHG molecule to re-emit at the same wavelength. Energy can still be emitted (by all gases: H2O, CO2, O2, N2) according to black body formula(s). But only GHG: H2O and CO2 are able to emit radiation associated with transitions in bond energetics. Black body emissions are lower over a wide spectra (but there are far more molecules doing it), while GHG emissions entirely depend on CO2 and H2O. Emissions increase with temperature.

PS: Please correct me if any of that is wrong.

36. ironargonaut says:

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

Every time I hear the phrase “fundamentally flawed” my BS detector goes off. And, usually I am correct on that front because the stater usually never mentions what the flaw is.

That being said were these the best critiques or the worst? Are reviewers comments usually so hand waiving dismissive on scientific papers? I am curious though, why only two points of measurement? Shouldn’t it be valid for all points or all years?

• Lewis P Buckingham says:

Its a bit like the Arts examiner who wrote ‘irrelevant’ in the margin when wanting to criticise
some argument.
Were there any reviewers who thought the paper had any merit?
So far the GCM’s look like bad guesses.
Looking for something better is the way to go.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

You might think it was McIntyre. I couldn’t possibly comment.

The reason why we chose just two years for our calculations was that 1850 was the earliest year for which we could obtain a tolerably reliable global mean surface equilibrium temperature; before that date Man had had little or no influence; and yet that date was close enough to the present to enjoy climatic features broadly consistent with today’s; and we chose 2011 because that was the year to which IPCC brought all the data up to date in preparation for the Fifth Assessment Report of 2013. In the intervening years, data for the net anthropogenic forcing, for instance, were not so readily available.

Nevertheless, we conducted an empirical campaign examining ten years at various dates from 1850 to the present for which reasonably “official” estimates of net anthropogenic forcing were available. We then ran calculations for each of these ten years and, in every case, the Charney sensitivity worked out at 1.17 K.

The reason why there is so very little variation between the different results is that – always provided that we are correct in our contention that feedback processes respond to temperatures and not merely to temperature changes – the emission temperature plus the warming from the pre-industrial greenhouse gases is so much larger than our tiny perturbation that the calculation of the feedback system-gain factor is dominated by that pre-existing temperature.

Do watch the video, and you will see everything explained.

• ironargonaut says:

Monkton Thanks for the answer. Sounds like an acceptable way to validate to me.

• Jeff Alberts says:

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

No it doesn’t.

37. Bitter&twisted says:

I’m a scientist, with about 40 peer-reviewed publications.
I take the view that if there are two explanations of an observation/problem then it is almost certain that the simpler explanation is correct.
One of the greatest physicists of the 20th century said “it doesn’t matter how elegant your theory, or how intelligent you are, if it doesn’t fit the observed facts it is wrong”.
I’m with Lord Monckton.

• I like full-Earth-scale analyses, to eliminate scale-up effects and other complexities when possible. Some parallel thoughts follow:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/02/opening-up-the-climate-policy-envelope/#comment-2395564

[excerpted]

I said “Based on all the evidence, climate is relatively insensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2.” That does not mean climate sensitivity is zero – rather that it is small so any resulting warming will NOT be dangerous.

The CAGW hypo is also falsified as follows:

The upper-bound estimate of Transient Climate Sensitivity of ~1.1C/(2xCO2) by Christy and McNider (2017) is highly credible for the satellite era from ~1979 to mid-2017. This upper bound was calculated assuming (conservatively, for the sake of simplicity and clarity) that ALL the observed warming in the satellite era was due to increasing atmospheric CO2. This maximum climate sensitivity is so low that there is NO credible global warming crisis.
https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/2017_christy_mcnider-1.pdf

Earth cooled from ~1945 to ~1977, even as atmospheric CO2 accelerated, so the CAGW hypo is already falsified by a full-Earth-scale test. Incidentally, using the same assumptions as Christy and McNider, the TCS for the period ~1945 to ~1977 is approx. MINUS 1C/(2xCO2).

The “Pause” in global temperatures since ~1997, even as atmospheric CO2 accelerated, also proves that TCS is very low – near-zero.

So even as atmospheric CO2 has steadily accelerated, there have been multi-decadal periods when global temperature has gone down, up and sideways. Again, there is NO evidence of a global warming crisis, but ample evidence of a natural and irregularly cyclical global temperature phenomenon.

Furthermore, I proved in 2008 that the velocity dCO2/dt changes contemporaneously with global temperature, and its integral the atmospheric CO2 trend changes ~9 months later. This clear signal can only exist if climate sensitivity to increasing atmospheric CO2 (“TCS”) is very small.

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

Practically speaking, if TCS exists at all in significance, it must be very low, probably a positive number less than 0.5C/(2xCO2).

I have studied this subject since 1985 and found NO credible evidence that catastrophic human-made global warming exists in reality. None! I have seen much exaggeration, fraud, falsification of data and other academic misconduct practiced by those who are promoting the false CAGW mantra.

The global warming alarmists have a perfectly NEGATIVE predictive track record. Every one of their very-scary predictions of runaway warming and wilder weather has FAILED to materialize.

In summary, the catastrophic human-made global warming crisis has already been disproved – the catastrophic global warming crisis exists only in the fevered minds of its proponents.

• RyanS says:

“So even as atmospheric CO2 has steadily accelerated, there have been multi-decadal periods when global temperature has gone down, up and sideways. Again, there is NO evidence of a global warming crisis, but ample evidence of a natural and irregularly cyclical global temperature phenomenon.”

If there was no natural fluctuation temperatures would be in lock-step, but there are natural fluctuations, aren’t there?

“cyclical… phenomenon” go down exactly as far as they go up. That isn’t happening.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

RyanS is right. Though there have been long periods without warming – the 18 years 9 months of the Great Pause being a good recent example – the trend is generally upward. Though the uptrend is not sufficient for us to be sure that it is chiefly anthropogenic, our calculations assume ad argumentum that all of it is anthropogenic. If not all of it were anthropogenic, then Charney sensitivity would be less than we have calculated.

• Ryan, all we are doing is examining a brief moment in geologic time, and during that period global temperatures have, on average, increased.

If we examined a different period, the temperatures would have decreased, as they did from ~1945 to ~1977.

Attributing ALL the apparent warming to increased atmospheric CO2 provides an UPPER BOUND on climate sensitivity to CO2, but does not precisely quantify it.

Let’s assume, hypothetically, that global cooling in the near future returns average global temperature to the same levels that existed circa 1940, when fossil fuel combustion strongly accelerated. [This actually happened for a period circa 2008.]

What would your calculated Upper Bound climate sensitivity be then?
Near -Zero or Zero?
Or still ~1.1C/doubling?

What if this hypothetical cooling took global temperatures back to the same levels as circa 1850?
Same questions.

The subject calculation is just one of several ways of calculating an Upper Bound to climate sensitivity. Christy and McNider 2017 provided another Upper Bound of ~1.1C/doubling..

The main conclusion is that from the different credible calculations, Earth’s climate sensitivity to increasing atmospheric CO2 is LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO ~1.1C/doubling and there is NO credible global warming crisis.

Over the relatively short period in geologic time that man has burned significant quantities of fossil fuels, temperatures on average have increased slightly. This could in fact be purely coincidental, and the warming was due to natural causes rather than CO2, and the actual sensitivity of client to increasing atm. CO2 could be near-zero.

We do not know. We do know there is no cause for alarm.

• Ryan wrote:
“cyclical… phenomenon” go down exactly as far as they go up. That isn’t happening.”

I wrote “irregularly cyclical”, so I reject your comment as off-topic. It is silly to suggest that the climate system is that simple – we all know it is not.

I suspect one can’t accurately calculate climate sensitivity from a doubling of CO2 because such an experiment has never been run, and one simply can’t assume the same or even similar results from current or recent conditions. The geological past doesn’t help much because the time scales involved and the resolution in the geological record is inadequate.

Critical variables in the climate system, and how they react to changes in conditions, are unknown. The rest is guesswork, although the IPCC should really know this.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

If we are correct in our central assertion that temperature feedbacks respond to temperature and not just to temperature change, then it is possible to constrain the interval of Charney sensitivity, as we have done in the head posting, by using a top-down approach to derive the feedback system-gain factor rather than the bottom-up approach currently used in the models.

I agree that the bottom-up approach can’t work – indeed, one only has to look at the discrepancy between predicted and observed warming to see that it is not working. But our method works, and gives a result respectably close to the observed temperature trend.

39. TinyCO2 says:

Instead of trying to crack the climate journals, perhaps you should approach those of another field – control, engineering or statistics?

Pointing out how close your figure is to the lab effect of CO2 is important in that it uses the climatologists prime weapon against them.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

TinyCO2 makes a good point, but we’re not sure we’d be received kindly by, say, a journal of control theory, not because there is anything wrong with our feedback analysis (there isn’t, or our professor of control theory would intervene) but because the journal would not be confident that we had correctly represented the climatic aspects of our result.

• TinyCO2 says:

That may illustrate where you need to bolster the paper anyway (I’m not sure that climate scientists understand the climate aspects of the sun either). Other fields may have more sympathetic ears than climate journals although academics tend to stick together, but even if they don’t accept the paper, they may concede that your concept is valid. They may go away and wonder about how strong the official science is. Cracks in the dam and all that.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

I’m not sure that we need to bolster the paper all that much: it uses what climatology would recognize as mainstream climate science, so there is little for climatologists to argue with on that score. The problem is that climatologists tend to have little or no understanding of feedback theory, which involves among other things a knowledge of how infinite series work. They have been misled as to the definition of feedback for decades, so our correction to the definition comes to them as a painful and embarrassing surprise.

in the end, this question will be settled by control theorists brave enough to take on the climatological establishment and tell it it is wrong.

• The Deplorable Vlad the Impaler says:

Just curious: Have you perhaps considered something along the lines of ‘Journal of Geophysical Research’, or the AAPG (Tulsa, Ok) monthly journal (I am a member of AAPG), or the SEG publication, ‘Geophysics’?

AAPG published a comprehensive volume, “Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change”, and might be a bit more, for lack of a better term, ‘sympathetic’, to the statements in your paper.

Just a thought — — — my half-pfennig on the topic.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

The problem with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists is that, however impartial they are, they will be seen as a vested interest. So we are trying for publication in a mainstream climate journal. Only then will the Marxstream media even think about reporting what we have discovered. Nothing less will do, I’m afraid.

Meanwhile, we are quietly disseminating our result in quarters where it matters.

40. Johann Wundersamer says:

“How climatologists forgot the Sun was shining”

Great! Thx.

41. Johann Wundersamer says:

Who needs “positive feedbacks” on a live suspending planet friendly shone at by a sympathizing sun.

42. steveta says:

Is anyone aware of any full-time climate scientists anywhere in the world, who have been presented with these arguments are thought “Doh – why didn’t we see that before!”.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Yes, but for understandable reasons they’d rather not be named. The viciousness of the true-believers in Marxist academe should not be underestimated. Already one of our co-authors has been dismissed from his university on a trumped-up charge because his name was found on our paper. In due course, the fraud authorities will be asked to investigate. But first we want to make quite sure that we’re right. And that means going through a fairer peer-review process than we have had so far.

• Superchunk says:

Since “climate science” funding would not exist in anything close to its current size without some sort of impending crisis and related wealth/power transfer scheme, I think it’s safe to say that climate “scientists” have all been pre-selected to only see the world one way and only allow one conclusion. Any of them who suggested this post might be correct would be immediately out of a job, so what they think is not of use, even if they’re occasionally right.

43. kcrucible says:

““[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.””

Hahah. And yet he just described every climate model in existence.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Amen to that. The absence of any self-critical faculty is the hallmark of academic totalitarians everywhere.

44. bonbon says:

I don’t know why I think of homodyne signal processing when I see the IPCC theory. Have they by any chance mixed in some sort of radio theory by accident or design?

45. ferdberple says:

It is a question of math. Does the math hold for both delta T and T absolute. If you can show this to be the case then the argument is won.

When this question first came up I did a couple of test cases sufficient to show that the equations held true in both cases for specific cases. I did not try to solve the general case but this should be possible by algebraic methods.

The problem with oral arguments is that most people lack the training to reduce them to aaformal proof and thus the results are ambiguous. A mathematical proof however is much harder to get wrong.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Ferd Berple may like to download our two-pager. One page gives a general scientific overview of our result; the other provides an outline of the very proof that he seeks.

46. ferdberple says:

Does the math hold for both delta T and T absolute.
=====
As I recall the proof I saw in my head was to reduce the feedback equation to an infinite geometric series and show the equivalence between absoluteabsoluteabsolute – 0).

It was a matter of writing it out but I didn’t have room in the margin ….

• ferdberple says:

Typo. show the equivalence between delta T and T absolute – 0.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

It’s all a question of doing your calculations in the right fermat.

• Clyde Spencer says:

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Ah, if only Pierre review were possible …

47. Johann Wundersamer says:
• Monckton of Brenchley says:

… praeter climatologistibus.

48. ferdberple says:

Since T abs = 0 absolute + delta T

And the feedback equation is proven for delta T, and the climate system must be in equilibrium at 0 absolute, from this we can conclude ththat the feedback equation is equally proven for T absolute.

• ferdberple says:

By the equivalence principle if A=B and C is true for A then C is true for B.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

I am really most grateful to Ferd Berple for thinking of ways to prove, rigorously, our contention that feedback processes respond to the absolute input signal. He may also like to recall that system-gain equation states that the output signal is the product of the input signal and the sum of the infinite series {f + f^2 + f^3 + … + f ^infinity}, where the feedback factor f is the fraction of the output signal represented by the feedback response. The sum of that well-kent infinite series, of course, is simply the system-gain factor A = 1 / (1 – f). Therefore, the output signal is the product of the input signal and the system-gain factor.

One can also derive the form of A by looking at the loop diagram and noting that the output signal is the sum of the input signal and (f x the output signal). A little algebraic manipulation shows that the output signal is thus the ratio of the input signal to (1 – f), or, in other words, the product of the input signal and the system-gain factor A = 1 / (1 – f).

It is at once self-evident from these two distinct approaches that there is nothing inherent in the feedback system-gain equation itself that prevents the equation from having as its input an absolute temperature rather than merely a temperature change. If an absolute temperature is the input, an absolute temperature is the output. if a temperature change is the input, then a temperature change is the output.

Next, one can derive climatology’s variant equation (with deltas as the input and output) by taking the difference between successive instances of the mainstream equation (with absolute temps as the input and output).

Thus: Mainstream 2: Tq2 = (Tr1 + deltaTr1) A.
and: Mainstream 1: Tq1 = (Tr1 ) A.
————————————————
Climatology’s equat: deltaTq1 = (deltaTr1) A.

Tr1, which includes the emission temperature, has been subtracted out. Therefore, the variant equation cannot use it to derive the system-gain factor as we have done. But our derivation is still correct.

Now, what this means, of course, is that, provided that A is the same for mainstream equations 1 and 2, those equations are entirely consistent with climatology’s equation, which is simply the difference between them. Since the mainstream equations are valid, so is climatology’s variant. Since climatology’s variant is thus equal to their difference, they are consistent with it.

Therefore, all the hogwash about climatology’s equation being derived from the energy-balance equation via a Taylor-series expansion is supremely irrelevant to our argument, because the mainstream equation is in no way inconsistent with that approach.

Are there any further steps that Ferd would add to make the demonstration rigorous? Or is the above sufficient?

The counter-argument being put against our approach is that because the feedback equation is derived via only the leading order of a Taylor-series expansion rather than via the entire expansion the feedback system-gain factor derived from it is only of local application on the curve represented by the expansion.

However, as one can see from the above analysis, one can derive the feedback equation from first principles without reference to the Taylor-series expansion, which is why the equation is capable of modeling absolute input and output temperatures as well as deltas.

I should be most grateful for any thoughts from Ferd, or from others here, on making the demonstration more rigorous.

Of course, we also tested the underlying theory by building our own rig, and then by getting a government laboratory to do the same. Both rigs gave output values exactly as theory would predict.

But, of course, all this comes as a nasty shock to those who have been brought up on IPCC’s definition of feedback processes as responding to perturbations only.

• “But, of course, all this comes as a nasty shock to those who have been brought up on IPCC’s definition of feedback processes as responding to perturbations only.”

Yes, Joules are Joules and there is no reason why the effect from the next W/m^2 of forcing would be any different then the average effect from all accumulated W/m^2 of forcing, which is 1.6 W/m^2 of surface emissions per W/m^2 of forcing, corresponding to an ECS of about 0.3 per W/m^2 or about 1.1C for doubling CO2.

The fudging comes in by defining forcing to be zero in the steady state. If Pi is the input at TOA, Po is the output at TOA and E is the energy stored by the planet,

Pi = Po + dE/dt

The IPCC considers forcing to be instantaneous Pi – Po which is dE/dt. What they neglect to consider is the complete relationship between E and Po, where while T is linearly proportional to E, Po is proportional to T^4 thus dE/dt is not proportional to dT/dt as assumed by the IPCC’s fake science.

49. As I understand it, the good Lord Monckton discovered the GCM feedback from a footnote in one of the IPCC reports. Apart from that, alarmists don’t write their methods nor formulas down. It’s all smoke & mirrors, hocus pocus, and computer code. They claim their GCMs project from emergent behaviour of the Laws of Physics which they wrote as computer code. So the actual behaviour of GHG, their climate models, are hidden in computer code. It’s a neat trick:

“We are the experts. Our computer models predict the future. No – you can’t see our formulas – they are too complex for puny brains like yours to comprehend; only the superior being – the expert – can manipulate such mighty ‘sciences’; besides such powerful codes must be run on supercomputers to divine the future.”

The gist of this is that they can deny their models do feedbacks like this (above). They have plausible deniability; much like the witch doctor of olde.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Pawelek is correct. Those here who have been denying that the variant system-gain equation used in climatology is used in climatology may like to direct their attention to the more than customarily inspissate footnote on p. 631 of IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007). There, they will find the equation whose relevance to the derivation of Charney sensitivity they so pathetically deny.

• Bellman says:

The unusually thick footnote saying,

“Under these simplifying assumptions the amplification of the global warming from a feedback parameter λ (in Wm-2 °C–1) with no other feedbacks operating is 1 / (1 + λ/λp) , where λp is the ‘uniform temperature’ radiative cooling response (of value approximately –3.2 W m–2 °C–1; Bony et al., 2006). If n independent feedbacks operate, λ is replaced by (λ1 + λ2 +…λn ).”

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

The footnote is indeed poorly drafted and, like much else in IPCC’s reports, calculatedly obscurantist. However, its existence gives the lie to those who have been trying to maintain that climatology doesn’t use the system-gain equation.

• Bellman says:

Yes one shouldn’t be too obscurantist. But the part that interested my was the start where it says “Under these simplifying assumptions…”. To me that suggests the simple equations are not used to determine sensitivity.

The sentence to which this refers says “The water vapour feedback, operating alone on top of this, would at least double the response.” But then goes on to say it’s a lot more complicated than that.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

We have short-circuited all the complexity by restoring the Sun and the pre-industrial greenhouse gases to the equation. Then one may derive the feedback system-gain factor directly without having to consider the values of individual temperature feedbacks. Our method is, therefore, much less prone to error than that of IPCC.

50. ferdberple says:

Here is another version of my above proof:

If the feedback equation is true for an increase in temperature, then it is true for a decrease in temperature. Let T (abs) be the equilibrium temperature of the earth. Then if the sun was turned off and the earth was sampled n times as it cooled to 0 (abs) you would get:

T2 (abs) = T (abs) – delta T1
T3 (abs) = T2 (abs) – delta T2

0 (abs) = Tn (abs) – delta Tn

From this you can calculate the feedback for each delta (x) as:

feedback(delta Tx)

And from this the feedback at T (abs) as:

Feedback (T (abs)) = Sum (feedback(delta Tx)) for x= 1 to n

• ferdberple says:

To compltet the proof reduce the number of samples to 1 and invert the sign.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

It is really simpler than Mr Berple suggests. Set the mu gain block to unity, adding any perturbation of the input signal to that signal before inputting it to the summative node. Then the only elements in the circuit are the input signal, the summative input/output node, the feedback block in the feedback loop, and the output signal.

Follow the input signal round the feedback loop. It goes round and round and round an infinite number of times. Each time, it is multiplied by f and then added to the previous total. Therefore, the output signal is the product of the input signal and the sum of the infinite series {f^0 + f^1 + f^2 + … ad inf.}. That is a well-kent series in mathematics. Its sum is 1 / (1 – f). That, then, is the system-gain factor A.

Therefore, the feedback-loop diagram simplifies to the statement that the output signal is the product of the input signal and the system-gain factor A.

Given that A is inanimate, and given that there is no sub-circuit or other process in the climate that permits A to decide that it will only multiply itself by some part of the input signal, it follows that the output signal is indeed the product of A and the entire input signal.

Note that this does not prevent climatology’s variant equation from being correct. One can call the input signal a perturbation and the output signal a perturbation.

But the advantage of the mainstream equation, using absolute quantities for the input and output signals, is that it provides a remarkably simple method of deriving the Holy Grail of climate-sensitivity studies – the system-gain factor. And that’s that.

51. Tom Graney says:

LM’s characterization of the problem using process control theory is simply incorrect. The system input is not temperature, but heat in the form of solar radiation, which we can consider to be a constant. The system output (response) is the earth’s temperature. How the system (the earth in this case) responds is a function of its physical characteristics, which are not necessarily constant.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Graney’s concern is understandable but incorrect. In mainstream climatology (not the most reliable sources, I agree), temperature feedbacks are just that: they are denominated in Watts per square meter per Kelvin of the temperature that triggered them. The product of the sum of these individual feedbacks and the Planck sensitivity parameter (in Kelvin per Watt per square meter) is the unitless feedback factor.

Mr Graney may like to read Roe (2009), where he will find a good pedagogical treatment of the question of temperature feedback, though of course that paper makes the same mistake as all other papers in climatology on this topic.

But let me be clear about what I mean when I say climatology has erred. Its error is one of missed opportunity. Its variant system-gain equation is a valid equation, but the emission temperature from the Sun and the warming from the pre-industrial non-condensing greenhouse gases has been subtracted out. Restoring these missing terms allows an immediate, robust, accurate derivation of the Holy Grail of climate-sensitivity studies – the system-gain factor.

• Alan Tomalty says:

you can do the calcs with temperatures or you can do them with fluxes. Either way the feedback mathematics works.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Quite right. There is very little difference between the two methods.

52. John Bahm says:

The statement
“Feedback processes, being inanimate, cannot discriminate between a pre-existing temperature and a perturbation of that temperature.” is accurate and describes why the feedback factor cannot be high enough for an ECS of 3 C. An ECS of 3 C would require a feedback factor of 3/1.1 = 2.72.
The input being the 1.1 C of forcing warming from the doubling of CO2.
If we assume a latency between input and output of Hansen’s 37 years, then the .2 C of pre 1940’s
warming would cycled two times through the feedback process.
So , (CYCLE 1).2 X 2.72 =.544 C (CYCLE2) .544 X 2.72= 1.48C.
Since the total warming is less than 1.48 C, that feedback factor with that latency
can be eliminated. The latency could be longer, but if we are going to attribute
and of the observed warming to greenhouse gas forcing, then the possible
amount of feedback factor diminishes.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Bahm’s summary of the position is excellent. Indeed, the official position is even worse than he says, for the current mid-range estimate of reference sensitivity to doubled CO2 (i.e. the warming before accounting for feedback) is just 1.04 K (derivable from Andrews, 2010). And the mid-range Charney sensitivity (loc. cit.) is 3.37 K. So official climatology’s implicit mid-range estimate of the system-gain factor is 337/104, or 3.2, when the true value is 1.13.

One can also do things their way and use the variant system-gain equation. This won’t work for 1850, but it will work for 2011. They say there has been 2.29 W/m^2 net anthropogenic forcing to 2011, which, multiplied by the Planck parameter 0.299 K/W/m^2 (Schlesinger 1985), gives a period reference sensitivity of 0.68. However, only 0.75 K of warming occurred over the period (HadCRUT4). Allowing for the 0.6 W/m^2 imagined, and probably imaginary, “radiative imbalance” of 0.6 W/m^2 in 2010 (Smith+ 2015), the equilibrium warming for 2011 would have been 1.02 K. Now, the system-gain factor implicit in these two values is 1.02 / 0.68, or 1.5, which would give a Charney sensitivity of 1.04 * 1.5 = 1.55 K. Now, that is pretty close to our estimate of a system-gain factor 1.13, giving a Charney sensitivity of 1.04 * 1.13 = 1.17 K, and not at all close to the CMIP5 mid-range estimate of 3.2 and 1.04 * 3.2 = 3.37 K.

• Dave Miller says:

Are the “feedback theory only applies to deltas” trolls not saying, equivalently, that the sun was not vaporizing water until we started “dumping” anthropogenic CO2?

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Miller makes an excellent point. Indeed, Lacis et al. (2010), right from the heart of true-believing climate extremism, say that in the absence of any non-condensing greenhouse gases the albedo would be 0.418 compared with 0.298 today, and their albedo implies a waterbelt Earth, with an ice-free equatorial zone. Water vapor – treated as a feedback in climate studies – would then be free to enter the atmosphere by evaporation and convection. But, say the trolls, this feedback cannot have occurred because we cannot be blamed for it.

It’s enough to make you weep – another feedback, perhaps.

• richard verney says:

This is the fundamental point, isn’t it? Namely that the water feedback component begins to kick in at whatever temperature is such that the planet has open water, such that water starts evaporating and water vapour starts accumulating in the atmosphere.

Thus as at 1850 (or whatever date one wants to chose), there is already a considerable water feedback component acting, as a forcing, alongside the forcing of incoming solar irradiance.

The temperature as at 1850 must be made up of the forcing of solar irradiance + the forcing of then present water vapour + the forcing of the then present C02 + the forcing of the then present GHGs.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Verney is almost exactly right. The water vapor forcing, however, is usually treated in climatology – and is thus treated by us – as a feedback forcing, and is called the water vapor feedback.

• The first clue that something is wrong is that the feedback is greater than the forcing. This is the defining characteristic of an unconditionally unstable system.

53. bonbon says:

Either they did their theorizing at night, at the Pole, or in Plato’s Cave. I think the latter. Along comes someone to tell the 7 chained cavedwellers it is the Sun casting shadows on the wall!
Of course the messenger was temporarily blinded by the Sun outside, so the 7 stoned him saying, look, he cannot see our thoroughly understood shadows anymore!
The 7 reviewers, peers all.

54. Sasha says:

It would be a great help for people who neither understand the despicable deception that has been perpetrated on them nor grasp its enormous significance.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Most grateful to Sasha. If she will persist and read through the piece to the end, she will see a link to a video made on my recent visit to Spokane, Washington.

And if anyone would like to hear an explanation of our result in person, he or she will be most welcome at Camp Constitution in Connecticut next week. Be there or be square!

• Alan Tomalty says:

He has made the video. Scroll up

55. Harry Palmes says:

I would love to get behind this, but after looking into it for ages I don’t see a basis to use zero Kelvin as a datum for feedbacks. It’s arguably more valid to use 255 Kelvin (the approximate temperature where water vapour feedback starts in earnest according to Clausius–Clapeyron) more like the IPCC.
The exam question is: what is the feedback at current global temperature (around 287K), i.e. if you force the temperature up 1°C from here how much will feedbacks add to this, perhaps another 0.1°C? or 3°C? That is the question.
Firstly note that many of the feedbacks present at 287K only function at warm temperatures. I.e. if you ask the same question in an alternative world with a very weak sun, so weak it only warms the earth to 50K (no feedbacks), then how much does water vapour feed add at that point? Answer: zero. Because there’s no water vapour in the atmosphere at that temperature.
So assuming feedbacks are constant at all temperatures from 0K to 290K doesn’t make any sense. It’s not unreasonable to assume there’s no feedbacks until 255K like the IPCC do. It’s not very accurate either, but not unreasonable. The feedbacks vary tremendously as a function of temperature, for example if temperature is forced 1°C up at the point ‘snowball’ early turns to warm watery earth then the feedbacks might be an additional 20°C (at the tipping point). The feedback parameter is function of temperature, so making the heroic assumption that feedbacks are constant from 0K to 287K it not helpful.

I’m sure Lord Monckton will come back saying I not qualified to express an opinion on this. But after much correspondence and contemplation I still cannot support this conjecture. Feedbacks are not constant from 0K through 290K and it’s not helpful to assume that they are.

• RyanS says:

The feedbacks vary tremendously as a function of temperature…

Indeed once the Arctic ice is melted the energy instead begins to raise the temperature of the liquid. Melting a kilo of ice uses the same energy that raises a kilo of water from 0 to 80C. That then changes global weather patterns.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Palmes’ concern is shared by one of the reviewers. However, the math is ineluctable. Such feedback processes as exist at any given moment will respond to the absolute temperature they find at that moment. This is basic control theory; it is easily testable; we have tested it, not once but twice; and our Professor of control theory has confirmed it.

Feedback processes are inanimate. They have no mechanism by which they can decide not to respond to a reference temperature of 255 K, or decide to respond only to some unspecified and indeterminable fraction of it. They simply respond to all of it.

One might ask all sorts of questions about what the world would look like with a weaker Sun, or with an iceball Earth rather than the waterbelt Earth we have imagined. But we are humans and can envision these things. Feedback processes are inanimate. They have no power other than to respond to the temperature as they find it at any given moment. We simply selected two such moments – 1850 and 2011 – and did the math.

It is certainly not for me to say whether Mr Palmes is qualified to express an opinion on this or any topic. I myself have no piece of paper that qualifies me to talk about any of this. But I have an army of co-authors and pre-submission reviewers at my back, and some of these are the smartest cookies in the jar.

It’s important to understand that in saying that feedbacks respond to the 255 K reference temperature we are not saying anything about whether feedbacks would be constant at any temperature below 255 K. We are saying no more than that, where the reference temperature is in fact 255 K, then the feedback processes will respond to that reference temperature, regardless of what might have happened at some other temperature or in some other world.

By the same token, we are certainly not assuming that the feedback processes would be the same as today’s at temperatures appreciably below today’s. They wouldn’t. But the feedback processes in the climate today, whatever they be (for we don’t need to know in our method), will react to the temperature in the climate today, just as they did in 1850, for the difference in the climate between the two dates is not enough to throw off the calculation by very much.

• Alan Tomalty says:

“The exam question is: what is the feedback at current global temperature (around 287K), i.e. if you force the temperature up 1°C from here how much will feedbacks add to this, perhaps another 0.1°C? or 3°C? ‘

Lord Monckton has answered that question. It is 0.129K

• richard verney says:

Many issues arise including partial pressures.

But the idea that there would be no water vapour feedback if this planet had an average temperature of 255K, seems to over look the concept of average. With such an average temperature, there would still be large areas of open water which would absorb incoming solar irradiance, leading to evaporation and hence water vapour in the atmosphere.

• Matt G says:

The temperature of the planet would be far from uniform with the poles been ridiculously cold. Likely the Tropics would still have open ocean water and incoming solar irradiance would likely keep it ice free, produce water vapor and form clouds. Winds and atmospheric convection would move this around the planet. Even during the snowball Earth era it was thought the planet still had open ocean water around the Tropics.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Matt G is correct: that is precisely the scenario we have modeled, using data from Lacis et al., 2010.

• Clyde Spencer says:

There is a fly in the ointment in that while IR emission varies with the absolute temperature raised to the 4th power, the phase changes of water at discreet temperatures complicate things by sequestering, transporting, and releasing energy. I’m not sure that the models are that sophisticated. It is well known that energy exchanges in clouds are not handled at the same scale as other parameters, and hence a lot of assumptions are built into the models to handle clouds.

I think that you are probably correct to assume that feedbacks are not constant. They also are probably not linear and may not even be monotonic functions. Feedbacks may well have step transitions because of phase changes in water.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

No fly in our ointment, for our calculations span only the period from 1850-2011, during which the state of the atmosphere did not change enough to mess up the calculations.

56. Dr Deanster says:

I only see 2 points, 1850 and 2011. Do you have a graph that looks at multiple points across time. IMO, it would be more powerful if you show the relationship across time. I would like to see that the recorded Tr/Tq ratio holds up across time, and that 2011 wasn’t just a one off.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Dr Deanster raises a fair point. In fact, we found ten dates, all of them since 1850, where reasonably reliable official estimates of the anthropogenic forcing to those years were available, and we conducted an empirical campaign (it took months) to investigate each one and tabulate the results. The answer is that equilibrium sensitivity derivable from each of the ten cases was 1.17 K.

57. Ulric Lyons says:

“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.”

Since the mid 1990’s, changes in atmospheric circulation have driven a warm AMO phase, declines in cloud cover, and changes in the vertical distribution of water vapour. All have driven surface warming, ocean heat content has increased, and CO2 uptake has reduced. Increased water vapour at lower levels increases the GH effect, decreases in water vapour at upper levels increases the penetration of solar near infrared to the surface and lower atmosphere. Given that the leading climate modes of AO/NAO are negative to drive such states, it’s all of the wrong sign to associate with rising CO2 or any net increase in total climate forcings. But closely follows the decline in solar wind temperature/pressure.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Ulric Lyons may or may not be right that natural variability is the cause of recent warming. However, ad argumentum we have accepted all of official climatology except what we can prove to be false. That way, we have succeeded at last in focusing the discussion on to our principal result: that, since feedback processes respond to whatever input temperature they find, it is possible to derive the system-gain factor and hence Charney sensitivity very simply and reliably.

• Ulric Lyons says:

“since feedback processes respond to whatever input temperature they find”

They do not, they respond to net changes in total climate forcing, within limits regardless of the absolute temperature, and appear to be strongly negative. Which is what one should expect given the relative stability of Earth’s temperature.

“However, ad argumentum we have accepted all of official climatology except what we can prove to be false.”

The climate system has already proved official climatology false, with the increase in negative NAO/AO from the mid 1990’s that wasn’t supposed to happen according to rising CO2 forcing models, and that actually drove the AMO and Arctic warming.

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-3-5-6.html

• ferdberple says:

They do not, they respond to net changes in total climate forcing, within limits regardless of the absolute temperature
==!===
Don’t agree. Due to phase change of water feed back will be nonlinear for large delta T. This means that the feedback must vary as a function of T absoluteabsolute.

Which means that climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is not a constant!!!

• Ulric Lyons says:

ferdberple: Ocean phases act as negative feedbacks to net changes in climate forcing, which drives the changes in water vapour. That happens irrespective of the global mean surface T.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Lyons is incorrect. Feedback processes respond to the input signal they find, not merely to some change in that signal. Look at the block diagram and think.

• Ulric Lyons says:

“Look at the block diagram and think.”

Having built audio op amp circuits, I think that it’s baloney. You have no amplification, and you have confused feedback with amplification. In doing so, you have also excluded the possibility of a negative feedback, and hence of a relatively stable climate. Bode would not be amused.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Lyons should recall that one of our co-authors is a professor of applied control theory, and two more are electronic engineers familiar with the relevant control theory.

The block diagram for the feedback loop shown in the head posting has no gain block. Now, why is this, do you suppose? The reason, of course, is that if one wishes one may simplify the math by setting the value of the gain block to unity, and simply adding any perturbation of the original input signal to that signal itself before passing it into the feedback loop. But then the input and output nodes are equipotential, in which event one may represent them as a single node.

This approach is functionally equivalent to the Bode diagram, where the amplification is fed in via the mu gain block rather than as a simple addition to the input signal.

Look at the block diagram, and think.

• Ulric Lyons says:

“simply adding any perturbation of the original input signal to that signal itself before passing it into the feedback loop. But then the input and output nodes are equipotential, in which event one may represent them as a single node.”

Sounds like you can dispense with your feedback loop then from that. The requirement for your postulate though is simply an amplifier with a fixed gain of 1.13.

• Ulric Lyons says:

“Mr Lyons should recall that one of our co-authors is a professor of applied control theory, and two more are electronic engineers familiar with the relevant control theory.”

So what, I got my lessons on servo control and missile guidance systems and negative feedback when I was still sharing baths with my father who was at the time head of Guided Weapons at the RAE in Farnborough.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Right. Let Mr Lyons explain this. How can inanimate feedback processes receiving an input signal decide that they will ignore the greater part of that signal and respond only to some arbitrary perturbation of it?

• Ulric Lyons says:

The ‘greater part’ of the signal is being amplified by the greenhouse effect, that is not a feedback. The perturbations in the signal are not arbitrary, they are driving change, which will have a feedback, either net positive or net negative, and which could also exhibit overshoot.

• Amplification is another term IPCC scientists use for feedback. The core GHG effect itself is not an amplification. The main positive feedback is supposed to happen because as a) CO2 makes temperatures warmer, and b) the system acts to keep water relative humidity constant (the catastrophists’ conjecture), c) but this H2O relative humidity changes with temperature, d) so H2O absolute humidity increases (that is: more H2O will dissolve in the atmosphere), e) this extra H2O is the IPCC feedback, or amplification. This small hypothesized fraction of the GHG is the GCM positive feedback (their amplification).

Fine and dandy in theory, but not observed in practice in the part of the atmosphere where it matters.

Water vapour, water vapour. Our kingdom for more water vapour.” — Climate ‘scientists’ are heard to mutter as they lose their final battle and face imminent extinction.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

If Mr Lyons reads the head posting with sufficient care, he will see that any perturbation owing to the greenhouse effect is accounted for by adding it to the input signal Tr before passing that signal to the feedback loop. This approach is functionally equivalent to the Bode feedback loop.

• “Mr Lyons should recall that one of our co-authors is a professor of applied control theory, and two more are electronic engineers familiar with the relevant control theory.”
I find it funny when I see attempted refutations of large slabs of science, roundly and heartily rejected by journals and a great body of scientists, and the defence is
“but our man X says so, and he has qualifications!”

Greatly inflated here.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Stokes is disingenuous. He knows quite well that laymen such as me are held in contempt by climatologists if we indicate we are not prepared to toe the Party Line. Well, now I have a growing academic army at my back, which is one reason why he is having such a hard time coming up with plausible reasons to suggest that our result is incorrect.

He has failed and failed and failed again to explain how inanimate feedback processes can “know” they should respond to some arbitrary perturbation of the input signal and not to the whole thing. His failure is being widely noticed, and not just here.

• “to explain how inanimate feedback processes can “know” they should respond to some arbitrary perturbation of the input signal and not to the whole thing.”
It is built in to the term “respond” A system responds to something that happened. It can’t respond to something that always was. You can ask, how should the government respond to a rise in sea level? Build seawalls, higher docks etc. How should the government respond to sea level? ???

• Richard S Courtney says:

Nick Stokes,

You assert,
“A system responds to something that happened. It can’t respond to something that always was.”

Really? I suspect you respond to being in a breathable atmosphere by breathing. But you have always been in a breathable atmosphere so perhaps you should stop responding to it.

Richard

• The air has always been breathable, and I have always been breathing it. So where is the response?

Does it make sense to say that the fires in California are a response to the presence of oxygen in the air?

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Stokes continues to ignore the simple mathematics of the feedback loop. At its simplest, it comprises an input signal, a feedback loop and an output signal. It is inherent in the mathematics of that simple loop that the output signal is the product of the input signal and the sum of the infinite series {f^0 + f^1 + f^2 + … ad inf.}, i.e., the product of the input signal and the system-gain factor 1 / (1 – f), under the convergence condition – applicable here – that | f | <1.

The input signal, therefore, may be an absolute value, a delta or the sum of the two. It is as simple, and as undeniable, as that. The feedback factor f, which tells us what fraction of the output signal is feedback response, is inanimate. It cannot decide for itself that it will refuse to respond to most of the input signal and that it will suddenly respond to only some minuscule perturbation of it. It will respond to the entire input signal.

• Richard S Courtney says:

Nick Stokes:

You could have ignored my joke but instead you wrote this,
“The air has always been breathable, and I have always been breathing it. So where is the response?”

Oh! So, having contributed to the trashing of climate science you are now attempting to trash medical science, too?

Richard

• Ulric Lyons says:

Monckton of Brenchley creates a tiny choke with his loop. With no amplification between the input and output, the feedback loop will make zero change to the input.

But some of the output is going back into the input making that bigger… oh that just makes the output smaller duh!

• Farmer Ch E retired says:

“Does it make sense to say that the fires in California are a response to the presence of oxygen in the air?”

It makes as much sense as saying the fires in California are due to CO2 in the atmosphere. If prudent, one would consider the history of fires in the US, the effects of forest management on fuel accumulation, the increase in human-caused ignitions, etc.

• Farmer Ch E retired says:

“A system responds to something that happened. It can’t respond to something that always was.”

Nick – is it possible that the system already responded at sometime in the past and you weren’t around to make the observation? What results would you expect from a laboratory experiment? Would the system stop responding once the simulated condition was below the natural occurring condition?

• “Nick – is it possible that the system already responded at sometime in the past”
Yes. That’s my point. Whatever response it made in the past is part of the reference state which is being perturbed. It isn’t going to respond again.

• Richard S Courtney says:

Nick Stokes,

You are being obtuse. Nobody claims the system will “respond again” to a change that happened in the past.

You are refusing to recognise that the system maintains its response to a change that happened in the past until something alters or removes that change.

Richard

58. Yes there is error. But it is much greater than you think. CO2 contribution to warming is near zero.

What are the photon absorption bands of CO2?
What are the photon absorption bands of water vapor?
What is the overlap?
What does it mean?

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Simon is asking all the right questions about CO2, which, however, was not the subject of our exercise. We simply accepted ad argumentum the current official estimate of the reference warming from doubled CO2.

It is very clear that at or near the surface extra CO2 in the air will make little difference, in that its principal absorption bands are overlain by those of water vapor. The same cannot be said of the upper troposphere, however, where it is much drier and a warming from CO2 can plausibly be expected to occur.

• Chuck Wiese says:

How? I had calculated that a reasonable average mass absorption coefficient for transmission from CO2 around the wing lines of 15 microns which is where we are concerned is quite weak, at 1.69 m^2/Kg. If you increase CO2 to 720 ppmv there is still transmission of around 37% at 6800 meters of height, and that’s using a standard earth atmosphere pressure at seal level to calculate the coefficient, meaning it is even less at 6.8 Km.

There would be considerable interference run by the hydro cycle because of this at the surface and additional cooling in the upper troposphere from the increased emissivity of CO2.

Bottom line is increased moist convection from any realized ( and weak) surface forcing in clear sky which is just another negative feedback with respect to surface temperature. Increasing solar irradiance by changed albedo or the suns energy output to the surface is the only way to change the tempertaure in the presence of the hydrological cycle unless solar magnetic has some other influence on temperature that is not yet apparent.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

I’m afraid I refuse to be drawn. Ad argumentum, we have accepted all of official climatology except what we can prove to be wrong. Whether or not CO2 is a greenhouse gas is off topic.

• Chuck Wiese says:

Christopher: The problem with your answer is that it has not been demonstrated at any level just what caused delta(q2) ‘s value to be +1 degK.

If this was a clear sky only problem, it would be much more straightforward than it actually is. The “climate establishment” is a cabal of people like Michael Schlesinger was that made assumptions and claimed them to be true without ever demonstrating this, against what the founding principles in atmospheric science suggested about CO2’s effects in the presence of the earth’s hydro cycle were on temperature which was negligible. It is up to this group to prove their assumptions correct, not the established physics that stated otherwise from the founding work and that were accepted before the modelers showed up.

I’ve asked many times how the Schlesingers of the world separate solar insolation from IR radiation over the oceans and the question never gets answered because they can’t determine it with enough specificity to sort out the forcings in proportion to each other that would apply to delta(q2) .

So while your calculative method is straightforward, it assumes delta(q2) was caused by the RF from CO2 and obtains a climate sensitivity of 1.129 as a result. The founding principles suggest it is not possible to obtain such a sensitivity because the optical depth of the troposphere is maintained by solar forcing and the hydro cycle.

I’m on your side that the “sensitivity” from CO2 to temperature on earth is very low, but I’m unconvinced it is the value you state for the very reasons I gave, in that delta(q2) has not been determined with enough specificity to portion out the small RF from CO2.

Without that information, or proof that founding principles in atmospheric science are wrong, I maintain the sensitivity of CO2 on earth tempertaure in the presence of the hydro cycle is negligible as founding principles suggest.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Wiese has not, perhaps, understood the basis on which we have written our paper. To remove the endless, futile arguments about questions wholly irrelevant to our present research, such as the extent of the CO2 forcing, we have simply accepted ad argumentum that all of official climatology is correct except what we can prove to be false.

One of the tactics used by the climate Communists is to attempt to intoduce useless complications of this kind, until they have driven us back on to accepting that the only way to deal with so complex a question as climate sensitivity is to fall back on the computer models that are just about entirely within their control.

What we have done is to cut through all that nonsense by saying that, for the sake of argument, we shall simply accept the official outputs of the climate-Communist models, except where we can demonstrate that they are manifestly incorrect.

In the matter of feedback, we can prove that the official definition of “temperature feedback” in climatology is incorrect. We can quantify the effect on equilibrium sensitivities of adopting the correct definition, which at once allows derivation of the Holy Grail of climate sensitivity studies – the feedback system-gain factor – by the very simplest and most robust of methods.

In short, we have found the answer They have been doing their very best to conceal. And it matters not whether the global warming in response to doubled CO2 is zero or 0.5 or 1 or 1.5 K. As long as it is not appreciably above 1.5 K, it becomes a mere curiosity, of no great scientific or policy relevance. And that’s game over.

59. Jim Clarke says:

Honestly, as a working-stiff forecasting meteorologist, the mathematical argument is a bit over my head. The rational argument, however, is pretty clear. The alarmists have always ignored the vast arena of rational arguments in order to convince us that their math is correct, which is why I became a skeptic in 1989.

It is clearly true that the climate has no ability to react differently to a change in temperature that is brought about by human CO2 emissions than an equal change in temperature brought about by some other means, yet that is precisely what the CAGW argument has maintained from the very beginning, and why I became a skeptic. (Also, their ‘math’ suggests that a ‘runaway’ (highly amplified) greenhouse effect is possible on Earth with relatively minor changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but it has never happened in billions of years, despite great changes in CO2 concentrations. This indicates that their math is missing something obvious, and I think Mockton et al, are probably on to it.)

The skeptical position has been continually bolstered by the continuous observational evidence showing that catastrophic man-made global warming is not happening in any way, shape, or form resembling what the models predicted! It doesn’t get any simpler than that. It just isn’t happening! What IS happening is just what has always happened, and extremes are being cherry-picked and grotesquely hyped as evidence of a new normal. But they continue to be nothing more than the usual extremes of the old normal.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

I am most grateful to Mr Clarke for his comment. Actually, our math is not at all difficult. Indeed, the reviewers were aghast at how simple it is. All you need to know about feedback is that the system-gain factor is the ratio of equilibrium temperature (after accounting for feedback) at a given moment to reference temperature (before accounting for feedback) at that moment.

In 1850, the reference temperature was 255 K and the equilibrium temperature was 287.5 K, so the system-gain factor was 287.5 / 255, or 1.13.

The only other figure you need to know is reference sensitivity to doubled CO2. The current mid-range estimate is 1.04 K. The product of the system gain factor 1.13 and the reference sensitivity of 1.04 K to CO2 is 1.17 K. And that’s it, really. Not 3.37 K, not 4.7 K, not 10 K, just 1.17 K. Not enough to be worth worrying about.

Oh, and our result is consistent with observed temperature change since 1990, while the official estimates are manifestly way over the top.

• An alternate calculation gets the same result, but instead of expressing relations in terms of temperature, it’s expressed in terms of power in order to take advantage of the intrinsically linear relationships among Joules and extend the applicable range of the calculation.

The SB emissions corresponding to 255K are 239.74 W/m^2 and at an average temperature of 287.5 K, the SB emissions are 387.38 W/m^2. The power gain is then given as 387.38/239.74 = 1.616, thus each W/m^2 of input power contributes to 1.616 W/m^2 of output power corresponding to the average temperaure.

The IPCC asserts that doubling CO2 is equivalent to 3.7 W/m^2 of forcing. Multiplying 3.7 times the gain of 1.616 results in 5.98 W/m^2 which when added to the starting emissions of 387.38 W/m^2 become 393.36 W/m^2.

The SB equivalent temperature of 393.36 W/m^2 is 288.60 K which when subtracted from the 287.5K starting temperature becomes 1.1 C. This is slightly lower than the 1.17 C calculated by the ‘temperature gain’ owing to how 3.7 W/m^2 of ‘CO2 forcing’ was turned into an 1.04 C increase at TOA (255K -> 256.04K) which requires an equivalent increase in solar forcing of 3.94 W/m^2 and not the 3.7 W/m^2 stated in the AR’s. Using 3.94 W/m^2 instead of 3.7 W/m^2 in the power gain calculation gets exactly the same 1.17 C increase.

The difference between the two calculations is that the temperature centric gain calculation is valid at only one reference temperature and small deviations on either side, while the power centric gain calculation works across a wide range of reference and final temperatures, spanning all of the temperatures found on the planet.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

It is useful to have confirmation that, whether one does the calculations in Watts per square meter or in Kelvin, the result is much the same. One would not expect otherwise.

• ripshin says:

As I recall, the use of temps rather than power is one of the sleight of hand “tricks” employed to arrive at a much higher sensitivity. That the calculation with power achieves a result so close to CMoB’s, it should be considered independent confirmation in his fundamental accuracy of approach. Right?

rip

• The slight of hand is to use W/m^2 in and degrees out for the gain block. W/m^2 in and W/m^2 out works. Degrees in and degrees out also works, although the gain is not constant across different reference T’s. W/m^2 in and degrees out does not work at any reference T unless you analyze the system as W/m^2 in, W/m^2 out and convert the resulting before and after output from W/m^2 into degrees using the SB Law and subtract the results to get a delta T. What is done instead is to guess about a delta T and then fail to sanity check against the required change in W/m^2 allowing them to plausibly claim a arbitrarily high sensitivity.

• DavidBlenkinsop says:

Hi, just breaking into the discussion; I can appreciate Jim Clarke, the meteorologist, saying the ‘mathematical argument is a bit over’ his head. This is sort of my feeling too, enough so that I almost feel like calling ‘bulls–‘ on *all* climate theorists. Of course it may be that I just don’t fully “get” something compelling or reasonable to drive these math models. A big issue that I have is how much of this seems “counterfactual” or suppositional, really. Not at all like measuring voltages in a circuit, nor like measuring actual temperatures at the physical stages of a real flow flow system (say a steam turbine or what have you).

To illustrate, think about trying to understand the application of control theory to the estimates of future climate temperatures and forcings, as in Moncton’s model and/or his explanation of the “standard” climate models. To start on this, I was interested to read the two page handout from the link provided at the beginning of Christopher Moncton’s article.

In this Summary handout, PDF, or “cheat sheet”, for instance, we have near the end (as part of the essential initial equilibrium calculation), someone’s estimate of ground emission temperature? Then we have an estimate of the warming temperature *increment* or contribution from “pre-industrial non-condensing greenhouse gases”. After that, we have the ensuing statement “that without pre-industrial non-condensing greenhouse gases the Earth’s surface emission temerature would be 243.25 K” (or words to that effect). Then, another, apparently essential, step is to very carefully add in the presumed “flat” (or non-feedback amplified) effect of the “non-condensing greenhouse gases” (just the CO2 effect but *not* the CO2 *feedback* effect, does this mean?), *that* step gets us to a temp of 254.8 K. This last is really the start of the “simple” feedback calculations, as the 254.8 K is the all important (yet strictly counterfactual) Reference Temperature, i.e., it is the “TR1” temperature.

Now what would happen I wonder, if we were all to go through life making models or decisions in terms of ideal or counterfactual reference points, relying on someone’s simplified model estimate of what all the true reference numbers in the world must really be? Here are a few examples of interesting reference level concepts that might turn out to be vital to our understanding of the world around us.

Example 1: Choose a specified voltage level in a lab test circuit, defined as what the voltage *would be*, “if only the atmospheric composition in the lab were somehow different (like no CO2 in the lab, or maybe a pure nitrogen atmosphere).

Example 2: Specify an assumed rotation rate for the planet Earth, defined as “what it would be if only the Moon (Luna) had never formed”.

Example 3: Specify a reference average weight for adult human beings, defined as “what it would be if only doughnuts had never been invented”.

Example 4: Specify the total reference population of mice in the world, where the true reference mouse population must be calculated as “what it would be if cats had never existed”.

Now, please note, in listing some possible “everyday conterfactual” references, I am not necessarily saying that I’m completely uninformed about how climate theorists tend to think sometimes! In the past, for instance, I know I’ve read on Dr. Roy Spencer’s web site, some sort of estimate of the “Earth’s temperature assuming no persistent greenhouse gases (or similar wording).

Thinking of such estimates of what happens to the model temp. of the “Earth if bare of greenhouse effect”, what is one to make of it? My problem is, I’ve never been impressed with the reliability of such hypothetical model based statements, *especially* when important particulars never seem to get mentioned! For instance, if non-condensing or persistent greenhouse gases are supposed to be removed in the model, to get that sort of estimate, what does that say about water, H2O, a known greenhouse molecule? Does removing the IR active gases also imply that all oceans and water must be removed from the model Earth, so as to also make sure to get rid of all that pesky, IR aborptive H20 vapour? You know, that regular vapour stuff that would otherwise make the planet a lot warmer than the “bare” estimate would seem to say?

Whatever the usual application of hypothetical control theory levels, one can only hope that Moncton’s ideas are a rationalization of or improvement on the practice of this kind of thing so far? Also, if it comes to that, surely it must also be possible to build a energy flow model or physics systems model that deals solely in actual real real world quantities, like average temperatures in clouds, at different altitudes, etc.?

For myself so far, then, I just have to say that I don’t quite see a compelling reason for treating everything as a “deviation” (from an attenuated or pre-amplifier staged “level” of sorts).

• David,

In the absence of any GHG effect (i.e. no water and no atmospheric GHG’s) the Earth’s temperature would be about 271K. This is a trivial calculation based on the accepted calculation of the Moon’s average temperature.

Without GHG’s, the albedo would be the same as the Moon at about 0.1, instead of the 0.3 it is now. This makes the solar forcing 307 W/m^2 and not the 240 W/m^2 it is when the albedo is 0.3. Converting 307 W/m^2 of average emissions into a temperature using SB results in an average temperature of 271.3K.

GHG’s both cool (specifically water) from 271K to 255K and warm from 255K to 288K, for a NET warming of 17C increasing the temperature from 271K to 288K. The warming can not be separated from the cooling, but often is to make the NET GHG effect seem much larger than it actually is. This is the consequence of defining forcing to be after reflection by albedo, effectively obscuring the negative feedback like effects from the dependence of albedo on water.

Technically, the arriving solar forcing is 307 W/m^2 and not 240 W/m^2 as the reflection that reduces 307 W/m^2 to 240 W/m^2 is part of the response of the system to solar forcing. This is ignored because it’s a negative feedback like effect that they don’t want to have to explain.

• David Blenkinsop says:

Thanks for the comment “co2isnotevil”.

So, reflection of sunlight (due to clouds, I think you mean), “is ignored because it’s a negative feedback like effect that they don’t want to have to explain”. In other words, the reflection *is* taken into account in terms reducing the solar ground level input, but *not* taken into account as a negative feedback in the “response to a hypothetical starting point” type of model? Hehe, if they did *that*, it would require an entirely annoying and unseemly rethink of where the reference temps should be assumed to be? Lindzen Iris Effect, anyone?

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

David Blenkinsop may like to understand how the emission temeperature and pre-industrial greenhouse-gas warming are calculated. First, he should read Lacis et al. (2010), which considered the question what the albedo of the Earth would be today with no non-condensing greenhouse gases present. The albedo is 0.418. Today’s insolation being 1364.625 W/m^2, one can use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to derive an estimate of the emission temperature under those conditions. it is 243.3 K. We then allow a generous 5% variance either side of this value in our calculations.

Calculating the contribution of the pre-industrial non-condensing greenhouse gases is more difficult. In the underlying paper, we use three distinct methods, one giving 8.9 K, another 11.5 and a third 13.5. We use all three of these values in our calculations.

Even with these quite wide variances, there is remarkably little effect on final sensitivity, which comes out at less than 1.5 K under just about all circumstances. With the variances mentioned above, the interval to 95.4% confidence is 1.08 to 1.25 K, with a best estimate of 1.17 K.

One point that Mr Blenkinsop may not have appreciated is that because the feedback response attributable to the Sun and to the pre-industrial greenhouse gases is so very much larger than the feedback response to our tiny anthropogenic perturbation, great precision in the underlying data is simply not necessary.

For instance, one could even begin the calculation with an iceball Earth of albedo 0.66, and the Charney sensitivity would still only come out at about 1.5 K.

• David Blenkinsop says:

Thanks, Christopher Moncton, your comments above and also your responses to “co2isnotevil” certainly answer some of my questions and concerns about the meaning of Earth temperature estimates when CO2 is removed from the estimates of climate warming.

I do still have my doubts about the verifiability of such temperature estimates. For instance, laboratory enclosures with CO2 in them, and any associated measurements, are patently so *different* from the situation of CO2 in an open planetary atmosphere. Developing a statistical spread or probability distribution to encompass responses of the whole planet to various energy “forcings” makes for interesting theories, but where is the proof that the overall atmospheric response to any given level of added CO2 is really a known quantity?

That said, I accept that you may be on to something when you say that “feedback response attributable to the Sun and to the pre-industrial greenhouse gases is so very much larger than the feedback response to our tiny anthropogenic perturbation”. Seeing that you’ve been able to confirm this basic idea on an analog computing rig, this certainly sounds like a worthwhile approach! While there’s no guarantee that an analog circuit represents reality, at least that kind of circuitry should have an internal physical consistency that might easily get missed by the purely digital formulaic kinds of models. Again, to the extent that the analog represents reality, now maybe you’ve got a kind of concrete version of all those “what-ifs” that I was complaining about as getting too far removed from actual facts or measurements?

The caution here again, is the model is literally not reality, so don’t always attribute temperature rise to CO2 rise! I mean, does someone else have a circuit that gets the temperature rise a different way?

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

In response to Mr Blenkinsop, the mathematics of feedback is universal and applies, therefore, to all feedback-moderated dynamical systems, from electronic circuits to the climate. Therefore, if one builds a simple feedback-loop circuit, one can test the conclusions we have drawn here about how feedback in the climate works, because it will work just as it works in an electronic circuit.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

CO2isnotevil is starting his calculation from the wrong point (the Earth without water) and then using the wrong method (a single Stefan-Boltzmann calculation). The correct starting-point, as set out in Lacis et al. 2010, is the Earth with its present ocean but without the non-condensing greenhouse gases.

Even then, it is not correct to perform a single Stefan-Boltzmann calculation. The reason, of course, is Hoelder’s inequalities between integrals, given that the SB equation is a fourth-power relation. As an exercise some months ago, I performed a hemispheric integration of temperatures at various Lunar latitudes on the dayside, took the Diviner data for the nightside, averaged the two and calculated that the lunar mean surface temperature is about 200 K, not the 270 K imagined in Nasa’s Moon fact sheet on the basis of their single SB calculation.

On Earth, the error is in the opposite direction, owing to the presence of the ocean, which retains heat at night (the upper 7 m, treated as a slab, loses only 0.25 K overnight).

• Calculating the average temperature on the Moon is a little tricky due to its 672 hour day. The Earth spins fast enough that the maximum possible temperature that could arise from solar input is never achieved during the day and the minimum possible temperature is never achieved during the night. Once these conditions occur, it’s like an amplifier clipping and trying to figure out the average temperature gets a lot trickier. This condition occurs across all of the Moon’s surface and to a lesser extent in Earth’s polar regions.

Where this gets tricky is that the geometrically weighted average of the ocean temperature gets the right answer if the participating ocean water were to be well mixed together, owing the the linear relationship between temperature and stored energy, however; the geometrically weighted average of temperature is not a valid metric relative to emissions, the sensitivity and/or any temperature with a physical connection to the average forcing.

If you define the average temperature to be the temperature of an ideal BB emitting the average emissions, then it has a physical correspondence to the energies involved and is the only quantification of the average temperature that has any correspondence to the energy driven physical processes. For the purpose of calculating average, emissions can be validly summed with geometric weights.

My starting point is for determining the NET effect of all GHG’s, including water vapor which can’t exist at the relevant temperatures without liquid and solid forms existing as well.

How does taking away only non condensing gases for the starting point help us understand anything? The functioning of these gases is far better understood than the net effects of water, so a lot of uncertainty still exists in any results or conclusions.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

The Moon’s mean surface temperature is some 70 K below what co2isnotevil thought it was. For one must allow for Hoelder’s inequalities between integrals.

As for the Earth, he should study Merlis (2010), who has a useful consideration of Earthlike aquaplanets of different rotation periods and of albedo 0.38, similar to the 0.418 considered by Lacis+ (2010). Put simply, during the day the incoming sunlight dominates the picture, and during the night the vast heat capacity of the ocean dominates. One can, therefore, to first order, do a hemispheric integration to find the dayside temperature, which works out at about 275.2 K. The nightside temperature is around 250 K in Merlis: call that 245.2 K to take account of the slightly higher albedo in Lacis. The mean terrestrial temperature, therfore, is about 260.4 K. Ad 11.5 K for the non-condensing greenhouse gases in the pre-industrial era to 1850 (for water vapor is treated as a temperature feedback) and the reference temperature in 1850 before feedback is 271.9 K. Therefore, since the equilibrium temperature in 1850 was 287.55 K, the system-gain factor was 1.06. The product of 1.06 and the reference sensitivity 1.04 K to doubled CO2 is 1.1 K, rather than the 1.17 K calculated in the head posting.

Interestingly, therefore, after allowing for Hoelder’s inequalities between integrals the Earth’s true mean surface temperature for a given albedo and insolation is some 17 K higher than a single global use of the SB equation would mandate, and the Moon’s true mean surface temperature is some 70 K lower. The reason for the difference is that the ocean has a greater heat capacity than the regolith by three orders of magnitude.

The reason why one starts, as Lacis (2010) did, by removing the non-condensing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and deriving the emission temperature that would then prevail is that, like it or not, there is an ocean on the Earth today, and removing that introduces a complication so large, as well as needless, that no useful conclusion as to Charney sensitivity can possibly be drawn from it.

To answer CO2isnotevil’s final question, the reason why one removes the non-condensing greenhouse gases is precisely that we can quantify the warming they cause to within quite a reasonable margin. Taking them out, estimating with a GCM the albedo that would result and then simply deriving the resultant global mean surface temperature at today’s insolation and at an albedo of 0.418 (from Lacis) is very easy. One then adds back the warming from the pre-industrial non-condensing greenhouse gases to obtain a reference temperature that is remarkably well constrained. It is about 254.8 K, and it can vary by quite a bit either side of that value without much affecting equilibrium sensitivities.

• If the Moon’s average temperature is only 200K (70K less than the 270K I claim), the Moon’s average emissions given by SB are only 91 W/m^2. The albedo is about 0.11 making the AVERAGE incident energy 304 W/m^2, so what’s happening to the remaining 213 W/m^2?

This illustrates the problem with applying a geometric mean to wide range of temperatures and that the geometric mean of temperature across a planet is a meaningless concept relative to the energy involved. In fact, it’s the Hoelder’s inequality between integrals that makes the geometric mean of temperature so meaningless and not the other way around as you’re suggesting.

I get that you’re trying to frame this in the terminology of consensus climate science which is focused on temperature, rather than energy, but it’s this focus that’s keeping climate science so broken.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

CO2isnotevil continues to have difficulty in understanding some elementary concepts. First, he borrows from NASA the incorrect estimate that the mean lunar surface temperature is 270 K when it is closer to 200 K. Secondly, he appears not to understand that the 270 K value is derived by the naive method of using the fundamental equation of radiative transfer based on today’s insolation and a lunar albedo 0.11. Thirdly, he appears not to understand that it is precisely because of Hoelder’s inequalities between integrals that the 270 K value is incorrect. One must perform a Stefan-Boldzmann calculation for each dayside latitude, and then take a reasonable average for the night-side, and average the two.

I frame the discussion in terms of temperature because that is what we are talking about when we are talking about global warming.

60. Pyrthroes says:

See the December 2017 article by Australian doctoral-engineering candidate Robert Holmes, as reported by climatologist Kenneth Richard [Rick Cina] in Pierre Gosselin’s estimable “No Tricks Zone” blog-post for 02/05/2018: For any planet in Earth’s solar system, Temperature T = PM/Rp, where R is a given planet’s Gas Constant (varying by each world’s density and size).

With Mar’s exception due to special circumstances, Holmes’ equation derives planetary temperatures with virtually zero difference from century-old astronomical observations. Because this metric includes no carbon dioxide (CO-2) component whatsoever, all “greenhouse gas” and other extraneities become irrefutably, objectively irrelevant.

Needless to say, Holmes’ findings as an engineering candidate are as welcome as a nest of serpents at kiddies’ Teddy Bear Tea.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Prythroes’ point, while interesting, is not quite correct. For the atmospheric pressure of a planetary body is dependent inter alia on temperature, and temperature is dependent inter alia on the concentrations of greenhouse gases. All that Kenneth Richard is really saying is that the ideal-gas law works.

• rd50 says:
61. Matt G says:

The sun via solar radiation of course has an feedback and the major elephant in the room being the oceans. The oceans heated up by the sun regulate the energy output and so become a huge feedback over time. What would had been outputs of the climate system are routed back into the atmosphere as inputs as part of a chain of cause-and-effect that forms a circuit or loop. The greenhouse effect and climate models are all wrong because the oceans being the main feedback of the sun aren’t taken into account.

62. The depth of the delusion among those who accept CAGW is astounding. The problem is that there’s not just one error, but a web of many errors all of which depend on and support each other. Circular reasoning was mentioned as driving one of the vacuous comments by the reviewers, but it’s far more pernicious and is at the core of almost all of the reviewers comments. Without circular reasoning it would be impossible for any competent scientist to accept the IPCC’s fake science.

Climate feedback embodies many fatal errors and the result of my research points to the broken Hansen/Schlesinger feedback model as the keystone of broken climate science. These errors comprised the primary theoretical justification for the formation of the IPCC and is the scientific malfeasance enabling a financial fraud against humanity that makes Bernie Madoff look like a petty thief. For a long time, I wanted to believe that it was just incompetence on the part of Hansen and Schlesinger, but the more I investigate, the more it seems like purposeful deception driven by collusion among the lead authors of AR1.

Casting the sensitivity as ‘incremental’, which is how accumulated forcing from the Sun gets ignored, is just one of the many errors. Others include the failure to conform to Bodes primary preconditions for using his LINEAR FEEDBACK AMPLIFIER analysis, that is strict linearity (implies no difference between incremental and average gain) and the requirement for an implicit, internal and infinite source of Joules to power the gain (which can not also be the forcing input and the Sun IS the only actual forcing influence). Casting the sensitivity in the non linear units of degrees per W/m^2 and calling it approximately linear is yet another level of obfuscation. Confusing the feedback factor with the feedback fraction is another error. The temperature feedback coefficients’ that convert degrees K to W/m^2 are nothing but untestable wildly guessed fudge factors with no correspondence to any physical reality.

In the Schlesinger feedback model, he multiplies the input to the gain block by Go to produce the output and then divides the output by Go and scales it by a dimensionless feedback fraction to determine the W/m^2 of feedback to add to the forcing. In effect, Go (the ‘amplification’ of W/m^2 into degrees K) is canceled out relative to feedback making the feedback a fraction of the input to the gain block implying unit open loop gain, which Schlesinger denies. In fact, the Go he claims to be the open loop gain is just the SB Law, which he also denies. His denial of these obvious modeling flaws and his proclamation to me that he’s the foremost expert on climate feedback was one of many factors that led me to suspect malfeasance, rather than incompetence. If he understands this as well as he claims, then his errors were based on ‘the ends justifying the means’ relative to identifying plausible theoretical support for an ECS high enough to justify the formation of the IPCC and that he expected real science to eventually support his preconceived position.

• Chuck Wiese says:

Co2isnotevil: Thanks for this. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this but Michael Schlesinger passed away last April at age 75.

He was new faculty that arrived on the Oregon State Unviversity campus in the atmospheric science department in the late 1970’s when I was going thru their undergraduate program. I had Schlesinger in one of my atmospheric dynamics courses back then and I will state he was a skilled mathematician. But I wasn’t willing to go so far as to calling him a great atmospheric science professor. He was more concerned about the class’s ability to perform complex mathematical operations than he was understanding or explaining to any detail what the physical significance of the equations we were deriving were.

At that time, his attitude was that he and his colleagues were going to slay the climate dragon and be able to tell human kind what the climate of the earth would look like centuries from now as that was the next frontier to conquer in atmospheric modeling.

If you read the comments from his daughter in his OB, she had stated that he was an environmental activist of sorts while in graduate school at UCLA, where he was getting a masters in mechanical engineering before going onto getting a PhD in atmospheric science and had preconceived notions back then that CO2 was changing the climate before he even studied any atmospheric science. The fact that his math skills allowed him to sail thru a PhD program in atmospheric science without any other degree in it always made me wonder just how many of the founding concepts he was actually familiar with by the time he left there and came to Oregon State University with a PhD in atmospheric science, so your comments and direct experience with him are quite interesting comparing to the way he looked at things when I took course work from him.

• Chuck,

I was unaware that he had passed.

His emphasis on complicated math explains why he couldn’t see the errors mapping the climate to the feedback models math, as he was adhering to the math, it’s just that the system he was modeling didn’t conform to the prerequisites for using the model.

He was definitely an environmental activist and an unwaivering proponent of the CAGW hypothesis. I was on his propaganda email list for a while and observed what he thought was important, until I started responding and pointing out errors and/or contradictions and was removed from the list.

He sent me his feedback paper when I requested information on the theoretical basis for massive amplification from positive feedback. I was referred to him by Mike MacCracken, who seems to be the liaison between the Democratic party and the IPCC. Oddly enough, MacCracken was one of the reviewers of Schlesinger’s feedback paper whose timing seems to indicate that it was rushed through review in order to get into AR1 and correct errors in the Hansen paper which was to have have formed the theoretical basis for an ECS high enough to justify the formation of the IPCC.

After he rejected my analysis of his feedback paper, I suggested that he consult with an EE colleague to help him better understand Bode’s linear feedback amplifier analysis to verify my concerns. He responded that he didn’t need to because he had the necessary EE knowledge. It seems that the extent of this was that he new how the math worked in the abstract, but not how the system being modeled by the math worked in a physical sense. I tried to explain how to make the model more correct, but was never able to get past his preconceptions as he could see that the more correct linear model with W/m^2 in and W/m^2 out operating on all solar forcing at once didn’t support the ECS he needed.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

By confining our analysis to the period 1850-2011, we have been able to use Bode’s linear analysis with very small error: indeed, we have demonstrated that to three decimal places the feedback system gain factors for 1850 and 2011 are identical. Not much nonlinearity there, then.

And we have adopted climatology’s practice of setting the mu gain block to unity. If one them simply adds any desired perturbation to the input signal, the output signal is exactly the same, but the math is much simplified.

63. ripshin says:

CMoB,

Thanks for your persistence in this.

I believe you are self-evidently correct regarding your central contention that the feedback analysis must include the input signal. If one steps aside from the maths for a moment, and considers the “physical”* phenomena, I think becomes even more clear. (Well, at least “clear” to me in my current understanding. It could be that my understanding is profoundly wrong, and that upon further reflection, I’ll find all sorts of wholes in it, but for the moment, this is the fanciful scenario I’ve come up with.)

In the earth system we’re talking about, the input is not really sun, it’s the surface, and the feedback mechanism is the atmosphere, and the output is the top of atmosphere. What we understand to be “physically” occurring is:
– photons being emitted from the surface,
– interacting with the atmosphere,
– exiting the atmosphere.

The feedback in this system is the portion of those photons being returned to the surface via back-radiation, and from there back into the atmosphere.

The key point in this description, though, is that once a photon has been returned to the surface via back-radiation it becomes part of the surface emission. But, since there’s no way to distinguish this photon from any of the others being emitted from the surface, it’s simply part of the general input signal (again). Thus, we have a “physical” description to match the numerical one above.

(Obviously, this description leaves out the effect on the feedback system from those photons whose energy becomes thermalized to the surrounding non-GHGs. But, my argument there is simply that the probability of thermalization from GHG to non-GHG must be precisely matched by the probability of thermalization from non-GHGs to GHGs. So, a net 0 effect.)

*I say “physically” even though the understanding of photons and the current atomic models are simply that, models, and may or not be reflective of actual physical reality.

(Note, I am more than happy for anyone, who’s persevered enough to read through to the bottom of this thread, to correct any error in my understanding, as I’m offering the above description as much to see whether I’ve understood correctly…and my ego, fragile though it may be, is thankfully not tied to my having understood this difficult concept correctly.)

rip

• Dave Miller says:

“The feedback in this system is the portion of those photons being returned to the surface via back-radiation, and from there back into the atmosphere.”

Don’t think so. Feedback in the real system has to take place through energy dynamics within the system – involving water.

Moncton’s elegant argument summarizes for me that the system already exhibited a significant feedback effect before we ever burned any fossil fuels. We can see it in the atmosphere’s water vapor content, which certainly isn’t too different now than 1850..

AGWScience just failed to consider that when they tried to use math (Bode) that was much too deep for them.

• If the output is the surface, feedback is formally defined as the fraction of the output from the surface that when added to the input from the Sun sustains a higher surface temperature resulting in more output than can be replaced by solar input alone. Any other definition will not conform to Bode and can not legitimately cite his analysis.

The input forcing is expressed in W/m^2 and you can’t add temperature to forcing, thus the only proper quantification of feedback is W/m^2 and the feedback fraction is the fraction of output W/m^2 added to the input. W/m^2 and temperature can be converted between each other using the SB Law.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

It doesn’t make much difference whether one does the feedback-loop calculation in Watts per square meter or Kelvin: but it is useful to recall that we are dealing with temperature feedbacks denominated in Watts per square meter per Kelvin.

• ripshin says:

It’s difficult for me to understand how we can describe the feedback system as anything other than the atmosphere, and the input to that system as anything other than the surface of the earth. The fact the original source of energy for the earth’s surface is solar, to me, is not relevant for this discussion, since we’re essentially discussing the difference between bb’s and balloons. (Sorry, I mean, I explain to my children that the difference between solar radiation and surface emitting LWIR is like the difference between bb’s and balloons. Thus it’s easy for them to visualize how sunlight passes through the atmosphere, but upwelling IR doesn’t.)

The surface emits, the atmosphere feeds back to the surface, and this results in a slightly higher surface flux. WV entering the atomosphere, or additional CO2, is a change in this feedback system resulting in even more surface flux. Seems simple.

Perhaps the mistake people make is assuming too high of a surface flux due to direct solar input. Whatever surface flux we’re reading already includes the feedbacks from back radiation from the atmosphere.

I don’t know. Perhaps I have a fatal misconception here, but my understanding of the physical process perfectly aligns with CMoB’s numerical conclusions, so I’m satisfied.

rip

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Ripshin should surely take account of the fact that the Sun is shining. Feedback processes that respond to tiny perturbations in global temperature must a fortiori respond to the large pre-existing temperature. The system-gain equation requires it.

64. David Dibbell says:

Monckton of Brenchley says, in the article, “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.” If I understand your previous articles and comments correctly, it is for the sake of argument that you make this statement. Surely you would allow the possibility that most or even all of the warming since 1850 could be from causes other than a rise in CO2 concentration, would you not?

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Dibbell is correct: we have accepted ad argumentum all of official climate science except what we can prove to be incorrect. But what we have proven to be incorrect is enough to bring the climate scare to an end.

• richard verney says:

Yes, and No.

Yes in that if your paper is accepted, you have shown that the Charney Sensitivity is far lower. No in that the Charney Sensitivity concept could be ditched altogether, and models could still be made not utilising the Charney Sensitivity (indeed, it is not clear that they do in any way utilise it), and these models could still project alarming warming. As long as temperature records are tampered with, observational evidence will not suggest that Climate Sensitivity is only around 1 degC per doubling, and politicians have already decreased the catastrophic warming from 2 degrees to 1.5 degrees, and it will not be long before it is reduced to 1.3 degrees, with GISS claiming that we have already seen a 1.1 degC rise such that we are just on the cusp of Armageddon.

Don’t underestimate the movement that you are dealing with. This Science is all about the models, and until such time as it is accepted that the models are flawed, the cargo cult will continue.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Mr Verney continues to say that nothing can be done, with the implication that nothing should be attempted. That, with respect, is not the way I was made.

If the feedback of water vapour doesn’t start till the temperature gets hot enough to have water vapour in the air, aren’t you wrong in including the 255°K? You are throwing a constant into the division, or something. I see it all starting at the temperature it would have without GHGs, and try to measure the change in temperature as water vapour increases, (only) per degree of increase from that point.
You can’t divide water vapour’s effect into something it isn’t having an effect on. If that makes any sense to my query.
I hope you are not telling people they ignore the sun and you are ignoring the melting point of water on the water planet.
I know I must be wrong because others would have told you. And it is common sense.

• Monckton of Brenchley says:

Feedback, as we confimed with our test rigs, responds to the input temperature it finds, and not to any other temperature. Feedback processes, being inanimate, cannot imagine that they might have responded differently had the temperature and ambient conditions been different. The temperature and ambient conditions are as they are. In 1850 the input signal, reference temperature, was 255 K. The output signal was 287.5 K. The feedback system gain factor is the ratio of the latter to the former.

Feedback processes can’t pick and choose, respondong only to some part of the input signal. They respond to the whole thing.

• Farmer Ch E retired says:

Joe Adams – FYI water vapor is present in very cold air well below freezing (it does snow after all). The NOAA vapor pressure (VP) calculator shows saturated vapor pressure of 0.01 mb HG at 204°K. Feedback would likely be non-detectable at this low VP but would become detectable as the temperature rises. VP as a function of temperature has an exponential behavior.

66. Steve O says:

Well, it’s complex enough that I wouldn’t ask Bill Nye to run a table-top demonstration with a heat lamp.

67. John Dowser says:

A brave and laborious effort from Monckton of Brenchley and his team. But the scientific process will require, — no, demand! — for the dialectic process to continue: by peers, challengers, the battle of authorities and so on. This effort can only be the beginning. But it should not be ridiculed or ignored as nobody can afford it, no matter what the truth of it turns out to be.

In the mean time, I’d look forward to a little analysis of how this “startling error” came to be, its path, how it wormed through the atmospheric sciences, the papers, the congresses and all the echoing halls. The anatomy of the error, as it were. Claiming to detect an error is one thing, understanding how it came to be despite the will, scrutiny and the intellectual power of many, is a whole other thing. And one of the most educative aspects of it in my view, especially when devising a plan on how to continue in the realm of ideas, symbols and formulas.

Truth and reasons persist, they always win out. Lets cut this journey a bit shorter though, seeing what might be at stake, after all.

• Andrew Hamilton says:

This “startling error” came to be because it suited those scientists who fell into an entrenched position, it suited the environmental terrorists to push their agenda and raise funds to keep them in “work”, it suited the politicians who want to increase taxes, divert people’s minds from difficult real problems, push for a world government, gain popularity from people who “know” that successful big business is evil and devoted to destroying said people to make “obscene” profits and it suited those who profit from a multi-billion pound global warming industry. I left some out, but you get the picture.

• John Dowser says:

Thanks for the answer, Andrew. But I’m mostly interested in the process of how “those scientists” appear to have massively fallen into positions. Because that very claim implies a bigger problem, potentially more serious and threatening on short term than any alarmist climate scenario could ever do. If the process of science is not allowed to run its course, as is part of the implication, it would mean the institute, the principle itself would now be in question. It means that for the most highly complex, important issues, we cannot guarantee anymore that any good methodology is being followed? Or is it limited to one scientific discipline only? This is what I meant with the “anatomy of the error”. The existence of this error in the very place where scrutiny and due process should be at its finest, would describe a bigger crisis of the mind and the collective effort. That in itself might dwarf any problem of climate change and threatens the future of our minds, and way faster, “like a river that wants to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect”.

• John,

As best as I can tell, the anatomy of this error is as follows:

Hansen wrote the first paper applying Bode to the climate in 1984. This paper was written to be destined as the theoretical foundation for a climate sensitivity high enough to justify the formation of the IPCC 4 years later which was something Hansen was