By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
My previous posting was published while I was traveling from Scotland, where I had been scrambling up mountains in the freezing sleet, to my fragrant Gloucestershire garden. Therefore, I have not been able to respond to individual commenters as usual. Here, then, is a collective response, beginning with the moral case against climate fraud.
The International Energy Agency defines “access to electricity” as the ability to switch on the equivalent of a single 60-Watt light-bulb for about four hours. Even on this hardly generous definition, the IEA finds that some 1.3 billion people worldwide – a sixth of the global population – have no access to electricity.
Without power, life is poor, nasty, brutish and, above all, short. Life expectancy in regions without electricity – sub-Saharan Africa, for instance – is little better than 60 years. In the European countries, it is more like 80 years.
Yet since 2010 the World Bank, one of the plethora of unelected supranational institutions to which democratic nations are unwisely transferring great power and wealth, has refused to lend to developing countries for coal-fired electricity generation – because global warming.
From this year onward, that hideous, stony-faced, flint-hearted entity will not lend to poorer countries for extraction of coal, oil or gas either – because global warming.
In Western countries, too, the crippling cost of global-warming policies is causing real harm. Britain’s last aluminum smelter was forced to close some years ago, killed by savage real increases in the cost of electrical power for the furnace. The British Steel Corporation, the country’s last major steelworks, has just gone into bankruptcy. Again, the major reason for the collapse is the cost of electrical power, absurdly inflated not by market forces but by governmental fiat – because global warming.
Jobs in the West and lives in the South – millions of them every year – are being destroyed because affordable electricity is unavailable. More than 4 million people a year die of particulate pollution from open cooking fires because they have no electricity. Half a million women die in childbirth chiefly because there is no electrical power. These are just some of the tens of millions who die annually because they cannot so much as switch on a light.
A growing fraction of these job losses and deaths arise not because the rate of global warming is dangerous – it isn’t – but because official policies intended (whether piously or not) to mitigate global warming are, in their effect, genocidal.
The global welfare loss arising from policies to mitigate global warming very greatly outweighs even the vastly-exaggerated benefit imagined by true-believers in the cult of Thermageddon. That is why it is essential to get global-warming science right. Not merely the jobs of vulnerable working people but the very lives of tens of millions in developing countries are at stake.
Yet when I set out, in my previous column, a highly-compressed but quite detailed account of a grave error of physics right at the heart of climatology, some of those who commented decided to cling, with increasing and visible desperation, to their aprioristic belief that global warming science is free of the error that had been spelt out for them.
I do not propose to name these wretches, but I do propose to deal with their arguments. Before I do, let us cheer ourselves up with another Scottish picture, this time of a cataract behind a fine, stone bridge across a tributary of the River Lyon along the ancient drove-road to the far West. I took it just before we headed back to the South.
An outline of climatology’s error: IPCC explicitly misdefines feedback as responding only to perturbations of an input signal, when in well-established control theory whatever feedback processes prevail at any given moment must perforce act upon the entire reference signal then obtaining.
The reference signal is the sum of the original input signal and all subsequent perturbations of it, before accounting for feedback. The equilibrium signal is the output signal after accounting for feedback. In climate, the input signal is the 255 K emission temperature that would obtain – before accounting for feedback – purely because the Sun is shining. The natural and anthropogenic perturbations of that signal are known as reference sensitivities. Therefore, the reference temperature – the temperature that would obtain at a given moment before accounting for feedback – is the sum of emission temperature and all subsequent reference sensitivities.
In the block diagram, emission temperature comes in at top left. Then the reference sensitivities are added to it. Then it passes to the input/output node and thence infinitely round and round the feedback loop, where the separately-powered feedback block adds a smidgin to the signal on each pass. The output signal is equilibrium temperature, the temperature that obtains after feedback has operated and the climate has settled to equilibrium.
Take a good look at the diagram. It should be self-evident that the feedback loop cannot act selectively upon the 1 K anthropogenic reference sensitivity. It must also act not only upon the 10 K sensitivity to the naturally-occurring, noncondensing greenhouse gases that were already present in the air before 1850 but also, and most importantly, upon the 255 K emission temperature. Therefore, if one knows the reference and equilibrium temperatures at a given moment one can calculate the feedback response at that moment: it is simply the difference between reference temperature before feedback has acted and equilibrium temperature after feedback has acted.
One can also calculate the feedback fraction at that moment: it is the fraction of equilibrium temperature represented by the feedback response: i.e., the ratio of the feedback response to the equilibrium temperature. Finally, the system-gain factor is the ratio of equilibrium to reference temperature.
In 1850, reference temperature was the sum of the 255 K emission temperature and about 10 K reference sensitivity to the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases. The equilibrium temperature was about 287.55 K (HadCRUT4). So the feedback response in 1850 was 32.55 K, to the nearest twentieth of a Kelvin. The feedback fraction was 32.55 / 287.55, or 0.113. And the system-gain factor was 287.55 / 255, or 1.085.
Now, if we assume at this stage that the curve of equilibrium temperature as a function of reference temperature is linear, then Charney sensitivity – equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2 – will be the product of the CMIP5 1.05 K reference sensitivity to doubled CO2 – and the system-gain factor 1.085: i.e., just 1.15 K, not the 3.35 K currently imagined by the CMIP5 models (based on Andrews et al. 2012). Since 1.15 K is about a third of official climatology’s current central estimate, that’s the end of the climate problem. Let’s celebrate that with a picture of some bluebells in Glen Lyon.
Of course, one could make the mistake of ignoring the fact that the Sun is shining and imagine instead that the system-gain factor was 32.55 / 10, or 3.255. Then one might multiply the 1.05 K reference sensitivity to doubled CO2 by 3.255 and conclude that equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2 is about 3.4 K. And that, not entirely by coincidence, is what the CMIP5 models erroneously do.
But if one were doing it correctly, one would remember that the 255 K temperature caused by the fact that the Sun is shining itself generates a substantial feedback response. One must not – as the models in effect do at present – allocate to greenhouse gases the vast majority of the total feedback response that comes from the fact that the Sun is shining.
With that background on the moral importance of trying to get the science right and on how climatology has gotten the science wrong, I now turn to some of the criticisms leveled at our conclusions by commenters on my earlier posting here.
One commenter, who has some experience of control theory, tries to muddy the waters in a manner that does not seem to me to be morally justifiable. He says we are wrong because the input signal – emission temperature – is itself a perturbation when compared to absolute zero. So it is – and that is exactly why it should not be excluded when, at any given moment, one is calculating the magnitude of the effect of feedback on temperature. At any given moment, feedback processes respond to the entire temperature they find – the sum of all the perturbations compared with absolute zero.
That commenter, after confusing the input signal (before any natural or anthropogenic perturbations) with the reference signal (the sum of the original input signal, emission temperature, and the subsequent perturbations caused by the presence of noncondensing greenhouse gases), perpetrates what another commenter calls out as “lies” by taking a quotation from a reviewer of a previous version of our paper, falsely asserting that it was a quotation from a review of the present paper and then suggesting that the reviewer’s criticism was correct, when the commenter, as an expert in control theory, knew full well it was wrong.
That reviewer had said we had arbitrarily decided that feedback responded not only to perturbations of emission temperature but also to emission temperature itself. But feedback does respond to both, and the commenter knew that. Look at the block diagram.
The commenter went on to try to leave the impression that, since feedback is not explicitly implemented in models, it is not really important to the derivation of equilibrium sensitivities – i.e., to answering the “how-much-warming” question.
The first answer to any such suggestion is that IPCC (2013) mentions “feedback” more than 1000 times. Without the pretence that feedback multiplies reference sensitivity to anthropogenic forcings by 3, which is absolutely essential to official climatology’s case, there is no climate crisis. We know that the reference sensitivity to doubled CO2 (before feedback) is 1.05 K, and we know that the equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2 (after feedback) is 3.35 K. The ratio of the two – about 3.2 – is the system-gain factor that official climatology is using, when it ought to be using something less than 1.1. It doesn’t matter by what method climatology reaches its wildly-exaggerated midrange estimate of Charney sensitivity: the estimate is exaggerated, and the exaggeration arises almost entirely from climatology’s misunderstanding of what a feedback is.
The second answer is that getting the definition of feedback right is crucial, for the following simple reason. The system-gain factor in official climatology is the ratio of very small sensitivities. Tiny uncertainties in small sensitivities entail a very large uncertainty in the system-gain factor and hence in equilibrium sensitivity. It is for this reason, above all, that there is still such a very large range of estimates of equilibrium sensitivity. After 40 years of “settled science”, it’s still 1.5 to 4.5 K, just as it was in the Charney report of 1979.
The corrected system-gain factor is the ratio of absolute temperatures that are greater by two orders of magnitude than the sensitivities used by official climatology. We know roughly what that system-gain factor is, because we know what it was in 1850. It was 287.55 / 265, or 1.085. It won’t have changed all that much since then, because the climate sensitivity parameter, which allows for forcing and feedback together, is described in Ramanathan (1985) and in IPCC (2001) as “a typically near-invariant parameter”.
The point is that even quite large uncertainties in the values of the entire reference and equilibrium temperatures that ought to be but are not used in deriving equilibrium sensitivity entail only a small uncertainty in the system-gain factor and hence in equilibrium sensitivity – a point well illustrated by our professor of statistics when he ran Monte Carlo simulations, each of 300,000 iterations, comparing official climatology’s vast equilibrium-sensitivity interval with our own much narrower interval. The diagram tells all. The bin widths (the number of iterations per histogram bar) is identical in both simulations.
Next, a notorious concern troll, who, unlike our professor of control theory, has no qualifications in control theory or in any scientific subject, weighs in with a characteristically confused series of pseudo-scientific objections to our case.
The concern troll begins by saying that in the models climate sensitivity is not derived as we say it is. But our argument does not depend on how the models derive equilibrium sensitivities: it depends on the observation that, if one were to correct official climatology’s published misdefinitions of temperature feedback, one would be able to constrain equilibrium sensitivity very simply and yet very robustly, and one would find that equilibrium sensitivity cannot possibly be anything like as elevated as the modelers profit by asking us to believe.
Next, the troll says some quantities we had relied upon are incorrect, but does not say which or by how much or on what grounds. This kind of yah-boo is all too common among trolls.
Next, the troll says we have gotten our arithmetic wrong, but carefully fails to show where, in the head posting, any such error is evident – in short, a mere smear. The math was verified by our professor of statistics so that he could calculate the probability distributions. It is not, therefore, particularly likely that there is any significant arithmetic error.
The troll himself, however, makes the elementary error of assuming that reference temperature upon a doubling of CO2 compared with 2011 is the sum of emission temperature and reference sensitivity to anthropogenic but not to natural greenhouse gases. Oops!
Finally, the troll says that maybe the curve of equilibrium temperatures as a function of reference temperatures is nonlinear. Maybe it is: our paper considers curves of all shapes. However, if “settled science” is right that the climate-sensitivity parameter is a “typically near-invariant parameter”, the curve is necessarily linear or very close to it. For once, settled science is very probably correct, for the reference temperature in 1850 was more than 92% of the equilibrium temperature that year, leaving little room to imagine that today’s feedback processes are at all likely to have an extravagantly nonlinear influence on global temperature.
We did some tests to see what would happen if one assumed that existing equilibrium-sensitivity estimates were correct. In every case, making that assumption led to an impossible contradiction. A brief account of some of these tests is given in the short scientific section in the previous posting: but the troll – one can tell it is a troll by its nasty, arrogant writing style – had not read it.
For instance, quite a simple calculation shows that official climatology’s midrange estimate of 3.35 K Charney sensitivity implies that the feedback fraction in response to greenhouse-gas warming is more than 80 times the feedback fraction in response to emission temperature.
That is, of course, quite impossible, since precisely the same sensitivity-altering feedbacks were responding to emission temperature in the absence of noncondensing greenhouse gases as are responding to reference temperature (the sum of emission temperature and all subsequent natural and anthropogenic perturbations) today.
To make sure, we carried out a careful Gedankenexperiment in which we calculated the surface temperatures at all points on Earth in the absence of the noncondensers. We then verified our latitudinal temperature profile method by applying it to the Moon, and were able to reproduce exactly the curve produced at a cost of billions by the measurements of the Lunar Diviner experiment.
One commenter, who had read the scientific section with great care, noticed a misprint: at one point the feedback fraction had been incorrectly stated as the ratio of equilibrium temperature to the feedback response, rather than vice versa. Our proof-reader had spotted that one, but had not responded before I submitted the paper to our kind host for posting.
Another, less constructive commenter gave me a rather flatulent lecture on the need to define our variables. because, he said, we had not defined our variable R. However, we had defined R as reference temperature both in the paragraph cunningly disguised as the definition of feedback and related quantities, specifically including R, and (twice) in the block diagram. For good measure, both in the abstract and in the main text we had explained exactly what reference temperature is.
Fraus est celare fraudem: The main point of the previous posting had been to invite comment on our proposal to involve the police in those aspects of the climate debate that are demonstrably fraudulent. Several commenters said there was no point in trying to approach the police, but I have long learned not to heed suchlike counsels of despair. There are some people who do, and others (a majority, alas) who sit on the sidelines, swaying slowly from side to side, wringing their hands, pouting petulantly, blinking goofily and explaining in reedy voices why nothing can be done.
Other commenters said that the courts were not a good place to settle scientific questions. Yet we did not heed their reedy voices before, when we successfully defeated Al Gore’s sci-fi comedy-horror movie in the High Court in London on the basis of 80 pages of scientific testimony drafted by me. It was the testimony wot did it: the moment the Government (which had been proposing to send a free copy of Gore’s silly movie to every school in England) saw our testimony, it conceded the case.
Besides, as several commenters were quick and right to point out, if we do have to report various journals for fraud we shall not be inviting the police or the courts to pronounce on scientific questions such as whether our paper is meritorious. And it would not be just one journal we were reporting: we only propose to ask for an investigation if the pattern of egregious professional misconduct evident at the present journal were replicated by the editors of two further journals. Then it would be limpidly clear that a pattern of dishonest conduct worthy of investigation was present.
We should be drawing attention to a pattern of deception by journals that hold themselves out as publishing sound science after a process of peer review that they describe on their own websites in some detail, presenting it as thorough and scientific. On any view, our treatment to date by the current journal – which we have given one final opportunity to redeem itself – has not been honest. If the journal reverts to us with genuine scientific objections to our paper, then it is doing what it ought to do and, if it is correct, we shall not complain. But if there is any more messing about we shall take the first step towards stopping the climate nonsense by putting the police on notice that fraudulent behavior is evident.
Purchasers of such journals, and authors who submit their papers thereto, have a legitimate expectation in law that the journals will conduct the process of peer review process honestly, competently and in the manner in which the journals themselves has represented that they will conduct it.
From the brief account I gave in my earlier posting of the manner in which the current journal has handled our submission to date, it was clear to most commenters that, on the face of things, a jury of reasonable men on the Clapham omnibus (and that is the legal yardstick) would conclude that our paper had been dishonestly handled thus far.
Fraud at the IPCC: Then there’s the dismal, corrupt IPCC. We twice asked it to activate the error-reporting protocol that the Inter-Academy Council had obliged it to put into place precisely to deal with errors that it had in the past swept under the carpet. But it has not activated the protocol. It has not even replied to us.
One of the nastier trolls said that was because our paper was nonsense. Well, it isn’t, for we’ve had enough pre-submission reviews from scientists considerably more eminent and less prejudiced than the troll to know we’re barking up the right tree.
Under the error protocol the IPCC is obliged to respond willy-nilly, and not simply to ignore an inconvenient truth. It has not responded. Again, a reasonable jury would be likely to conclude that its failure to respond was motivated by a desire not to bring the gravy-train that runs solely on the basis of climatology’s error of physics to a decisive and permanent halt.
As I made plain in the earlier posting, we are not proposing at this stage to invite the police to act: merely to put them on notice that something irregular – with very costly consequences not only in treasure but in human lives – is going on in climate science, and in the journals that are, for good or ill, the gatekeepers of modern science.
As one commenter who formerly served in the police nicely put it, a fraud is a fraud, and it does not cease to be a fraud merely because it is a fraud by boffins in white coats with leaky biros sticking out of the top pocket.
Finally, several commenters suggested that we should establish a crowd-funding campaign, to which they said they would be happy to contribute. That is a most generous suggestion, and we shall consider it carefully. Watch this space.
The bottom line: most readers of this column know full well that several aspects of the prevailing climate-extremist story-line are fraudulent. These frauds are costing tens of millions a year their very lives. Morally speaking, that genocide is intolerable. In my submission, it is now time for us to alert the public authorities to those aspects of present-day climate science that the reasonable juror on the Clapham omnibus would at once recognize as frauds and then, in due course, to demand that they should forthwith bring to an end what Professor Mörner has rightly called the greatest fraud in human history.
More global warming, please, squire! Deer at Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire, 2019