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Friday, March 28, 2014

Christopher Monckton forgets about the sun then greets the men in white coats

Sou | 1:17 AM Go to the first of 35 comments. Add a comment


One of the most-used denier myths about the cause of global warming has been "it's the sun".  It's still number two on the SkepticalScience.com list. You'll be surprised to find that at WUWT, Christopher Monckton is now ignoring the sun's role in keeping Earth warm.


First there's CO2


Yesterday's article (archived here) is a bit of pseudo-science, in which Christopher fudges some numbers that he claims came from an older IPCC report (from 2007) and proclaims that:
Broadly speaking, the IPCC expects this century’s warming to be equivalent to that from a doubling of CO2 concentration. In that event, 1 Cº is indeed all the warming we should expect from a CO2 doubling. And is that going to be a problem

I don't know if he's talking about an additional one degree rise this century or if he's arguing there will only be another 0.2 degree rise this century.  If the former, many scientists would disagree.  If we continue with business as usual we'll probably be in for at least two degrees of warming by 2100, so that would mean another 1.2 degrees this century.  That's being optimistic. It could be four degrees.

The thing is, with only 0.9 degree rise in the temperature in Australia we're seeing events never before recorded, like the unreal summer of 2009 in south eastern Australia, our Angry Summer of 2012-13, our hottest year ever plus this past year, catastrophic fires and floods all over the nation at once - so much so it dropped the global sea level.  Another one degree and our summers will be monstrous. A four degree rise would be beyond monstrous.


What about the sun?


In the comments Christopher wrote about the Neoproterozoic era:
Mr Tyler asks whether there were earlier periods when CO2 concentrations were higher than today and the weather was colder. The best example of many is the Neorproterozoic (sic) era, 750 million years ago, when I was young. At that time there was at least 30% CO2 in the atmosphere, compared with 0.04% today, and yet glaciers came and went, at the equator, twice. It is fascinating watching true-believing paleoclimatologists trying to explain that one away. They usually do it by saying that the CO2 concentration must have been much more variable than it was. But we know it was at least 30%, for otherwise the dolomitic limestones could not have precipitated out of the oceans.

Thing is that there were a lot of things different about the the Neoproterozoic world.  Days were shorter, the moon was closer, land masses were organised differently and, most particularly for climate, the sun was fainter.  We're talking about a period spanning from around 1,000,000,000 years ago to 540,000,000 years ago.  Before there was much life on Earth at all.  Some organisms appeared over that time - mostly in the water of course.  There were no plants on land so silicate weathering, an important part of the long term carbon cycle, would have been less efficient than now.

I'm no expert in paleoclimatology but I found a review paper called "Climate of the Neoproterozoic" written by some experts, Raymond Pierrehumbert and colleagues.  Here is an excerpt by way of a short introduction to the era:
The Neoproterozoic is a time of transition between the ancient microbial world and the Phanerozoic, marked by a resumption of extreme carbon isotope fluctuations and glaciation after a billion-year absence. The carbon cycle disruptions are probably accompanied by changes in the stock of oxidants and connect to glaciations via changes in the atmospheric greenhouse gas content. Two of the glaciations reach low latitudes and may have been Snowball events with near-global ice cover....
...Until near the end of the Neoproterozoic, however,much of the Neoproterozoic show played out on the microbial stage and was recorded only dimly in the fossil record. The Neoproterozoic is like a dark tunnel. The ancient microbial world enters the far end, endures the biogeochemical and climatic turbulence of the Neoproterozoic, and comes out into the light of the metazoan-rich Phanerozoic world on the other side. 

The paper is fairly easy to read at the beginning. (It gets technical further in.)  In regard to carbon dioxide and climate, this is some of what was written:
The Neoproterozoic glaciations provide the main indication of climate variability, but apart from that and the broad inferences that can be drawn from survival of various forms of marine life, there are no proxies to tell us how hot it may have been between glaciations.

Christopher Monckton seems a lot more sure of himself than are scientists, when he talks about the Neoproterozoic.  He's convinced that "there was at least 30% CO2 in the atmosphere, compared with 0.04% today, and yet glaciers came and went, at the equator, twice" - implying that CO2 levels didn't change in 460 million years or so.  Given how CO2 has increased by 40% in the blink of an eye since industrialisation, that seems a strange position for him to take.  Not so strange when you know something of the potty peer I suppose.

The paper states that the "absorbed solar radiation averaged over Earth’s surface would have been approximately 14Wm-2 less than it is at present".  Therefore, to keep the temperature the same as today, there would have had to be around 12 times as much CO2 as there was prior to industrialisation. That is, around 3,360 ppmv - with perhaps some CH4 substitution.  However in the non-glacial periods of the Neoproterozoic, it was probably warmer than the Ordovician, with higher levels of CO2 than 3,360 ppmv.

What about the glacial periods? It's likely or at least possible that there were two periods in the Neoproterozoic era during which Earth probably or possibly had snowball earth events. That is, most of the oceans froze over. What would have caused that to happen would be a large reduction in CO2.  And to come out of the snowball earth would have taken probably an even greater rise in CO2 or other greenhouse gases.

The paper I referred to discusses how δ13C had enormous fluctuations during the Neoproterozoic and puts forward potential mechanisms for this. If, like me, you're not all that familiar with these topics, then you might find you need to concentrate. I won't attempt to distil the information here at HotWhopper.  I've learnt a lot more than I knew before reading the paper but my knowledge of the subject is way less than the authors (and probably less than many HW readers). One little fact I can impart - the enormous shifts in global temperatures during the 460 million years or so of the Neoproterozoic era had much to do with greenhouse gases.

The point is that Christopher Monckton doesn't have much of a clue when it comes to climate science. Whether it's science of the present day climate or that of a thousand million years ago.  And given how deniers love to claim "it's the sun", it's ironic that Christopher ignores the sun when he talks about climates of the deep past, arguing as if the world back then was in the same situation as it is today.  It was different in so many ways.


From the WUWT comments


A swag of comments - here are some for you to enjoy - or whatever.

Martin A says:
March 26, 2014 at 7:31 am
I’d like to thank the quaintly named Monckton of Brenchley for his kind reply (3:05 am) to my comment and my question.

The quaintly named Monckton of Brenchley goes some small way to redeeming himself (extract):
March 26, 2014 at 8:01 am
...Mr Kelly says that because CO2 concentration change lags temperature change by an average of 800 years the overall temperature feedback gain factor must be zero. Mr Haynie makes a similar point. However, theirs is a common misconception. Though it is clear on paleoclimate timescales that it is temperature that changed first and CO2 concentration change that followed, the CO2 concentration change was – and is – capable of reinforcing and amplifying the temperature change.


KevinK isn't buying the idea and says:
March 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm
Go on, pull my other leg while you are at it. That is not only a bad example of circular logic it isn’t even a good example of mobius strip logic.
So to state it another way; temperature drives CO2 levels AND CO2 levels drive temperature, UM KAY….. If you say so.
Surely you are joking….. (Ok, apparently you are serious and I’ll refrain from calling you Shirley).
It has to be ONE or the OTHER, not BOTH.
CO2 levels could conceivably affect the response time of the gases in the atmosphere (causing them to warm/cool more quickly after sunrise, for example), but they cannot be controlled by AND ALSO control the average temperature.
How, one would reasonably ask, can this mythical molecule (CO2) know when to “obey” the temperature and when to “command” the temperature ?????
Your logic would lead to a runaway train…….
Cheers, Kevin. 

highflight56433 says:
March 26, 2014 at 9:14 am
I cannot buy into CO2 warming a H2O system as it (the CO2) would dilute molecule for molecule any concentration of H2O vapor, resulting in a cooling response as CO2 is less a heat absorbent than water. The cooling would then dry the atmosphere causing even further cooling. How many time do we have to look at the ice cores to verify an increase in CO2 cools the planet? And then there is the fact that it is the surface that warms the atmosphere, so first there must be warmer temps on the surface to increase air temperature. All being equal, less concentration of H2O is a cooler atmosphere. 

GogogoStopSTOP (as Bernard) said he was having a problem viewing WUWT and wondered if it was the site or him, to which Anthony replied in a somewhat condescending manner.  GogogoStopSTOP wasn't impressed and says:
March 26, 2014 at 9:57 am
Well pardon me Anthony! The last time I spoke with you personally, it was at the Heartland meeting in DC a few years ago. You seemed like such a pleasant, knowledgeable gentleman.
I’ve followed your blog for years. I have an Apple Macbook pro, running Mac OS X 10.7.5…
Thanks for the advice, but it’s a little unbecoming of you, as was, probably, my asking if there was something affecting your operation more broadly.

Christopher greets the men in white coats


Let's finish up with one of Christopher's incomprehensible ravings as he toddles off to greet the men in white coats. The quaintly named Monckton of Brenchley says (excerpt):
March 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm:
As it becomes ever more apparent to all that the claims of the totalitarian Left about the climate are in all material respects exaggerated, people will perhaps look more closely at the habit of routine and egregious mendacity that is a consequence of the enormous campaign of disinformation by a million agents of Soviet propaganda, that infected our media, our academe and our other institutions for decades. Though the evil empire that promoted that vicious campaign of lies was eventually flung into oblivion, today’s hard Left, having learned how to dissemble on the grand scale, have now largely lost the ability to tell the difference between that which is true and that which is not. To them, as to the Soviets who trained them so well and often without their knowledge, it is not the truth but the Party Line that matters. On the climate, the Party Line is now being daily demonstrated to have been in substance false. As more and more people come to realize this, they will begin to question everything they are told by the left/Green inheritors of the Communist/fascist mantle, and the world will be a merrier place for that.




Pierrehumbert, R. T., D. S. Abbot, A. Voigt, and D. Koll. "Climate of the Neoproterozoic." Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 39, no. 1 (2011): 417. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-earth-040809-152447

35 comments :

  1. You claim in your criticism of the Monckton article,
    citing a paper by Raymond Pierrehumbert et al, that;

    "The paper is fairly easy to read at the beginning.
    (It gets technical further in.)
    In regard to carbon dioxide and climate,
    this is some of what was written:

    The Neoproterozoic glaciations provide the
    main indication of climate variability, but
    apart from that and the broad inferences
    that can be drawn from survival of various
    forms of marine life, there are no proxies
    to tell us how hot it may have been
    between glaciations."

    Where in that excerpt is carbon dioxide mentioned?

    You have made the fundamental error in, a rather
    Freudian fashion, assuming that carbon dioxide
    and temperature are directly related. You surmise
    that if carbon dioxide rises then temperature will
    also rise. So then you also assume that the reverse
    must be true, and that if temperature rose, then
    carbon dioxide must have risen also, due to
    the direct correlation between the two.

    This is a relationship which is not proven to exist,
    except that experimentally in a laboratory, in the
    confines of a bell jar or similar, some measurable
    effect can be seen to exist. However in the real
    atmosphere there is actually no empirical evidence
    for such heavy influence as is implied in your article.

    All such predictions and "measurements" of this
    supposed crucial effect are mere extrapolations
    from computer modelling of parts of the atmosphere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are mixing up your sciences, J Black/McTaggart/Choon Lee. Sigmund Freud was a shrink, a trickcyclist, studying the human mind and human behaviour. Don't confuse him with scientists like Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier, John Tyndall, Svante Arrhenius, Guy Stewart Callendar, Gilbert Plass, Richard Revelle, Wallace S Broecker and all the thousands of climate and earth system scientists of today.

      By the way, whatever your real name is, there's a blog article on Nature Climate Change that discusses the shady tactics of the Idso family, who you've linked to. They are a shady bunch.

      Delete
    2. I see that Millicent answered your question: "Where in that excerpt is carbon dioxide mentioned?". However I'm not sure why you asked it.

      Why should there be a mention of CO2 in that particular quote? I included that quote to illustrate that it's difficult for scientific researchers themselves to work out everything that happened 540 to 1000 million years ago. Christopher Monckton acts as if he is so certain - even though he's never done *any* scientific research, let alone climate research of the Neoproterozoic era.

      I mentioned CO2 several times and how the scientists point to greenhouse gases being behind the massive fluctuations of temperature over the 460 million years of the Neoproterozoic. My article consists of more than a single quotation.

      In case there is a reader who is new to climate science, J Black or whatever his name is, is of course quite wrong when he talks about CO2. There are any number of ways that you can demonstrate why it continues to act as a greenhouse gas and hasn't suddenly stopped obeying the laws of physics (which Black/McTaggart/Lee seems to think has happened for some weird reason known only to himself).

      Delete
    3. The sock puppet wrote
      "All such predictions and "measurements" of this supposed crucial effect are mere extrapolations from computer modelling of parts of the atmosphere."

      Notice how he put measurements in scare quotes, like they don't exist. Pitiful.

      And then he wrote "This is a relationship which is not proven to exist".

      Um sorry, but there is plenty of supporting evidence, beginning with the observations by Tyndall, which observed directly the heat trapping properties of CO2 in 1859, and the observations by Langley who observed the heat trapping properties of CO2 in the atmosphere during the 1890's, later confirmed by satellites.

      Then you have the measurements of isotopes of carbon and oxygen of rocks formed during the PETM.

      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v451/n7176/fig_tab/nature06588_F3.html

      This clearly shows that as carbon was injected into the atmosphere, the temperature rose, and then as the carbon was slowly scrubbed from the atmosphere, the temperature fell. Clear causation.

      Also did you notice that all this evidence is empirical, and NOT based on computer models.

      Delete
  2. "Where in that excerpt is carbon dioxide mentioned?"

    I read Sou's article also and the explanation is given in the bit just above that you seem to either have immediately forgotten or did not understand how it connects:

    Its the bit (my italics) that goes:

    "The Neoproterozoic is a time of transition between the ancient microbial world and the Phanerozoic, marked by a resumption of extreme carbon isotope fluctuations and glaciation after a billion-year absence. "

    The rest of your post appears to be, well, just gobshite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear so you decide that, and using arcane Irish vernacular, that to call a commenter the equivalent of "stupid, irritating or ridiculous", offering no contrary arguments, will suffice for an intelligent and sufficient reposte ?

      I might suggest that tou read some of the materials on the website linked to J Black's name, where though they don't necessarily agree with all he said, or indeed what you or Sou have written, certainly there ARE alternative points of view. Your insulting name calling adds nothing to the sum total of knowledge i this debate.

      Delete
    2. Rubbish, McTaggart, the website you extol is full of lies, propaganda and anti-science.

      Delete
    3. I may humbly point out that you "guthrie" have just demonstrate the point "McTaggart" has been making. You say "full of lies, propaganda and anti-science.", but you no provide any contra argument. A name calling is not a valid argument.

      Delete
    4. Choon Lee, a giveaway that the site is full of lies etc is the prominent placement of the fake report by the pseudoskeptics and deniers of the NIPCC. It is hard to see any reason to look beyond that.

      Delete
    5. "I might suggest that tou read some of the materials on the website linked to J Black's name...."

      On the other hand I could go to the website of any number of prestigious scientific societies, or scientists publishing in prestigious scientific journals. Do feel free to remind me again when J Black receives his inevitable Nobel prize in response to the clamour of a grateful and adoring world.

      Delete
    6. J Black / Choon Lee / McTaggart / Anonymous ought to quit back-slapping himself. He'll get a hernia :(

      The Idso family's has been "pumping out junk science" for many years. They didn't put up their Award for ranking No. 8 in a Mother Jones' Dirty Dozen of Climate Change Denial but they have included a lot of shonky awards on their website, sharing some of them with this website, which beat them by getting 200 awards! Sadly, I couldn't find any of their "Awards" anywhere else on the internet. Craig is listed as an author of the Not the IPCC Report plugged by the anti-science lobby group The Heartland Institute. You can read my take down of that report here.

      The main barrow that this pack of scoundrels push is "CO2 is plant food" - from what I've read. That family earns its crust from science denial. They are one of the sources for CEI, Heartland and other infamous lobby groups - as discussed here.

      Delete
  3. Acid Oceans,
    Osteoporosis of the Sea,
    and the CO2 Monster
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYbIdJBHAfk

    is a video by Willie Soon, and he says the Sun
    is to blame for Global Warming and not CO2.

    ..... and yes I heard all the arguments about Koch brothers and Big Oil and all that, I just don't think that's relevant at all. Look at the evidence, and if it is real, then it didn't matter who said it really. But if the evidence isn't real, then even a former USA Vice President can't make it true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You forgot to add "fat" to "former USA Vice President".

      Sou, your trolls need better training.

      Delete
    2. LOL did our denialist friends really just link us to a video by the fossil fuel industries very own Willie Soon?

      "Willie Soon has received over $1 million in funding from Big Oil and coal industry sponsors over the past decade, according to a Greenpeace report based on FOIA requests. "

      Source: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Willie_Soon

      "....and yes I heard all the arguments about Koch brothers and Big Oil and all that, I just don't think that's relevant at all."

      Of course you don't think its relevent. But why isn't it relevent? When did "I just don't think" become proof of anything?

      Delete
    3. Dear Anon.

      [...] is a video by Willie Soon, and he says the Sun
      is to blame for Global Warming and not CO2.


      And:

      Look at the evidence

      Let's do exactly that.

      Here is a comparison of climate forcings (to scale with each other) and global average temperature. It's instantly obvious that:

      - it's *not* the sun

      - it *is* GHG forcing

      Climate forcings during the C20th: solar; well-mixed GHGs; total net forcing

      GAT (surface) annual means are shown at the top (green). The three lower curves are coherently-scaled forcings. Well-mixed GHGs (blue) and solar (yellow; bottom) bracket the total net forcing (red). The abrupt negative excursions in total net forcing are the result of volcanic eruptions (negative forcing by stratospheric aerosols).

      * * *

      and yes I heard all the arguments about Koch brothers and Big Oil and all that, I just don't think that's relevant at all.

      Of course it's relevant. Surely you cannot be so naive?

      Willie Soon is a shill, Anon. This is a matter of fact, and you should be aware of it since it bears directly on how much trust you should place in what he tells you. Please read the link provided by Millicent above.

      Delete
    4. cRR

      "CO2"? What is that?!?

      Why, it's a harmless trace gas, of course!

      :-)

      Delete
  4. Monckton gets his shonky proterozoic musings from Ian Plimer in his error-riddled book "Heaven and Earth", who misunderstood/willfully misinterpreted Jim Walker's paper on snowball earth and the carbon cycle . Evideince for dolomitisation exists directly after snowball earth, where previously glacial deposits were forming. Follow this link for some photos of "before and after" http://all-geo.org/highlyallochthonous/2010/03/omans-view-of-the-snowball-earth/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anthony. Now you mention it, I recall a tv show where Ian went out and picked up a piece of dolomite and said it proved climate science is a hoax - or something like that :)

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    3. Cugel, I remember that too.

      Many moons ago I had Plimer as a lecturer in undergraduate Geology (coal geology, IIRC) and being the curmudgeon he was even back then there's no way that he would have allowed his students to pass the course if they'd produced a clanging blanket statement such as that... although some would say that looking good in a dress may have mitigated against a strike.

      I don't think that Monckton would look good in a dress so that can't be the explanation.

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  5. WRT the Neoprotozoic, Eli always thought Monckton was a reptile, but now he admits to being slime. Whodda thunk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. It felt good to laugh :)

      Speaking of laughter, our laughable government has banned "infectious laughter". People might catch it!

      Delete
    2. At some point I'd expect Abbott to enter parliament dressed as Queen Victoria.

      (captcha: 'cognisance totalling')

      Delete
  6. You gotta love Monckton.

    First off he says there is no consensus and references his own flawed paper that he cowrote with his disgraced Heartland mates. Despicable.

    Then he writes "Suppose that 0.33 Cº – just under half of the observed 0.69 Cº – was our contribution to global warming since 1950"

    Where does he come up with these figures. Out of his arse I suspect because it is in direct conflict with this published result.

    http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/huber11natgeo.pdf

    So if his assumptions are pulled out of his arse, the rest of his calculations and conclusions are just mathubations. Monckton and his usual silver-tounged flair for rubbish.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Marinoan Snowball Earth is fascinating. It provides a puzzle for GHE deniers that they will not easily answer.

    Here it is: SE events are albedo-locked icehouse states. Most incident solar SW is reflected back into space and the climate system is kept in the deep freeze.

    So why aren't we still stuck in a Snowball Earth state?

    How did the climate system break itself out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know this one!

      Natural Variation.

      Delete
    2. Yes. Mother Nature knows best :)

      Delete
    3. "Ice ages come, ice ages go, you can't explain that..."

      Delete
    4. No answers to the puzzle from our "sceptical" friends?

      Hint: while biogeochemical carbon sinks are largely disabled by global glaciation (including a substantially or completely frozen ocean), volcanism doesn't stop. How might this affect the atmospheric composition over several million years?

      Delete
  8. The white-coat outburst begs a paraphrase from the movie "Tropic Thunder":

    "Never go full Monckton."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, that was spit out the coffee funny!

      Delete

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