For those who missed this, George Monbiot penned his reply to Monckton’s two part articles here dipping his metaphorical pen in concentrated sarcastic acid.
I can’t say I’m impressed with Monbiot’s arguments because they appear to be of the distinctly strawy kind. He does mention asking Gavin Schmidt about blackbodies (in relation to Monckton’s use of the Stefan-Boltzmann formula) and gets a logically correct but misleading answer…
Citing Monckton, Monbiot writes:
…”the UN repealed a fundamental physical law”, doubling the size of the constant (lambda) in the Stefan-Boltzmann equation. By assigning the wrong value to lambda, the UN’s panel has exaggerated the sensitivity of the climate to extra carbon dioxide. Monckton’s analysis looks impressive. It is nonsense from start to finish.His claims about the Stefan-Boltzmann equation have been addressed by someone who does know what he’s talking about, Dr Gavin Schmidt of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He begins by pointing out that Stefan-Boltzmann is a description of radiation from a “black body” – an idealised planet that absorbs all the electromagnetic radiation that reaches it. The Earth is not a black body. It reflects some of the radiation it receives back into space.
I wonder how many of our commenters can spot the mistake? Hopefully the majority. One of the commenters (“Coolhead“) below the article sets him straight in part
Gavin Schmidt is a competent scientist. He is also a clever debater . Gavin, and a number of his like-minded colleagues, have perfected the art of targeting a relatively trivial technical point and making it appear as though it demolishes the entire argument. The Stefan-Boltzmann relationship is fundamental in defining the climate of the earth at every level of the atmosphere. Monckton has, admittedly, used the S-B formula in a rather simplistic way in that he calculates the warming response to an increase in Carbon Dioxide – while assuming all other factors remain fixed, i.e. he does not include feedback effects. However, since nobody knows how large these feedbacks are – or even whether they are positive or negative, Monckton’s estimate is as good as anyone’s, So I make this 1-0 to Monckton.
Also Monbiot appears to be still partying like its 1999 and Mann, Bradley and Hughes are riding high.
Well, the reason the “medieval warm period” doesn’t show up on the UN panel’s graphs is simple. As far as climatologists can tell, there wasn’t one. So why did the Vikings, as Monckton points out, settle in Greenland?As a paper published in Reviews of Geophysics shows, Vikings first arrived in Greenland at the very beginning of the “warm period” Monckton discusses, when temperatures, even according to his graph, were lower than they are today. They did so because life had become too hot for them in their adopted home (Iceland): not climatically, but politically. There does appear to have been a slight warming in some parts of the northern hemisphere. There is no reliable evidence that this was a global phenomenon.
and again “Coolhead” sets him straight:
This one is an absolute 100%, 24-carat gold-plated, gimme for Monckton. The UN Panel’s graph is the infamous “Hockey stick”. Those that still try to defend it (apart from it’s creators) either haven’t acquainted themselves with the facts or simply don’t understand them. The hockey stick is a reconstruction based on tree ring data which claims to shows the climate history over the past several centuries. There are a number of things wrong with it, but the main case against it is that:-
The researchers used a methodology which identified data series with unusual 20th century growth; then gave them a weighting which ensured that these data would be most influential in the eventual reconstruction. This is a process known as ‘data mining’. Note that this was not necessarily done deliberately. Apart from the H-S fiasco, there is an avalanche of studies from ALL OVER the world which shows that the effects of the MWP and the Little Ice Age which followed were both deep and widespread – 3-0 to Monckton.
You can see that I had a go myself with Monbiot to which he replied (was I the only one to receive this treatment?) and to which I responded.
I cannot resist one quote from a commenter that I cannot understand. Either he’s serious or he’s being satirical, I can’t tell. It’s a close call for “CarbonDave”
All good stuff. Thank you so much George for keeping sane and eloquent in the face of so much ugly stuff.
The only point I wanted to add is that we all need to trust our instincts and intuition more and not get sucked into the finer detail of the grown ups argument.