Sunday, June 16, 2013

Monckton changes his mind again, again and again. Now it's an Orwellian conspiracy!

That eccentric chap Christopher Monckton from Brenchley has found another conspiracy in true "moon-landing" fashion. He's written yet another article on WUWT that Anthony Watts has made "blue" - I think that means Anthony reckons that mixed up pile of codswallop is a "top post".  (How the mighty have fallen and fallen hard!)  Monckton can't make up his mind if the world is warming or cooling or what!

Big Brother is Watching You!
Monckton now reckons he's found an "Orwellian" conspiracy.  No proof of course.  It's how he gets his brain to cope with the fact that the world is warming**.

So what happened in 1984?  Did Eric Arthur Blair really doctor all the world's records of surface temperature?  If so, he must have done it some time before 21 January 1950.  But who knows, he might not really be dead but hiding among us as a lizard man and doctoring Presidential birth certificates.

It's not CO2, it's not the PDO, it's a conspiracy

Monckton writes (my emphasis):
However, the apparently tidy 1.0 to 1.4 to 1.8 Cº/century-equivalent increase in the rates of global warming during the “warming” phases of the PDO may not be attributable to CO2 at all. The true cause may be another and more sinister man-made phenomenon: Orwellian data revisionism.
That is one mixed up sentence.  We'll tackle the PDO reference first.

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation is an index that is based on the sea surface temperature of the North Pacific and as such it is embedded in the global surface temperature, which includes land surface and sea surface temperatures.  It is described here as:
The PDO is defined as the leading EOF of mean November through March SST anomalies for the Pacific Ocean to the north of 20N latitude. ... Positive values indicate months of above normal SSTs along the west coast of the North and Central America and on the equator, and below normal SSTs in the central and western north Pacific at about the latitude of Japan. Fluctuations in this pattern are dominated by variability on the decadal time scale.

The PDO is not regular, it is an observed oscillation in the North Pacific sea surface temperatures and has been linked to ENSO.  (It's also been linked to kettles and ice blocks.)

If you look at the animation below, it's easy to see that there must be other forces acting on the land and surface temperatures.  Sometimes the temperature trend is in the same direction as the PDO, but as often it isn't.  Right now, for example, the temperature hasn't gone down although the PDO has turned negative.  Even in that big flat stretch from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s, the PDO went down and although the global temperature didn't go up, neither did it drop much at all.  So there are other forces pushing the temperature up.  Since the late 1970s, the strongest force has been elevated levels of greenhouse gases. (Click chart to enlarge.)

Sources: JISAO and NASA

Why can't Monckton make up his mind?

Monckton changes his mind more often than the weather changes in Melbourne.  Just a day or so ago Monckton had been so certain that it's cooling he had narrowed down the date his "cooling" began to 17 years and four months ago.  This was after he'd made numerous wild guesses at "cooling" - including it started cooling 16, 17, 18, 19 and 23 years (all in the one letter); then he went for "approaching two decades"; then just last month it was 18 years.  Kenji would be much less confused than Monckton, I'll be willing to bet.

Now Monckton can't make up his mind, saying all of "it's not cooling", "it's warming, but not as fast as before" and "it's cooling".  Or is he saying that Spencer and Christy's UAH record is an Orwellian conspiracy?  He writes:
RSS showed warming at 0.7 Cº/century from 1979-1996 and cooling at almost 0.1 Cº/century from 1997-2012....
...UAH, however, in contrast to both HadCRUt4 and RSS, showed warming in the later period, 1997-2012, that was thrice as fast as the warming of the earlier period, 1979-1996.
So according to Monckton even his precious satellite data sets differ.  Pity he can't work out what's happening.  He writes:
It would be interesting to adjust the global instrumental temperature anomaly record not only for volcanic aerosols, solar cycles and el Niños but also for the cycles of the PDO, but that is above my present pay-grade.

Poor old Monckton.  He admits he doesn't know what he's doing.  He decides to throw in the towel and put the rise in global temperatures down to "an Orwellian conspiracy".  At least he can rest happy now, knowing that, as he says, the satellites are watching and preventing cheating even though he reckons that his "watching satellites" can't even agree with each other.

I hope in his next article Monckton sets out his theory of how this conspiracy works.  How is it that no one else has blown the whistle except an eccentric conspiracy theorist from Brenchley.  It must involve not only 97% of climate researchers all over the world, but also the hundreds of thousands of people who work for weather bureaus as well as the thousands of editors of scientific journals.  Plus more.  There has never been and never will be a conspiracy quite so grand.

Looking forward to the next conspiracy theory promoted by Anthony Watts on WUWT.  You never know, he might move onto fake moon landings next.

(I thought Anthony Watts used to try to present himself as a 'rational' sceptic.  Lately he's been oscillating between irrational and truly weird.  He's effectively handed over WUWT to the crank Monckton, who even Andrew Bolt (temporarily) distanced himself from.  I'm wondering if recent research like Marcott, Lewandowsky, Cook and others on top of the Heartland-China fiasco has done something to his brain.  Or maybe he's always been this strange.)

In the comments

You can easily distinguish the thinkers from the fake "skeptics".  Anyone who was really interested in science, as opposed to purveyors of disinformation and doubt (FUD specialists), wouldn't write this, for example:
Eric Worrall says:
June 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm  The missing piece of the puzzle is how they worked their magic. I’d love to see a recipe for turning Hadcrut3 into Hadcrut4, that would tell us a lot about what was happening. If the details of how to do this are not public domain, they should be.
Instead, they'd Google and then write something like this:
Anyone but Eric Worrall would say:
June 16, 2013 at 8:53 pm I was interested in the changes between HadCRUT3 and HadCRUT4, and found that the researchers had written a paper describing the differences and explaining how HadCRUT4 was developed.  Here is the abstract, which I've broken into paragraphs for easier reading:
Recent developments in observational near-surface air temperature and sea-surface temperature analyses are combined to produce HadCRUT4, a new data set of global and regional temperature evolution from 1850 to the present. This includes the addition of newly digitized measurement data, both over land and sea, new sea-surface temperature bias adjustments and a more comprehensive error model for describing uncertainties in sea-surface temperature measurements.
An ensemble approach has been adopted to better describe complex temporal and spatial interdependencies of measurement and bias uncertainties and to allow these correlated uncertainties to be taken into account in studies that are based upon HadCRUT4.
Climate diagnostics computed from the gridded data set broadly agree with those of other global near-surface temperature analyses. Fitted linear trends in temperature anomalies are approximately 0.07°C/decade from 1901 to 2010 and 0.17°C/decade from 1979 to 2010 globally. Northern/southern hemispheric trends are 0.08/0.07°C/decade over 1901 to 2010 and 0.24/0.10°C/decade over 1979 to 2010. Linear trends in other prominent near-surface temperature analyses agree well with the range of trends computed from the HadCRUT4 ensemble members.
And for those who cannot access the full paper, which is behind a paywall, I found a poster online that summarises the changes.  You can click here to view it

**From a review of Michael Shermer's book "The Believing Brain":
Mr. Shermer offers a handy guide for those who are confused. Conspiracy theories are usually bunk when they are too complex, require too many people to be involved, ratchet up from small events to grand effects, assign portentous meanings to innocuous events, express strong suspicion of either governments or companies, attribute too much power to individuals or generate no further evidence as time goes by.


  1. They've deleted posts, been hit with the recent John Cook revelation that 97% of papers support the consensus, barely endured the Heartland-China fiasco and yet despite supporting any explanation for warming that doesn't include the simplest, Co2, the scientific conseunsus still stands. Include their dwindling audience, disappointed by the failure of Stolen Email-gate to turn into something real, and I guess all you can really do is let Monckton post conspiracy theories (Orwealian, no less!) so their devout followers can keep the faith that little bit longer.

    Funniest of all, the post Monckton refers to actually does fraudulently change their already fictitious results to show less warming:

    "In the abstract, to allow for uncertainties, he cautiously reduces this to three times faster."

    1. Ha ha. Yes, I saw that. Monckton has very different rules for fake skeptics and conspiracy theorists.

      Probably the fudge factor Monckton alludes to is in a similar vein to what Anthony Watts used when he absolutely insisted that when Ben Santer wrote "at least seventeen years" the words in denier-speak are translated to mean "at most seventeen years". At least that's what Anthony wants his readers to believe.

      AKA "lying through gritted teeth in the vain hope that someone other than your 8% Dismissive fan club will believe you".

  2. I guess then that Monckton is part of the conspiracy as a former science adviser to the world leader who first made climate change an important political issue, at least in the UK. I think he should come clean and admit it.


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