Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hoity Toity Christopher Monckton sez the Earth is losing energy and other silliness at WUWT

The potty peer has done it again.  He's trying to argue that Dana Nuccitelli is wrong in his recent article in the Guardian: The Weekly Standard's Lindzen puff piece exemplifies the conservative media's climate failures.

Christopher Monckton has to play fudgery with numbers and I'm not sure if he's fooling anyone except the hard core deniers.  And they'll be fooled by anything as long as it rejects climate science.  Here is the archived WUWT article.

(I see that Christopher, like Bob Tisdale a couple of days ago, has taken a leaf out of HotWhopper's book and has webcited the Guardian article, but I can't access it.  No-one else has complained so I don't know if it's just me or if no-one at WUWT clicked on the link.  Neither would surprise me. Update: the webcite version is accessible now, but it doesn't look too good in Chrome.)

I won't go over all Christopher's silliness.  He's done it all before, including wanting to running off to his dreaded government  crying crocodile tears when he doesn't like something.  (Deniers typically hold government in contempt unless they are claiming to be members of the House of Lords or wanting the government to intervene in some fabricated slight.)  Here's a short sample.

Yes, Christopher - fewer than two out of every hundred climate science papers in the last twenty years dispute the notion that humans are to blame for global warming. No reputable scientist disputes this fact.

And yes, Christopher, Lindzen's Iris Hypothesis was found wanting.

And yes, Christopher, we are in a period of warming that is unprecedented in a very long time, and are heading for 10 times the pace of warming in 65 million years.

You get the picture.

At one stage Christopher shows he himself doesn't agree with Richard Lindzen.  Christopher writes:
it is possible – indeed, quite likely – that a net loss of energy from the Earth-atmosphere system is now underway. If so, global temperature may even fall,
First of all, if there was a net loss of energy then global temperatures would definitely fall.  No maybes, ifs or buts about it.  But that's physically impossible as long as we keep adding greenhouse gases at the rate we are, and as long as there are no supervolcanic eruptions or asteroid strikes or similar to stop the sunlight penetrating the atmosphere.  Christopher doesn't provide any evidence to support his nutty claim, understandably, because there is none.

Here's another blooper - Christopher writes:
Since natural variability has yielded warming at 4.33 Cº/century within the past 350 years
What natural variability?  What 15ºC of warming over the past 350 years?  Let's look at the longer term record - of the past 2000 years. (Click to enlarge.)

Figure 5.7 IPCC AR5 WG1 Reconstructed (a) Northern Hemisphere and (b) Southern Hemisphere, and (c) global annual temperatures during the last 2000 years. Individual reconstructions (see Appendix 5.A.1 for further information about each one) are shown as indicated in the legends, grouped by colour according to their spatial representation (red: land-only all latitudes; orange: land-only extra-tropical latitudes; light blue: land and sea extra-tropical latitudes; dark blue: land and sea all latitudes) and instrumental temperatures shown in black (HadCRUT4 land and sea, and CRUTEM4 land-only; Morice et al., 2012). All series represent anomalies (°C) from the 1881–1980 mean (horizontal dashed line) and have been smoothed with a filter that reduces variations on timescales less than ~50 years.

No.  There's not been anything like a warming of 4.33 degrees a century (or 15ºC) in the past 350 years.  Even taking it to the present day with the "unnatural" forcing, there's not a 4.33 degree rise from the coldest temperature in the last 1500 years to the temperature today.  Imagine what it will be like if we let global surface temperatures rise by four degrees!

At one point Christopher goes for another bit of disinformation.  He wrote:
A: Before the U.S. Senate on 23 June 1988, Hansen said that his Scenario A, which predicted 0.5 Cº/decade warming to 2060, was the “business-as-usual” case; yet Nuccitelli has only shown Hansen’s less exaggerated Scenario B.
But that's wrong.  In Dr Hansen's testimony, he describes Scenario A as assuming 1.5% a year emissions growth.  But emissions haven't grown at that rate.  The growth averaged over the period since 1988 would be roughly 0.5% a year, going by the rise in atmospheric CO2 over that period.

Christopher cries "libel" a lot.  But it's he, Christopher Monckton, who is one of the biggest frauds in the deniosphere.

The deniers who think they are modern-day Galileos won't be happy with Christopher for writing this bit of nonsense:
The Church, as well as informed scientific opinion, had long agreed that the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way about. However, Galileo had drawn inappropriate theological conclusions from heliocentricity, perpetrating the notorious non sequitur that since the Earth was not the centre of the Universe the Incarnation and Crucifixion were of less importance than the Church maintained. It was Galileo’s theological conclusion the Church objected to, not the scientific conclusion that the Sun is at the center of the solar system. 

And Christopher proves to be a passive smoking denier, too, writing:
And, as far as I know, Professor Lindzen does not dispute the well-established link between smoking and lung cancer, though he would be within his rights to dispute the imagined link between passive smoking and lung cancer. 
Since Anthony Watts is so anti-smoking I'm surprised he let that one through. For Richard Lindzen's position on passive smoking - check out pages 25 and 26 of this transcript.

From the WUWT comments

Here is how Christopher finishes up:
What is your verdict? From my own knowledge of the Professor and his distinguished work, I find Nuccitelli’s piece misleading, offensive, and cruel. Damages will be huge.
It's now offensive and cruel to point out errors and listing errors is misleading?  Let's see if the WUWT-ers agree.

Lew Skannen says:
January 13, 2014 at 8:48 pm
Sueing is an expensive, difficult and risky process. Better to get a peice in the Graun refuting the garbage so all the Nuttycherry sycophants can have their noses rubbed in it.
Dr C objects to Christopher rewriting history and says (excerpt):
January 13, 2014 at 9:01 pm
Sorry to quibble, Mr Monckton, but this part is incorrect: “The Church, as well as informed scientific opinion, had long agreed that the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way about.” First, no one used the word ‘orbit’ at the time. Kepler invented that word (as we understand it), and few in Rome were reading Kepler at the time. More important, however, is that Rome at the time remained firmly geocentric in its cosmological outlook: the official line in Rome was that the Sun revolved around the earth. This is an indisputable fact. 

jorgekafkazar says, without a hint that he sees the double standards at WUWT:
January 13, 2014 at 9:01 pm
Ad hominem slurs, the first refuge of scoundrels…

tallbloke has got as far as realising you can only claim "Little Ice Age bouncing" for so long and hope to get away with it, even for hard core deniers.  He's yet to wake up to the reality that there is no such thing as a Little Ice Age bounce.  It takes a forcing to change the climate. He says:
January 13, 2014 at 11:32 pm
“on the evidence there could be as little as 1 Cº global warming between now and 2100″
Or minus 0.5C. The recovery from the LIA won’t go on forever.

Bugs Man is probably one of the 8% who really and truly "believes" people like the potty peer, even though he can't understand a thing about science.  He says (excerpt):
January 13, 2014 at 11:22 pm
Lord Monckton’s article is a tour de force example of a complete* de-bunk of Nuccitelli and Abraham’s piece in The Guardian (6 Jan 2014). That it is libellous is, for me, well proven.
At least one preceding comment questions the economic sense of persuing a libel case which can be cost-prohibitive for individuals. I suggest that a formal complaint to the (UK) Independent Press Complaints Commission (regrettably also abbreviated to IPCC), using Lord Monckton’s article as evidence*, would be a far less expensive exercise and, if upheld, arguably more effective in getting The Guardian to be more circumspect before regurgitating Nuccitelli’s venomous opinions in future. A privately funded libel case on the back of such a judgement by the IPCC should then be considered.


  1. You'll have noticed that Monckton uses the Central European Temperature record in the late 1600s as the basis for the claim that temperatures have risen faster in the past, this is legitimate, he claims, because during the last century the CET and the global record correlate well.

    I pointed out the ridiculousness of extrapolating the modern CET back 3-4 centuries, before the invention of the mercury-in-glass thermometer, when readings were not even taken outdoors, and gaps in the series were infilled with readings from another country.

    According to Smokey, this is all fine, even though the authors themselves warn that 'no daily series truly representative of CET can begin before about 1770'.

    This from the home of the SurfaceStations project, who champion scepticism about surface temperature measurements, and temperature proxies. You can almost hear the coginitive dissonance. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall when Monckton instructs his lawyer...LOL!

    1. Even so, he can't possibly have come up with a rise of 15 degrees over the past 350 years. That's colder than a deep glacial. It's nuts.

      Maybe he made a typo. I didn't see anyone pick him up on it at WUWT.

    2. I think you are trying to find sense where there is none. Deniers fixate on short term noise and imagine it has significance. So my guess is that when saying "4.33C/century" he's talking about the maximum rate of warming over a ludicrously short period of time.

    3. Like from December to July of some year.

    4. Actually, CET is Central England Temperature, not Central European Temperature. The period is 1694-1733, and its absolute temperatures, not anomalies, so the annual cycle (about 16 degrees) is not removed.

    5. No typo. Here it is:
      "The world warmed by 0.72 Cº in the past 100 years (HadCRUt4, December 1913 to November 2013). This rate of warming is far from “unprecedented over the past 11,000 years”. In Central England, warming at a rate equivalent to 4.33 Cº/century (Fig. 2) was measured over the four decades 1694-1733. That rate, six times the rate observed in the past 100 years, occurred before the Industrial Revolution even began."

      Sure, six times.
      Monckton discovered a cherry pick we meteorologists and amateurs on that terrain of course knew quite well from the stats: that de decade of the 1690's was very cold indeed - in Western Europe it is the pit of the LIA - and the decade of the 1730's was remarkably warm.
      Perhaps the man can discover some volcanic activity for that half century.

    6. ha ha. I just looked at a chart of HadCET. In 1694 the temp anomaly is -1.83 degrees and in 1733 it is 0.97 degrees (from the twentieth century average). Christopher could have got much better numbers if he'd gone from 1740 (-2.66 degrees) to 1741 (-0.2 degrees). What's that? Around 260 degrees a century trend? Wow it got hot in Central England!

      Here's a chart if anyone is interested.

  2. I think his argument runs ... trend in CET over modern instrumental period (1850 onwards) matches global series, therefore I can cherry-pick a 40 year period from 1694 where the CET rose at 4.33C / decade and argue that the globe did the same.

    Modern warming is not unprecedented QED.

    Which must mean that the modern CET is compiled from the same pre-Mercury thermometers and sites as those from the late 1600s, including indoor rooms and the inclusion of a 'non-instrumental' series from Utrecht - or he's talking through his hat.

    How many times now has Monckton raised the rabble with threats of legal action, then failed to consummate? Must be dozens.

  3. "Since Anthony Watts is so anti-smoking I'm surprised he let that one through."
    Because the leader of the sekt, S. Fred Singer, tells him to. Conversely that's the reason tobacco regularly enters climate revisionists' talk. As do other classics like DDT.

  4. FWIW, I tried to post to the WUWT thread. But I've been censored. I said:

    > Professor Lindzen.

    Lindzen isn’t a prof. He’s emeritus.

    > Actually, Galileo was wrong.

    That one is definitely going in the quote-books, long after the rest
    of this article is forgotten.

    > Damages will be huge.

    No they won’t. Firstly, because L won’t sue, he isn’t stupid.
    Secondly, because if he did the case would be thrown out – nothing
    here raises to the level of libel, even if proved true, which they
    wouldn’t be.

    > Sooner or later we are going to have to take someone to court

    Mann is doing that. Oddly, no-one here seems to be keen for that day
    in court to happen.

    That makes the dbstealey comment on that thread "William Connolley tucked tail and ran when I suggested a debate over global warming" rather ironic; he's a mod there, and its probably him that censored my attempt to talk.

    1. Court:
      Actually, several sets of cases are under way:
      1) Andrew Weaver versus Tim Ball and separately, National Post in Canada.
      2) Mann versus TIm Ball in Canada.
      3) Mann vs National Review & CEI, in Washington.

      That's actually useful, since there are 2 different legal systems in play.

      Sadly, such things take a while.

      And for legal amusement, of a different sort, see NZ climate cranks’ trust folded, Brill et al try to escape justice.

  5. DirkH says:
    January 14, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Guardian is an MI5/MI6 PsyOp outlet, part of the NYT/Guardian/Spiegel axis (see Snowden releases).

    I'm surprised the mods let nonsense like this get posted

    1. You must be new.

      Paranoid Conspiracy is a staple at WUWT. That's actually quite mild compared to some of the nuttery, the mods give it a pass cos take away the paranoia, pseudoscience, and ad hominems against scientists, well there wouldn't be much left to read over there ...

    2. And the irony is that Der Spiegel is officially/traditionally a left wing magazine, but has a climate ostrich as climate reporter, writing articles WUWT would be proud of.

  6. If titles can be doled out for doing the country a good turn, perhaps they should be revoked if an Entitled conducts himself (or herself) in a manner that brings about great damage to the country or the planet.

    Toffer Monckton certainly does nothing that I can see that glorifies the anachronistic and largely undeserving English aristocracy.


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