Gore Gored: Monckton replies

Chris Monckton has replied to Al Gore’s characterization of his articles here. The relevant section on the Hockey Stick is on page 11.

I know that Steve does not agree with all of Monckton’s analysis, so can we take that as read?


149 Comments

  1. Mick
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 7:33 AM | Permalink

    Posters here should subject Monckton’s claims to the same sort of thorough analysis and skepticism as they direct at paleoclimate studies. If this doesn’t happen, it will look like people here are simply searching for evidence to support a conclusion already arrived at, rather than honestly attempting to determine the truth.

  2. Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    I quite agree. I’m not claiming that Monckton is right on all points, so where Monckton makes claims which are dubious or wrong, say so.

  3. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

    #1. I agree with this and criticism of Monckton is welcome here. I am sure that there are many able people who will do so either here or elsewhere. I am limited in my own time and resources and, given that others are likely to carry out this exercise, will leave it to them. Mick, please weigh in if you care to.

  4. Reid
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    When Einstein was told by a reporter that a large consensus of scientists believed his theories were incorrect Einstein replied “It only takes one to prove me wrong.”

    Monckton doesn’t have to get all his facts correct. He is demolishing the notion that a consensus exists.

  5. jae
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    I can’t find much wrong with Monckton’s comments. After all, he is not saying that there is no warming or no AGW. He is just trying to put the facts together and defending himself against all of Gore’s hype. Gore clearly exaggerates and states things which are clearly untrue. Like ALL scientists support AGW. I can’t believe any thinking person would make that statement.

  6. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    I noticed a few errors in reading Monckton’s paper but generally it’s pretty clean. If I get a chance I’ll re-read it and make note of the errors. Bear in mind that it didn’t get the benefit of prior peer review, so there are some typo sorts of things as well as a couple of places where he’s sort of winging it and doesn’t quite have his facts straight.

  7. Le Normand Michel
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    I am a retired biologist, interested in “hockey sticke” from this point of view
    because majority of that curve are plant growth data. I formerly teached plant
    physiology and ecology in an agronomic school. One of the first topics we treat
    in these matters is regulation of growth, tree rings for instance is commanded
    by a few main factors namely light, T°C, CO2, NO3 …
    The temperature growth response curve is a bell form one with an optimal T°C.
    So tree rings which width varies around the optimum T°C for a given species,
    diminishing as well when T°C goes up or down cannot, absolutly not, be taken as
    a paleo-thermometer.
    Tree rings vary mainly with CO2 concentration as gaz in air, not in cool droplets
    of rain where it is extremely soluble and return to the ocean from where it comes
    and is usefull to near 90 percent of ocean production, photosynthetic microalgae
    which are at the beginning of trophic chains.
    I have given to M. Christopher Monckton 2 papers I wrote recently on these topics
    but in French and for vulgarisation in Free Thinkers reviews.
    HStick is, you have demonstrated, a mathematical and for Monckton a physical
    imposture, I think it is far more a biological one.
    I apologise for my poor English. Continue your so necessary fight for Truth.
    Sincerily yours, MichelLN

  8. Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Maybe everyone should now pause and re-read Al Gore’s book. It reveals some characteristics that seem to have been forgotten.

    Al Gore is protrayed in the press as a technical person but that is not the case. His world view is primarily religious and philosophical. He went to divinity school. He is closer to Jerry Falwell or Al Sharpton than he is to any scientist or technocrat. In “Earth in the Balance” he is most proud of his original and independent analysis of the impact of Decartes and Bacon on the “Western Mind”.

    Gore is non-quantitative and non-empirical. He makes a hash of chaos theory and strange attractors. His approach to math is to name drop. He cites chaotic indeterminacy and sensitivity to initial conditions as if those ideas supported long term weather prediction.

    People also forget that his championing of the “data super highway” was in fact a testiment to his failure to understand data communications in any profound way. He reasoned by analogy that the National Highway bill supported by his father should be replicated now with data instead of cars. All the Internet founders were grateful for his support but Gore thought the essense of the Internet was centralized supercomputers linked by super communication lines. He totally missed the notion of distributed computing. Then as now he had a faith in the idea of a supercomputer.

    Gore never argues quantitatively. He prefers argument from authority. Hence the emphasis on “consensus”. He does not weigh the evidence. He marshalls the arguments. He does not calculate. He crafts anecdotes. Maybe its unfair to expect careful reasoning from a politician. If so, then why should anyone pay attention to what he says?

  9. Lee
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    Steve McIntyre says:
    November 22nd, 2006 at 7:38 am

    #1. I agree with this and criticism of Monckton is welcome here. I am sure that there are many able people who will do so either here or elsewhere. I am limited in my own time and resources and, given that others are likely to carry out this exercise, will leave it to them. Mick, please weigh in if you care to.
    —-

    Or IOW, Steve’s time is only used to go after papers which support AGW, or to offer and support those which can be claimed to debunk it, and he doens thave time to analyze arguments which attack AGW.

    When an auditor only offers critical examination of evidence for one side of a dispute, guess what the result of the audit will be?

  10. per
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    re: #10
    this is a bizarre misunderstanding of what science is about. Science is about finding the truth.

    It is not a game of “taking sides”; if there is an error in one side of an argument, then it is important to know of that error, because that is the truth. Hiding errors from the light of day is nothing to do with science.

    In science, critical examination of your data (“audit”) is something to be welcomed !

    per

  11. Paul
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    RE#10:

    Monckton’s articles/replies aren’t “papers.” Steve is working his way through the peer-reviewed process. Second, it is very clear that if Monckton is shown where he might be in error, he’s very willing to state that he was wrong and make the correction. This is not true for AlGore, who simply restates the wrong things he said the first time.

  12. Jean S
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    Or IOW, Steve’s time is only used to go after papers which support AGW, or to offer and support those which can be claimed to debunk it, and he doens thave time to analyze arguments which attack AGW.

    When an auditor only offers critical examination of evidence for one side of a dispute, guess what the result of the audit will be?

    So Monckton’s article is now a scientific publication. Hmmm… I rephrase, when a person can not see a difference between a newspaper article and a scientific publication, I rest my case.

  13. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

    re: #10

    I now begin to remember, Lee, why I detested your messages so much. You’re the epitomy of a troll. Steve is interested in one small portion of the AGW debate. Consequently he’s not interested in general debates such as Lord Monckton engages in. He has no inherent responsibility to support a general debate on his website, and consequently it’s just his general geniality which lets more general threads such as this to go on. IOW, stop biting the hand that feeds you and either fish or cut bait. If you’d like more food platitudes (it’s lunchtime here), just give me the word and I’ll whip something up.

  14. Ed
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    #5: FYI – Al Gore does not have a law degree and is not a lawyer. He did attend law school but did not complete a degree, according to several online biographies. He has an undergrad degree in government from Harvard, served as a military journalist in the U.S. military in Vietnam, and later attended both theology and law schools at Vanderbilt but never completed degrees in those subjects. I am only noting this because many people incorrectly assume he has a law degree, presumably because of his political background. He later served as a US Senator and Vice President. He now serves as Chairman of Generational Investment Management, a venture capital firm that invests in “sustainable research” businesses that take into account economic, environmental and social issues ranging across many industrial sectors, including alternative energy. He also serves on the board of Apple and as an advisor to Google.

  15. jae
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    Lee: I think you forgot that most of us here, including Steve M, are not anti-AGW. We simply want the facts and are tired of the poor science that underpins some of the pro-AGW “consensus.” I, personally, am especially sick of unfounded exaggerated claims of catastrophe. And STUPID statements made by Gore, such as “All scientists accept AGW.’ BTW, I take back my comment that I’m glad to see you back.. You just like to bicker.

  16. Lee
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    jae,

    When I see people nitpicking anything on one side of the debate, from real issues to irrelevant minutia, and uncritically accepting or allowing garbage like the Monckton article on the other side of the debate, I conclude from their behavior that they are anti-AGW.

    cf, Steve McIntyre.

  17. H. Patrick Baru
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    I agree with Lee, it is more scientifically ethical to arbitrarily dismiss Monckton’s entire article than to “nitpick” by addressing Monckton’s specific arguments.

  18. jae
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    18: Can you please explain why it is “scientifically unethical” to discuss Monckton’s article?

  19. Follow the Money
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    “Posters should…”

    Hey, how about complimenting Monckton on his humor? Very funny, then gets down to business.

    Love that insignia. I imagine Gore seething over “The Viissscount.”

    Monckton is Gore’s new nemesis!

    To Pat: Thanks for the info. Earth in the Balance, and his public lectures, have the doom and salvation qualities of the Book of Revelations. I learned here that Gore is running a fund planning to trade in carbon credits and such. Smooothe operator he! Like a firey preacher giving an end-times sermon then asking for a “love gift” for his ministry…actually not “like” that, the preacher is upfront with his financial interest!

  20. Reid
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    Re #17: “…garbage like the Monckton article…”

    Lee, please detail what in your opinion makes the Monckton article garbage.

  21. H. Patrick Baru
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    Discussing the article, according to Lee’s premise, would be nitpicking.

    One must remember the plight of Indiana State Representative T.I. Record who tried to have pi fixed by law at 3.2. If it weren’t for the unethical mathemeticians who nitpicked Rep. Record’s bill, he would have succeeded.

    I was being sarcastic.

  22. Paul
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    RE: #16-19

    Steve is providing a forum to nitpick the Monckton article…this particular thread. I’m sure that several people will provide a critical look at each point.

    I’m also confident that Monckton will accept the criticisms.

  23. JP
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    #10
    Lee,
    Steve could in fact believe that all of our recent warming is anthropogenic; however,
    that still doesn’t remove the errors he found in MBH98. As far as I know, that is still
    his main interest -the use of Principle Component Analysis in paleoclimatology. For all I know
    he could agree with Mann or Biffra in the abstract, but that doesn’t mean he will rubber stamp
    every piece of crap that seems to bubble up daily from our climate research centers.

  24. David Smith
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    I struggle to believe that all the warming of the last 35 years is GHG-driven. Here are two charts:

    The first is the global air temperature at 500mb level (about 20,000 feet or six kilometers up). It is from weather balloon measurements. At first glance it may look like a more-or-less steady march since the mid-1970s, but refocus for a moment and consider whether the temperature jumped suddenly in the mid-1970s and again about 2000.

    OK, the argument may be that balloon temperature measurements have accuracy problems. So, look at an alternate indicator, which is called “geopotential height”. It measures how far up one has to go to find a certain pressure, in theis case 500mb. If the air warms, it expands and the geo[potential height rises. If air cools, the geopotential height falls.

    Here is the global geopotential height at 500mb . Note the sudden jump around 1975 and again around 2000, similar to the temperature plot. You can even see the 1998 El Nino.

    Here is the RSS/UAH troposphere satellite temperatures for 1979-2006. It doesn’t show the 1976 jump (no satellite data) but it does show the rise around 2000. And, the period from 1976 to 2000, if one removes the two volcanoes and the 1998 El Nino, looks about flat to me. Similar to the radiosonde plots.

    In my view, GHG warming is more or less smooth and constant while warming jumps are characteristic of natural shifts in atmospheric circulation. If there’s GHG-forcing-causes-warming-in-bumps hypothesis, I haven’t seen it. I’d like to see it. I hope Vice-President Gore can help me.

  25. Lee
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

    David, anthropogenic warming will be (is) SUPERIMPOSED on natural variation.

    You argument reduces to:
    1. I see evidence of natural variation.” (well, of course)
    2. If there is natural variation, there cant be AGW (false, and an unstated premise of many of this kind of argument)
    therefore:
    3. there is no AGW.

    This is an invalid argument.

  26. Pat Frank
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    #10 Lee wrote, “Or IOW, Steve’s time is only used to go after papers which support AGW, or to offer and support those which can be claimed to debunk it, and he doens thave time to analyze arguments which attack AGW.

    A completely unfair and inaccurate attack.

    Lee also wrote, “When an auditor only offers critical examination of evidence for one side of a dispute, guess what the result of the audit will be?

    When have you ever done aught else, Lee?

  27. Theobald
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    So it doesn’t bother anyone that Monckton gets so many things wrong–andean glaciers-completely gone when I’m not using them as evidence–chinese sea voyages that ne’er happened–misrepresntation of Hansen’s testimony–Viking settlments in Geenland under permafrost (It’s mughty green permafrost by the pictures I’ve seen)–and so many misleading statements?

    Not to mention somehow getting a 3oC warmer(!) MWP that none of his sources support.

    I wonder why all of his errors suggest no AGW. Boy, that’s a fancy conincidence.

    Thanks,
    >T

  28. Earle Williams
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    Re #27 Theobold,

    Please proffer some details supporting your conclusions regarding the alleged misleading statements. Surely you can google as well as the rest of us, so do provide something to counter this accounting of the Greenland settlements here. Granted there’s no cited papers, but do you argue as to the credibility of the source? Let’s have something substantive to work besides innuendo and green pictures.

    You’re Welcome,
    E

  29. Rod
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    I’m not sure about the data for the MWP in Greenland but this paper

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/greenland/vintheretal2006.pdf

    shows that the 1930’s and 40’s were the warmest around the coast of Greenland since the 1780’s with the warmest year being 1941.

  30. bender
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

    It’s a logical fallacy to conclude that no comment implies assent. Fact is there are enough people criticizing Monckton, Gore and the like that there’s little new that people like myself can add. Whereas there’s a lot of interesting things to be said about the science behind proxy-based reconstructions and GCMs.

    It’s no secret that some folks here, like sun-worshipping jae, are less than objective when it comes to the AGW debate. But tarring all those at CA with that brush is another logical fallacy: guilt by association.

    Commenters who continually commit these logical fallacies (poisoning the well, ad hominem dismissal, etc.) lose a notch of credibility each time they comment.

    I don’t miss these trolls one bit when they’re absent. Look how much gets done.

  31. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    I would be happy to discuss any of Monckton’s comments on proxies, which are what I specialize in. Monckton’s response to Gore mostly seems sensible on proxies, although there are nuances I’d express differently. Obviously I do not think that the supposedly “independent” studies by Hockey Team authors which re-cycle the same old bristlecones, Yamal and Dunde series are “independent”. Monckton links the non-independence to Wegman’s social network analysis of Mann. My concern is primarily with the non-robustness of these little studies to a couple of series, as evidence by the hysterics if one dares to do an analysis without bristlecones or foxtails or the Yamal substitution. Monckton’s characterization of the NAS panel report and the Wegman report appear quite reasonable to me and, in this respect, much superior to, for example, Juckes’ blithe ignoring of these reports.

    On the other hand, I’ve read the book 1421 and would not personally place any weight on its conclusions as evidence in climate discussions.

  32. Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    I find Monckton’s analyses impressive, given the fact that he has studied classics. ;-)

    Hopefully we’re no longer in feudalism so we don’t have to be uncritical to viscounts. I was personally amused by his defense of the Watts per squared meter and per second. He used this unit for the flux of energy, and when someone wrote him that the “per second” part should not have been there, Monckton replied that it was just redundant, trying to emphasize that this is flux per second.

    Well, it may be nice to emphasize something, but the unit is wrong. If someone wants to emphasize that this is energy per second, he would have to use the units “Joules per squared meter and second”. Otherwise it’s just like saying that “1+2=4″ where we say that it is four in order to emphasize that the result is more than 2. ;-)

    There may be other bugs in it, too, but in comparison with Gore’s texts, Monckton is a National Academy perfectionist scientist, I think, and I thank him for his extraordinary job, including the new “Gore Gored” article.

  33. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    Lee,

    You seem to be operating under a misconception which is shared by many people who accept as gospel what All Gore (and others of similar opinion) claim. All of the warming can not be anthropogenic since there are other forcings which effect temperature.

    If you look at AGW as an equation, then it can be expressed as:

    AGW = X * dT

    “X” is the fraction of global warming that is anthropogenic, and “dT” (or delta T) is the change in temperature.

    Based on what Al Gore has written and stated, he no doubt believes that “X” is close to 1. Lonnie Thompson who was featured prominantly in Gore’s movie believes that “X” is around 0.8. I asked him this question in July and he gave me his answer.

    I feel that X is considerably less than 0.8. My opinion is that it is likely to be somewhere between 0.2 and 0.4. I doubt that anyone who contributes to CA believes that X = 0. Therefore, the issue is not whether we deny the existance of AGW, but rather how much impact we believe AGW, as distinct from non-anthropogenic forcings, has on global temperatures.

    This is not a black and white (or zero and one) issue. There are many uncertainties in the issues surrounding man’s influence on climate. This is hardly restricted to climate science. Many issues in science are filled with uncertainties.

  34. bender
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

    This is precisely where the “consensus” breaks down … badly. No one agrees on X. The models don’t agree on X.

  35. Pat Frank
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 11:20 PM | Permalink

    #35 — “The models don’t agree on X.”

    If someone ever evaluated the models properly, I’ve little doubt the models would say ‘X +/- ~10X.’

  36. Louis Hissink
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 11:39 PM | Permalink

    It is forgotten that some of Monckton’s calculations were supplied by other physicists as he states.

    Monckton’s articles are political documents not scientific papers.

    They are written not to convince scientist but lay people and hence politicians.

    Quite frankly alot of “climate-science” is specious and many arguments over statistics could be thrown out. The Hockey Stick, dredging that thing up again, applied linear factor analysis to non-linear data as Brignell pointed out. Hence the rest of the analysis fails totally.

    Of course if the mainstream do follow these methodologies, then sure, one needs to argue within the scope of their statistical treatment of an issue.

    But let’s be clear on Monckton’s articles – it’s the mob he wants to convince and in that contect he is achieved his goal.

  37. bruce
    Posted Nov 22, 2006 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

    Re #34:

    I feel that X is considerably less than 0.8. My opinion is that it is likely to be somewhere between 0.2 and 0.4. I doubt that anyone who contributes to CA believes that X = 0.

    Brooks. It is appropriate that you include the words “feel”, “opinion” and “believes” in your comment, the latter of which of course carries the connotation that I don’t know, but I will accept what some confident person that I take to be in authority tells me.

    I would have thought a more accurate statement is that there may be people on this site who confess that they don’t know what X is. As Pat Frank says, for reasons we don’t understand, it may well be negative. It seems to me to be very clear that climate and the factors influencing it is an incredibly complex subject, and many questions remain unresolved.

    While I think that your characterisation may be correct in fact, I think that we have to acknowledge that at this point we don’t really know. It is clear that there most certainly isn’t a consensus of scientists who would choose any particular number for X. And as I understand the state of the science it is even more clear that there is no rational or scientific basis for doing any more than guessing what X is at the moment.

  38. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

    re #38, Bruce, thanks for an interesting post. In it you say:

    And as I understand the state of the science it is even more clear that there is no rational or scientific basis for doing any more than guessing what X is at the moment.

    We can do a little bit more than guess. Scientific estimates of the warming due to solar during the last century are on the order of ~50% – 70%. This century, there is no warming to date. This would make a value for the human contribution to the warming (X) of 90% be a long ways from what current data reveals.

    w.

  39. Proxy
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 3:52 AM | Permalink

    Re #39 Willis not according to Hansen et al 2006 Figure 1 shows that global annual mean surface temperatures between 2000 and 2005 have increased by 0.3 C +/- 0.05°C (2 sigma)

  40. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 6:09 AM | Permalink

    All,

    On many occasions I’ve referred to AGW as a myth. I’ve posted consistently that IMO in the UK it is wholely politically inspired. I’d like to point out that this doesn’t mean that I think X = 0. If pushed to provide a figure I’d concur with Brooks that my best estimate is that it is between 0.2 and 0.4 but emphasise as Pat Frank has done that X is very uncertain (but not +/- 10X as that would mean X could be 2 to 4 and based on Brooks equation X can’t be greater than 1 assuming DT is the measured increase in temperature). I would personally place an upper limit on X of 0.5 i.e. that all possible anthropogenic contributions e.g. deforestation, cultivation and urbanisation of land, hydrologic engineering etc (and not just CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels) account for at most 50% of the current observed mean global surface temperature warming trend, the other 50% being due to natural (not man-caused) climate variability. In other words I do not think that CO2 is the main culprit (far from it).

    The reason why on occasions I have referred to AGW as a myth is because IMO the contribution to GW from CO2 has been deliberately exaggerated by the eco-theologically inspired propaganda machine (which includes both scientists and their political backers) to persuade us to pay extra taxes to bring about the ‘sustainable society’. Now I’m not against the aim of attempting to achieve a ‘sustainable society’ but what I am most definitely against is the distortion of science inorder to justify the taxation required to attempt to achieve it. The politicians, NGOs, single interest forums etc need to be more honest and realistic in their expectations. Most of us would support attempts (indeed we already do e.g. a UK taxpayer who in part paying through my taxes for the wind farm currently under construction in the Mersey bay near where I live) to reduce our dependency on ever-increasing politically unstable fossil fuels but we are not going to swallow AGW alarmism based on distorted science as a justification for doing this.

    KevinUK

  41. bender
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    I would like to see a public opinion poll on the value of X and its error (I’ve referred to it elsewhere as A ± àŽⲩ, and to track these parameters over time as education levels about the issue increase and new information becomes available. Now THAT would be a useful Bayesian analysis.

    Maybe it should be on the ballott in 2008: “who do you vote for, and what’s your estimate of X?”

  42. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    #77, Willis

    “And finally, I have to come back to my oft-asked question … how can these guys get away with this?”

    The answer is simple. It’s because someone is paying them to do it. Unlike Steve, yourself, bender etc, these guys would not do it for nothing. They know that provided they come up with the right result (reconstructions that play down the MWP and accentuate recent warming) they will continue to be funded even when alls they are doing is re-hashing the same old proxies. In Martin’s case the funder is the UK NERC. I still don’t understand why as the head of the Atmospheric Science Group at RAL, Martin is carrying out paleoclimatology studies. Martin as yet has not answered this question.

    On the ‘Juckes 99.98% …’ thread however he did say

    “Concerning funding: NERC has put a lot of effort into developing climate models. This work is aimed at improving understanding of past climate variability to aid both to aid development of climate models and to aid policy makers.”

    which I can understand and appreciate, so why is Martin not developing climate models but appears to be playing in attack for the Hockey Team instead?

    KevinUK

  43. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    Re: 38, Bruce,

    but I will accept what some confident person that I take to be in authority tells me.

    I would actually prefer to see the data rather than read or hear the statements of someone in authority.

  44. Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    snip

  45. Mick
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    #43 “They know that provided they come up with the right result (reconstructions that play down the MWP and accentuate recent warming) they will continue to be funded”.

    Every academic I know would be delighted to find a way to overturn an established orthodoxy. It’s a sure fire-way to advance the science and further one’s own career at the same time. Similarly, funding panels are always on the look out for work that will yield high scientific return for the funds spent. The last thing they want is to fund is “more-of-the-same” type science. I have served on a UK Research Council funding panel and reviewed grant applications for other panels. We never, ever worked in the way you describe.

    “In Martin’s case the funder is the UK NERC. I still don’t understand why as the head of the Atmospheric Science Group at RAL, Martin is carrying out paleoclimatology studies.”

    Probably because of academic freedom.

  46. Stevan Naylor
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

    #45
    You say “Visions of Florida sinking beneath the waves appear less frequently in the press. Scare stories about sudden climate change just don’t evoke the same reaction that they did a decade ago.”

    I don’t think you’re correct in your 1st assertion. Nearly every publication I subscribe to – (Audubon, Scientific American, etc) — and those I just peruse at the newsstand (National Geographic, NYT, Nature, etc) are beating the AGW drum on a daily/monthly basis; frequently in alarming terms.

    As to your 2nd assertion — if the stories don’t evoke the same reaction, it’s not because they aren’t giving it their best efforts…

  47. Stan Palmer
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    R

  48. Stan Palmer
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    Re 46

    I’ve served on grant review panels as well. I have seen the real fear that academics have when their research crosses vested interests. If their research was contrary to the pet ideas of a powerful academic, they were quite rightly afraid of having their grants denied and funding terminated. I personally experienced this when a noted academic (noted as one of the founders of the field) approached my funding source. And tried to have my funding removed.

  49. Jeff Weffer
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    The public media reports news that increases readership and sells advertising (the same thing really.)

    The media’s creed use to be “if it bleeds, it leads.”

    It is the same with the global warming debate. Disaster sells and if you sell disaster enough times, it is hard to go back and say “oops, sorry, we oversold the disaster story.”

    So climate disaster keeps getting sold over and over and over again. It eventually becomes such an urban myth that no reporter will try to upset to the common knowledge cart.

    But like other urban myths, the tide will change. There are alot of people and scientists out there who are trying to set the record straight. There are more and more reporters who are rising to the challenge and taking on their editors.

    Maybe it will take ten years before fact overtakes the bleeding leading. But it has always been fixed in the past eventually. It took 300 years before Copernicus was accepted as right about the solar system, but today’s world moves alot faster.

  50. Reid
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 10:27 PM | Permalink

    Re #42: Bender asks “I would like to see a public opinion poll on the value of X and its error”

    x=.02 +/- .01

    Anthropogenic global warming contributors in order of magnitude:

    Heat islands from human footprint (cities, roads, houses, farms, industry, mines, etc.)
    Deforestation
    Fossil fuel use

    The fixation of the warmers on CO2 has been politically engineered from day one.

  51. bender
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    Keep those estimates coming. I’ll collate them.

  52. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    Bender, my estimate of “X”, the amount of recent warming due to human actions is 0.3, 95% confidence interval -0.1 to 0.4 …

    w.

  53. Reid
    Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    To clarify my claim that “The fixation of the warmers on CO2 has been politically engineered from day one.” may I add:

    Day one was an inflection point that was reached roughly 20 years ago. That was when certain political interests stopped claiming burning fossil fuels would cause catastrophic global cooling and started claiming it would cause catastrophic global warming.

  54. bruce
    Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 1:21 AM | Permalink

    OK Bender. My WAG is that X is 0.05, 95% confidence level -0.15 to 0.25.

  55. Chris H
    Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 2:14 AM | Permalink

    I’ll go for X=0.3 +- 0.3 for the 20th Century and X=0.2 +- 0.3 for the 21st Century.
    I’m expecting X to decrease somewhat over the next 100 years. I’m expecting land use changes and increased air polution as the third world industrialises will easily outweigh increased CO2 emissions.

    I’m expecting that our efforts in the west to reduce CO2 emissions will actually increase them because these efforts will slow down worldwide economic growth, delaying the modernisation of third world economies.

  56. Jim Barrett
    Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 4:38 AM | Permalink

    Reid (#21) asks for details of what makes the Monckton article garbage.

    Well, do a search for “sea level”. Pretty early on he resorts to quoting Morner (2004), which is:

    Morner, N.-A. 2004. Estimating future sea level changes from past records, Global and Planetary Change 40: 49-54,

    which was accompanied in the same issue of the journal by:

    Morner, N.-A., Tooley, M. and PossnertT, G., 2004. New perspectives for the future of the Maldives, Global and Planetary Change 40: 177-182.

    These two papers should claim some kind of record for being two of the most discredited “climate” papers in recent years. Don’t bother to read the rebuttals – just read these two papers with the critical eye of Steve M and you will quickly realise what arrant nonsense they are. Anyway, here are the rebuttals:

    Kench, P.S., Nichol, S.L. and McLean, R.F., 2004. Comment on “New perspectives for the future of the Maldives” by MàƒÆ’à‚⵲ner, N.A., et al., Global Planetary Change 40: 177–182.

    Woodworth, P.L., 2005. Have there been large recent sea level changes in the Maldive Islands?, Global Planetary Change 49, Issues 1-2: 1-18.

    Woodroffe, C.D., 2005. Late Quaternary sea-level highstands in the central and eastern Indian Ocean: A review, Global Planetary Change 49, Issues 1-2: 121-138.

    Church, J.A., White, N.J. and Hunter, J.R., 2006. Sea-level rise at tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean islands, Global Planetary Change 53, Issue 3: 155-168.

    Nerem, R.S., Cazenave, A., Chambers, D.P., Fu, L.L., Leuliette, E.W. and Mitchum, G.T., 2006. Comment on “Estimating future sea level change from past records” by Nils-Axel MàƒÆ’à‚⵲ner, Global Planetary Change in press.

    I think that any document which resorts to the kind of garbage put out by Morner could also well be described as “garbage”.

  57. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 5:43 AM | Permalink

    Jim Barrett, I appreciate your post. However, I am also puzzled by it.

    You say that Nils-Axel Morner’s papers are “garbage”. I can’t get access to them, or the refutations you cite, without paying more money than I have to spend. So I can’t comment on that directly.

    However, Moncton’s main point seems to be that future sea level rises have been overestimated. I agree completely with him on this point. I have presented an analysis of sea level rise on this blog, and I’d like to draw your attention to the discussion of the study Nonlinear trends and multiyear cycles in sea level records. The abstract states:

    Abstract

    We analyze the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) database of sea level time series using a method based on Monte Carlo Singular Spectrum Analysis (MC-SSA). We remove 2–30 year quasi-periodic oscillations and determine the nonlinear long-term trends for 12 large ocean regions. Our global sea level trend estimate of 2.4 ± 1.0 mm/yr for the period from 1993 to 2000 is comparable with the 2.6 ± 0.7 mm/yr sea level rise calculated from TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter measurements. However, we show that over the last 100 years the rate of 2.5 ± 1.0 mm/yr occurred between 1920 and 1945, is likely to be as large as the 1990s, and resulted in a mean sea level rise of 48 mm. …

    They show the following figure:

    Now, there are several things of note about this figure. One is that there was a dramatic increase in the rate of sea level rise from about 1850 to 1880, obviously not connected to CO2. Second, the rate was highest around 1945, and has not been exceeded since. Third, despite all the model predictions, and despite the recent warming 1980-1998, there is no evidence of any recent upswing in the rate of sea level rise. So I agree with Moncton that sea level rise is not a credible threat.

    Finally, let’s suppose that Morner’s papers are incorrect. Do you really want to claim that citing an incorrect paper invalidates Moncton’s entire argument, that it turns his entire paper (and by implication, all of the papers he cited) into “garbage”? I would advise against that approach. Each point Moncton (or anyone, for that matter) makes must stand or fall on its own.

    Nor does citing an incorrect paper to back up a claim automatically mean that the claim is false. Morner is not the only paper Moncton cites to back up his claim. I have just given you one more which backs up his claim. If you think that future sea level rises will be large and catastrophic, it is up to you to demonstrate that. Merely saying Morner’s papers are garbage does nothing to show that Gore’s fears of planet-wide inundation have any basis in reality.

    w.

  58. beng
    Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    RE 52:

    Willis’ work is excellent, so I’d say he’s pretty close. I think he’s (purposely) being generous, so .3 is prb’ly a good estimate of the upper limit, so lessay .2 +/- .1

  59. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

    Ok, since it’s requested in the Omnibus thread, here’s my guess as to X, and it’s strictly a guess. .3 +/-.2 For justification, given the relative slopes from various warmer sources compared with the warming slope earlier, I can see up to half of the present warming being anthropic (which I see, going back [to see whether X is just CO2 or all anthropic and it seems it's all] is what Kevin’s original upper limit was). On the bottom end, I’m quite certain there’s some warming from CO2 regardless and even if there’s presently a working negative feedback it’d have to give something like .1 at the present warming rates, even excluding UHI, etc.

  60. bender
    Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    Thx DD, I missed #41. Tally after n=9 stands at:
    A ± àŽⲠ= 0.22 ± 0.16 (SE = 0.04,0.03)

  61. Hans Erren
    Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    re 58:
    There is no reliable observed sea level data before 1860, hockeystick anybody?…

    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/fig11-7.htm

    Figure 11.7: Time-series of relative sea level for the past 300 years from Northern Europe: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Brest, France; Sheerness, UK; Stockholm, Sweden (detrended over the period 1774 to 1873 to remove to first order the contribution of postglacial rebound); Swinoujscie, Poland (formerly Swinemunde, Germany); and Liverpool, UK. Data for the latter are of “Adjusted Mean High Water” rather than Mean Sea Level and include a nodal (18.6 year) term. The scale bar indicates ±100 mm. (Adapted from Woodworth, 1999a.)

  62. Pat Frank
    Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    #41 — “but emphasise as Pat Frank has done that X is very uncertain (but not +/- 10X as that would mean X could be 2 to 4 and based on Brooks equation X can’t be greater than 1″

    Kevin, I wasn’t supposing that X could *factually* be 2 or 4. I was suggesting that properly evaluating the uncertainties in GCM modeling would put their confidence limits of X at +/- 10X, i.e., purely a measure of the calculational sd and not a measure of physical possibility. The reason I suggest this is that the uncertainties in feedback fluxes are cumulatively easily 10x larger than the additional forcing of anthro-CO2.

  63. Jim Barrett
    Posted Nov 25, 2006 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

    Willis: the subject of this thread is Monckton’s report. Lee said that this report was “garbage”. Reid then asked “what ….. makes the Monckton article garbage”. I responded with a very good example of why it is garbage – simply because it quotes a “garbage” paper. I invited readers to simply read Morner (2004) and an accompanying paper by him (and others) in the same journal, using similar critical faculties to those that Steve M would use. Your response is that you are unable to read these papers and their rebuttals – but don’t you think it is rather rash to criticise a complex science, based only on what you can glean from the Internet? Also, is it completely impossible for you to access a technical library for these papers? Anyway, if you do not have the abilities to read these, or their rebuttals, then you should perhaps opt out of this discussion. The paper by Jevrejeva et al., which you cite is not even mentioned by Monckton – to bring it up in a discussion of Monckton’s article is simply a hijack of this thread.

  64. Chris H
    Posted Nov 25, 2006 at 3:06 AM | Permalink

    Jim,

    If you want to criticise Monckton’s articles, it would be great if you could make a substantive comment on his argument about sea level rise. Saying that the paper is garbage because a couple of his references are garbage is neither helpful nor convincing. Monckton’s articles are in the public domain but the articles you disparage are not. I am certainly not inclined to simply believe your assertion until you provide an actual argument.

    So far, we’re up to 65 comments without any substantive criticism on any aspect of Monckton’s articles. Surely there must be someone out there who can write an actual explanation of why some of the key arguments that Monckton makes are wrong.

  65. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 25, 2006 at 3:44 AM | Permalink

    Jim: you said the report is “garbage” because you don’t like a couple of the citations. However, you never did address Moncton’s point, which was that Gore has wildly overstated the danger of sea level rise. Since you didn’t like Monckton’s citations, I provided an additional citatation to show that Moncton was right.

    The paper you didn’t like was one of three that Monckton cited to support his point. Even if all three were “garbage”, that makes no difference to whether what he said was right or not. What Moncton said stands or falls on its own inherent veracity, not on whether some paper Moncton cited is “garbage”.

    Do I have the ability to read the papers you cited? Certainly. But what’s the point in my paying $30 per paper to do so? It doesn’t affect Moncton’s claim that sea level rise is not a grave danger that we need to deal with immediately. Since you disagree with Moncton, the onus is on you to show that he is wrong. Moncton cites two other papers, and I have provided a third, that support his position.

    As I said before, you have provided nothing that shows Moncton wrong. Gore’s claims about sea level rise are extraordinary. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The burden is on Gore, or his supporters such as yourself, to provide that evidence. You have not provided even ordinary evidence that the fears of sea level rise are justified. Monckton has provided other evidence than the paper you disliked that they are not justified. I have provided evidence that they are not justified, and that in fact there is no recent acceleration of sea level rise despite rising temperatures.

    So why should I “opt out”, as you suggest? And why would you even suggest that someone “opt out”? I find this attitude curious, that just because you are not able to support your point in the discussion, you think the other people should “opt out”. I’m afraid I can’t oblige you in that regard.

    My invitation to you is quite different. My invitation to you is that you “opt in”, by offering us some information, examples, graphs, abstracts, facts to support your claim. Please, however, do not say “it’s in this paper” or “the answer’s in that document”. Read the document, summarize it for us, provide some graphs or information, quote from the paper, give us the paper’s conclusions, tell us what you are trying to prove and how that research supports your position. Saying “paper X is garbage because paper Y says so” adds little to the discussion.

    Thank you for your post, and my invitation is meant in all seriousness.

    w.

  66. KevinUK
    Posted Nov 25, 2006 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    #63 Pat F

    Apologies if my post was interpreted as a criticism of yours as it wasn’t meant to be. In fact after #63 I know understand your original intent and I fully agree with your second paragraph. The uncertainties in the models are huge and will one day perhaps be quantified. Somehow however I don’t see any of the organisations who fund the development of these models e.g. the NERC and DEFRA in the UK rushing to fund such a project though.

    I’m intrigued by some of the estimates for X so far, particularly the upper limit. It appears that I’m postively warm compared to some others since I’m prepared to consider that as much as 50% of the current warming trend (the increase in temperature in the last 150 years)could be due to anthropogenic causes of which I consider the influence of CO2 via the GHG effect to be a minor (less than 50% of the total anthropogenic contribution) contribution. Maybe I’m not as skeptical as I thought I was or perhaps maybe some of the UK Governments pro AGW propaganda is haven’t a subconcious effect on me? Must make a note to stop watching programmes on the BBC.

    KevinUK

  67. jae
    Posted Nov 25, 2006 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    I guess I posted the following on the wrong thread. Here goes, again:

    “Sun-worshiping jae” votes for x=0.1 +/- 0.1, based on the Idsos’ experiments.

  68. Jeremy
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

    I repeat myself. It is for emphasis.

    The real point here is that in todays urban-responsible-cultural-paradigm if you criticize Monkton, you are labeled righteous. If you criticise Gore, you are part of the forces of darkness. Monckton may be wrong on some issues, but the existence of his contrary opinion and his examples of others are proof against consensus. The fact that you are allowed/encouraged to criticize anyone/anything here is proof positive of who means to deal in truths and who does not to say absolutely nothing of the fact that this sites mere existence again disproves the whole notion of consensus.

    The point is that some people are trying to silence others through shame and half-truths. They erect a straw man of consensus to try to gag the free expression from rational thinking free human beings. That is horribly wrong. The point here with Monckton’s reply is that consensus is a myth. Repeat after me, consensus is a myth, it doesn’t exist, so policies based on its existence are bound to be flawed.

    Now, I think I’ll go make myself a t-shirt labeling myself as a force of darkness on this planet. Who knows, maybe Skeletor or Lex Luthor will take me in.

  69. Lee
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    If Monckton’s arguments are simply wrong, the existence of them does NOT demonstrate a lack of scientific consensus – they demonstrate that one man got it wrong.

    Pointing this out is Not “trying to silence through shame and half truths” – it is pointing out that he got it wrong.

  70. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 7:58 PM | Permalink

    Lee, you’ve claimed Monckton’s wrong. You haven’t demonstrated it. You seem to be most PO’d about his constant emissivity. Well, fine. Provide us some numbers which can be examined and audited. Hans or Willis or somebody ran the numbers with various forcings and seemed to show that the change in emissivity with the known increases in CO2 weren’t all that much. Let’s do some discussing of actual science rather than just throwing out claims and insults. If you’ve got a quantative message outstanding you want responded to, tell me where it is and I’ll respond.

  71. Lee
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

    Dave, I have posted this argument several times now – it got eaten during the nearly three days that was stuck behind the spam filters. My answer is similar in form to the one attributed to SteveM when asked why he doesn’t simply create his own multiproxy reconstruction – the basic approach is fundamentally flawed in basic ways. I currently have a post up outlining why. It currently shows in the preview sidebar.

  72. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

    With reference to the Comment on “Estimating future sea level changes from past records,” the abstract says:

    We feel compelled to respond to the recent article by Màƒ⵲ner (2004) because he makes several major errors in his analysis, and as a result completely misinterprets the record of sea level change from the TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) satellite altimeter mission. One major criticism we have with the paper is that Màƒ⵲ner does not include a single reference to any altimeter study, all of which refute his claim that there is no apparent change in global mean sea level (GMSL) [see Cazenave and Nerem, (2004) for a summary]. The consensus of all other researchers looking at the T/P and Jason data is that GMSL has been rising at a rate of 3.0 mm/year (Fig. 1) over the last 13 years (3.3 mm/year when corrected for the effects of glacial isostatic adjustment (Tamisiea et al., 2005)).

    While I am unhappy with that word consensus, the criticism seems to be that early satellite altimeter data sets require all sorts of corrections because of instrumental faults.

  73. Paul
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

    Of related interest…particularly with regards to the Stern Report (of which Monckton presents comments):

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,231821,00.html

    Here, another analysis of bad statistics as applied to economics to make a political points…

  74. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    re: #72 Lee,

    If you mean Monbiot vs. Monckton #150, that’s just the message I meant when I said you made the claim but didn’t present any proof. That is, you claimed that using a constant emissivity is wrong and amounts to ignoring feedbacks, but you didn’t present proof that that is so. For a first step you need to show that the difference in emissivity with and without enhanced CO2 is large enough, in terms of temperature differences to be noticable.

  75. Paul
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    I should say that the link in the previous post does not reference the Stern report. I posted to show how the statement

    there are lies, damn lies and statistics

    applies in virtually every area of current sociopolitical discourse.

  76. Lee
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

    Dave, the point I’m making is that not only is he wrong in assuming fixed emissivity, but that reliance on the simplistic application of SB law is simply incorrect, and his assumptions of no time lag in “testing” the correct value of lambda is unjustified. It is not useful to quantitate the “proper” values in a set of calculations that are simply inapplicable. Earth is not a graybody, effects at specific narrow wavelength bands are important, heat transport and altitude effects matter, the surface is not the top of atmosphere, and so on – so it is not appropriate to ignore all this and rely on SB for calculations of surface temperatures. Earth is not at equilibrium – it is not appropriate to assume no time lag effects, and his handwaving doesn’t justify his ignoring them.

    He inappropriately applies a physical law in spite of basic and fundamental violations of its assumptions, he “assumes away” time lags based on handwaving and simplifications, and when he arrives at a value different from, anyone else, he declares everyone else to be incompetently ignoring physical law, and publishes his results – in a newspaper.

    I’m not a physicist, but I can recognize violations of assumptions of a physical law. and I could easily handle the basic math to back-calculate to the emissivity values for the lambda’s derived from other work, the values he is disputing. Someone did so, somewhere above in this thread or another thread on this subject. My point is that it is as absurd to to do that as what he did – constant emissivity is just one part of the range of errors he made. I had devoted several posts over the last three days to expanding on this, and they got lost in the spam filters while I was blocked and unable to post. And no, I’m not going to go back and reconstruct my longer posts on this – the outline is in these last couple posts.

  77. Lee
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    Here is another criticism, from a poster to /.

    You missed the effect of atmospheric layering
    (Score:3, Interesting)
    by FhnuZoag (875558) on Tuesday November 07, @08:46AM (#16750563)
    Since we are all stating credentials here, I am a mathematician.

    The problem with the calculations above is that is is based on the measurements of the Earth’s albedo as a whole. It is somewhat plausible, then, that the calculation gives a somewhat reasonable result for some sort of whole-earth lambda, including some certain adjustments for the change in pressure as we increase altitude.

    However, this value is not relevant to GW study, because in GW we are not interested in an averaged temperature over all of the volume of the atmosphere, but an averaged temperature at sea level over the surface of the Earth – for example, a consequence of GW is that air temperature at certain levels in the atmosphere actually cools, and so a large factor in this is the movement of high temperature from high levels to low levels in the atmosphere, something that is cancelled out in your calculations. Stefan Boltzmann, which uses idealised surfaces, does not capture this effect.

    In fact, it is impossible to capture this effect without detailed measurements and modelling of how the atmosphere is structured. In this, the UN is fully correct in adjusting its estimates as measurements change and become more detailed, and Monckton incorrect in dismissing the details needed in this calculation.

  78. Loki on the run
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    Here is another criticism, from a poster to /.

    Ahhh, so now /. is being cited as a reputable source of criticism :-)

  79. Lee
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

    No, now I am presenting what that particular person posted as a rational point (buried among much of the usual idiocy at slashdot), and I cited the source rather than plagiarize it.

    Are you citing The Sunday Telegraph as a reliable scientific source? Should I now assume I can dispute Monckton by finding examples of idiocy among what the Telegraph has published?

  80. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

    Lee, it’s kinda fun to set back and observe your semi-qualatative arguments. There’s some good points in them, but I don’t think you realize that they apply even more to the GW crowd. I.e. if the GCMs were required to take into consideration all the things you and your /. poster present, none of them would stand up. However in reference to this /.er in #78 s/he said:

    in GW we are not interested in an averaged temperature over all of the volume of the atmosphere, but an averaged temperature at sea level over the surface of the Earth

    but I’m pretty sure that isn’t what’s done. The temperatures in many places are averaged, but there’s no adjustment made for altitude that I’ve ever heard of. If I’m wrong on this point, I’d like a link to someplace it’s explained.

  81. maksimovich
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    RE 78 what sort of body would you describe the universe as.

  82. Lee
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    Dave,

    The simplest models, the ones that were (IIRC) in use 30 years or so ago, are in fact vertical atmosphere columns – ie, temp over altitude. When the GCMs predict cooling at altitude and warming at the surface, they are, by definition, looking at the effects of altitude. Those kind of vertical profiles are fundamental to the models. I believe this is why he says they are not interested in AVERAGED temperatures over the atmosphere, because the models when calculating what is happening to heat deal with actual temperatures at specific locations/columns of the atmosphere.

    I get that you are looking at averages of observations of temp data – but that is different from the calculations that are done in making predictions, which is what the discussion is about. Since we are interested in delta temperature rather than absolute temperature, adjusting for altitude before calculating the averages would be superfluous.

    I’ll forgo the gratuitous semi-insult attempt in response to the one you assayed here.

  83. Nicholas
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

    It seems to me that Monckton is making no greater assumptions or simplifications than those he is attempting to refute.

    We can all poke holes in climate papers by calling them simplistic – they definitely are. We simply don’t have the knowledge to argue at any greater level of complexity. So if you want to use the argument that if any argument contains a simplification then it must necessarily be at least somewhat incorrect and therefore the argument is invalid, fine, it invalidates the vast preponderance of research in the field. If, on the other hand, one is trying to refute the point that someone else is making, which itself is based upon certain assumptions and simplifications, then I think it is perfectly valid to argue on a similar level.

    So, if you want to try to show that Monkton makes greater and more egregious assumptions than those he is arguing against, fine. But simply arguing that he makes simplifications is not enough. You must show that he makes greater simplifications than those he is arguing against, and therefore that his calculations are somehow less valid.

    The pro-AGW crowd has been using astounding simplifications for a while now – for example, that certain tree ring widths are linearly related to temperature with no confounding factors, or that the (simplistic) statistical analysis that they perform somehow magically discovers the linear relationship despite any confounding factors. Or in this case, that there are positive feedbacks on the order of +300% in the climate system, without any empirical evidence that they exist (and in fact quite a bit of evidence that the feedbacks are net neutral, negative or only slightly positive).

    As for the emissivity argument, I know little of it myself, but people whom I respect have pointed out that it has been essentially invariate over the last century or so, and is expected to continue to be so in the near future, so this assumption is not likely to be a large source of error. I haven’t yet seen any convincing arguments to the contrary.

  84. Nicholas
    Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

    Dave, you and I posted simultaneously:

    I.e. if the GCMs were required to take into consideration all the things you and your /. poster present, none of them would stand up.

    That is essentially my point, also.

  85. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 12:17 AM | Permalink

    Nicholas, in comparing Monckton’s argument (essentially going after the predicted sensitivity) to arguments about problems with observations of observed data sets, you are comparing apples and oranges.

    Monckton used a dead-simple model that violated its own assumptions to calculate what sensitivity ought to be. The GCM’s are the appropriate comparison – and they certainly are not making the same oversimplifications that Monckton did. The entire point of the GCMs is to include as many modifying effects as they can manage to model.

    BTW, I’m not defending the tree ring work – I’m trashing Monckton’s ‘analysis.’

    The transition into and out of glaciations can not be explained by delta insolation without invoking large amplifying feedbacks, to mention just one set of imperical data in support of substantial positive feedback effects.

  86. Nicholas
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

    So we have a conundrum. If the transition into and out of glaciations can’t be explained without large feedbacks, but observations on shorter time scales do not show any large feedbacks, it means one of two things. Either feedbacks are massively different on different time scales (I recall seeing a graph posted recently that showed that), or else we simply can’t explain the transition.

    Long time scale feedbacks could explain why there are long term climate trends without short term instability. However, the GCMs show large SHORT TERM feedbacks, which is probably why they over-predict the amount of warming.

    It’s interesting you want to compare Monkton’s admittedly simple model to the GCMs. As many flaws as you may be able to point out with his model, at least it explains observations – i.e. that the temperature change (if it is indeed being forced by CO2 changes) is relatively small. Models predict much larger temperature changes, which we haven’t seen so far. You tell me which is the better representation of reality. I’d pick the one which matches observations over the more complex method any day. Results trump expectations.

  87. Nicholas
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

    And in case you’re wondering where the evidence is that the GCMs overestimate warming, it’s here.

  88. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 1:08 AM | Permalink

    Nicholas, I am comparing Monckton’s simplistic use of the SB law to the GCMs because we are talking about predicting response to forcings, ie, sensitivity, from the physics rather than the observations. Both are doing that, and Monckton;s arrgument is precisely about sensitivity.

    How do you get that shorter observations don’t show large feedbacks? Are you still arguing as Monckton, assuming no significant lags? His calculations “match observations” only if you assume no lags due to warming effects, and if you, for example, ignore the observed increases in heat content in the oceans. Knowing theathe oceans are heating means we know that we are not at equilbrium, which means we KNOW that Monckton’s numbers don’t match reality.

    BTW, here is a link to an analysis not based on glaciations – there are more papers than this out there, but this one is to hand.
    http://www.gfdl.gov/reference/bibliography/2002/jmgregory0201.pdf

  89. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 1:19 AM | Permalink

    Nicholas, that data shows remarkable correspondence of actual temp increases to the results of a model FROM 1988!

    I’m familiar with what Willis did in that – how he misused the run-up zeroing period for the model results, and used different data sets zero’d to a different time period. I’m also familiar with how amazingly close to reality those Scenario B model results are, if you don’t engage in post-hoc moving baselines around.

  90. bruce
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

    Lee: Re your various posts. I, and I am sure, many of the CA posters and lurkers really appreciate your contributions here. Good science demands robust to and fro on such matters, and we all really are interested in finding the truth of the matter.

    Seems to me though, that your cred would escalate enormously if you were to apply your forensic skills to the main topics of this blog, ie, the work of the Hockey Team in relation to the Hockey Stick. As you know, the NAS panel actually delivered rather harsh criticisms of the Hockey Team, notwithstanding that the Hockey Team (and their followers) choose (perhaps understandably) to interpret their sugar coating of a rather bitter pill as a ringing endorsement.

    BTW, I’m not defending the tree ring work – I’m trashing Monckton’s “analysis.’

    I think that we know your opinion of Monckton. What IS your opinion of “the tree work”?

  91. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:12 AM | Permalink

    Lee, you say:

    I’m familiar with what Willis did in that – how he misused the run-up zeroing period for the model results, and used different data sets zero’d to a different time period. I’m also familiar with how amazingly close to reality those Scenario B model results are, if you don’t engage in post-hoc moving baselines around.

    Actually, you seem surprisingly unfamiliar with what I did. According to Hansen himself, the actual changes in GHGs during the period of the experiment were all lower than either scenario A, B, or C … in other words, he overestimated the growth in GHGs. This has nothing to do with the “run-up zeroing period”, or moving any baselines. You can see Hansen’s own graph of the “six gases” results here.

    In addition, in the same post, you can see that since the start of the experiment in 1988, the actual forcings have fallen below B, and crossed over C about 1999. Again, this is without any change in the zeroing period or the baselines. They are running below all scenarios at this point. To say that the results are “amazingly close to Scenario B” is simply not true.

    Finally, the “zeroing period” was a 100 year period where the model was run with the 1958 conditions. This run ended with a temperature ~0.1°C below the 1958 temperature. However, according to Hansen the 95% confidence interval for the run, and thus for where it ended, was ±0.22°C. Another run with identical conditions, or simply another year of the same run (a 101 year run-in period) could just as easily have ended up 0.1°C above the 1958 temperature. From the confidence interval, we know that will happen on some runs “¢’‚¬? so would you advise that we use that as a starting point for the models?

    To me, the only way to compare the two is to start them at the same point. You may disagree, but to call my actions “mis-using” the results is an unwarranted insult. Please keep it civil. You want to compare two runners, one of whom is starting from a different point than the other. I say they should start at the same point.

    w.

    PS – I did not “use different data sets zero’d to a different time period”. I started the models and the observations at the same spot. Period. If you think that the models should start higher or lower than the observations when different model runs give 1958 values higher or lower than the 1958 observations, you’ll have to come up with some good reasons why we should do that. Merely asserting that I am wrong is meaningless.

  92. Jim Barrett
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

    Willis,

    > Do I have the ability to read the papers you cited? Certainly. But what’s the point in
    > my paying $30 per paper to do so?

    Now this is getting very silly. Either do as I originally advised (got to your nearest technical library) or simply email the authors and ask for reprints (virtually no cost either way). You have absolutely no excuse for not reading the paper Monckton cites nor its refutations. I’m not going to spoon-feed you.

    However, against my better judgement, I’ll address the matter of the Jevrejeva et al. paper (your posting 58). Now I’m not sure how a paper on past change of sea level really has anything much to say about future sea level. However dear Morner seems to think it does, as he says:

    “When we consider past records, recorded variability, causational processes involved and the last century’s data, our best estimate of possible future sea-level changes is +10 +/- 10cm in a century, or, maybe, even +5 +/- 15cm.”

    You appear to make a similar argument from the data shown by Jevrejeva et al.

    Now, I’ve always though that the best way to project sea-level into the future is to use a MODEL. I also know that mention of a MODEL invites derision from the assembled company. However, I prefer a model which includes all the presently known physics to the one used by Morner and Eschenbach – i.e. lie a ruler on the past and see where it goes …. the status quo …. persistence rules!

    I don’t see that Jevrejeva et al. is anything other than an element in a progression which has gone on now for over 16 years. Here are the estimated 20th century sea-level rises from various sources:

    IPCC FAR (1990): 1-2 mm/year

    IPCC SAR (1995): 1-2.5 mm/year

    IPCC TAR (2001): 1-2 mm/year

    Church and White (2006): 1.4-2.0 mm/year

    Jevrejeva et al. (2006): 1.8 mm/year (they don’t seem to give an uncertainty for this)

    Pretty consistent eh? As has long been accepted from looking at long tide-gauge records, the 20th century showed a reasonably steady rise in sea level, punctuated by variations caused by things like volcanoes and with a weak acceleration (as shown by Church and White). So what does this tell us about future sea-level? Not a lot, if you believe in physical models rather than in the Morner/Eschenbach ruler.

    You and other contrarians seem to put much stock in the “20th century doesn’t show any acceleration, therefore sea level hasn’t accelerated previously and sea level isn’t going to accelerate in the future” argument (logical fallacy anyone?). So, let’s accept that 20th century sea level rose at about 1.8 mm/year (you seem to accept this) that’s 1.8 metres in 1000 years or 3.6 metres in 2000 years. Now, if you really believe that sea level has not accelerated in the relatively recent past, go away and show me the evidence that sea level (after adjustment for PGR/GIA) was 3.6 metres lower around 0 AD than it is now – and no cherrypicking – show me all the data and show me that the mean was around 3.6 metres lower than today.

  93. Nicholas
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 5:24 AM | Permalink

    I have to say I’m really sick of the arguments that go like this:

    Someone: Paper A is rubbish
    Me: But, your argument is invalidated by Paper B
    Someone: Paper B is rubbish
    Me: Have you seen Wills’ post C?
    Someone: Post C is rubbish
    Me: But it agrees with post D
    Someone: Post D is rubbish

    I’m sorry but I see Willis’ post as being pretty damning. Three scenarios were presented: worst case, best guess, best case. Even if we DO start the GCM and the observations at different temperatures (why would you want to do that??) observations are STILL below the “best case” warming scenario. Therefore, the GCMs have been invalidated during the verification period, i.e. the time since the data was produced until now.

    Of course you can play endless games and claim “the new GCMs are better” and we won’t be able to invalidate them against observations for another 10 years. Rinse, lather, repeat. But Willis has shown that the claim of GCM accuracy is misplaced. In fact I understand that simple linear models have been shown to outperform the GCMs. Which is what Monckton is using. In this sense, I’d argue the simplicity is in fact a benefit. We know models don’t match reality. The simple linear models don’t even try. They just attempt to find the most important variables and simulate them well enough to draw some broad conclusions.

    The fact that empirical evidence (the only evidence I personally trust) points to lower medium-term climate sensitivity only cements the problems with the GCMs and suggests that, whatever your criticisms of Monckton’s work, at least he’s in the ball park. When discussing policy, that’s more important than the level of detail of the simulation.

    This is not my field of expertise, I’ll leave the substantive arguments up to others, but I can’t say I’m very impressed with the dismissive style of debate. I say “show me the money” – empirical real-world data without any fancy analysis distorting the results.

  94. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

    #93
    You say “Now I’m not sure how a paper on past change of sea level really has anything much to say about future sea level.”

    I do not believe you know what you are talking about and there’s the proof.

    You aren’t taking any geology into consideration for one thing. And in geology, the past has everything to do with it. The land moves-rises and sinks. We do not know what “0” sea level is supposed to be do we? Some papers suggest that sea level has risen worldwide approximately 15-20 cm (6-8 inches) in the last century. So?

    Sea level is relative to the land where you are measuring btw.

    The sea has risen since the last ice age, and in some places ocean water now exerts a downward force on parts of the continental shelf that had been above sea level-like the east coast of the USA. The west coast of the USA-sea level has not risen at all compared to other places We’ve discussed this at length in other areas of the blog too, and how the IPCC and other governmental bodies, like ones here in California, cherry pick the tidal gauges-and there arent that many, for their reports-even pick places where the land is sinking, like San Francisco, for example, to chart alarming senerios and attach it to GW. When in fact, the coast of California shows no trend at all-just dynamic changes, up and down or no change at all when you take the measurements and look at them together. Even with satellite technology available-it is still a relative and complex measurement to do on a global scale. There is much more to consider. And what do volcanos have to do with it?

    Then you say “Pretty consistant eh? ” Again, so? The argument here is that Al Gore took sea level data and created an alarming speech. Geologists have known about these things for a long long time now. And they know this by studying the past. I’d say much like the Medieval Warm period, GW promoters want the public to forget about geology and geological history in regards to sea level changes and only trust computer models to give them the senerios made up-for political reasons only.

  95. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

    Re #94

    I’m really sick of the arguments that go like this …

    Unfortunately, that’s about all you are going to get from Lee. He’ll play the misunderstood, the victim. Anything to keep away from the science. [Pssst: do you think Steve M & John A are conspiring to censor Lee's science posts. Yeah, that must be it.]

    Re #91

    I think that we know your opinion of Monckton. What IS your opinion of “the tree work”?

    Rather than have Lee pollute the tree ring threads with his sad solilquys, I suggest we compartmentalize his contributions on “Lee demolishes CA”. That is his consistent theme, so why not label it for what it is?

    And before Lee complains about this being an ad hom attack, I will pre-empt by saying everyone should read what he says. He makes the odd good point. (That is, if you can find it amongst the noise and the typos.)

  96. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

    Jim, I appreciate your post. You say:

    Here are the estimated 20th century sea-level rises from various sources:

    IPCC FAR (1990): 1-2 mm/year

    IPCC SAR (1995): 1-2.5 mm/year

    IPCC TAR (2001): 1-2 mm/year

    Church and White (2006): 1.4-2.0 mm/year

    Jevrejeva et al. (2006): 1.8 mm/year (they don’t seem to give an uncertainty for this)

    Pretty consistent eh? As has long been accepted from looking at long tide-gauge records, the 20th century showed a reasonably steady rise in sea level, punctuated by variations caused by things like volcanoes and with a weak acceleration (as shown by Church and White). So what does this tell us about future sea-level? Not a lot, if you believe in physical models rather than in the Morner/Eschenbach ruler.

    You and other contrarians seem to put much stock in the “20th century doesn’t show any acceleration, therefore sea level hasn’t accelerated previously and sea level isn’t going to accelerate in the future” argument (logical fallacy anyone?). So, let’s accept that 20th century sea level rose at about 1.8 mm/year (you seem to accept this) that’s 1.8 metres in 1000 years or 3.6 metres in 2000 years. Now, if you really believe that sea level has not accelerated in the relatively recent past, go away and show me the evidence that sea level (after adjustment for PGR/GIA) was 3.6 metres lower around 0 AD than it is now – and no cherrypicking – show me all the data and show me that the mean was around 3.6 metres lower than today.

    It’s not at all clear here what your argument is. You think that I am claiming that “20th century doesn’t show any acceleration, therefore sea level hasn’t accelerated previously …”, despite the fact that the graph I posted above clearly shows an acceleration in the 19th century, and I commented on that acceleration, saying “One is that there was a dramatic increase in the rate of sea level rise from about 1850 to 1880, obviously not connected to CO2.”

    Are you sure you’re reading what is written here?

    Neither I, nor anyone else on this blog, has claimed that there has been no change in the rate of sea level rise in the past. That’s a fantasy of yours. What I have said in various places on this blog is that to date, we have seen no sign of the acceleration that Gore claims is going to swamp the world’s cities. Nor have the rises in the past caused any great flood of environmental refugees. Since 1850, the global sea level has gone up by around a foot. But if you ask people to list the big disasters of the 19th and 20th centuries, you won’t find many people saying “the sea level rise was a major disaster for the world.”

    Gore’s says that sea level rise could be “many times larger and more rapid depending…on the choices we make or do not make”¢’‚¬?now concerning global warming,” But that’s another fantasy. Even if the US adopted Kyoto, Tom Wigley of NCAR (who is a believer in AGW) says that it would avert only 1 cm (less than half an inch) of sea level rise by 2050, and 2.5 cm (1 inch) by 2100. Sea level rise will not be “many times larger” depending on our choices, that’s hubris of the first order.

    Now if you want to claim that the sky is falling based on Gore’s ideas, or based on models that can’t tell us next weeks weather, or next decade’s climate, you are free to do so. Me, I place my faith in facts. Gore says:

    If Greenland melted or broke up and slipped into the sea”¢’‚¬?or if half of
    Greenland and half of Antarctica melted or broke up and slipped into the sea, sea
    levels worldwide would increase by between 18 and 20 feet.

    You say that Church and White show a slight acceleration in the 20th century, which is true. I have previously discussed Church and White on this blog here, and shown why I’m not much impressed by their study. But let’s say that they are right. What would the consequences be? We don’t have to calculate it ourselves, Church and White say:

    If this acceleration was maintained through the 21st
    century, sea level in 2100 would be 310 ± 30 mm higher
    than in 1990, overlapping with the central range of projections
    in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    Third Assessment Report (IPCC TAR) [Church et al.,
    2001].

    So let me summarize:

    1. Church and White, and the IPCC TAR, say that sea level will rise about a foot in the next century.

    2. My own feeling is that it will be less than that.

    3. Al Gore says we should be very worried about a rise of 18 to 20 feet, and that we should act immediately to prevent such a rise.

    Your choice …

    w.

    PS – You say that Jevrejeva doesn’t give an uncertainty for the rise, implying that this makes his study inferior to the other estimates. If you had read the article, or looked at the link, or examined the figure above, you would have seen that Jevrejeva gives the most detailed error estimate of all of the sources you quoted, a year-by-year estimate of the error in their results … it’s the gray area above and below their estimate in the figure.

  97. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    RE: #62 – Many Northern European locations are in tectonic subsidence, being that the European Atlantic coast is a passive margin. The isostatic rebound effects have largely trailed off. Many “American” measurement locations are also on the Atlantic – there is a shortage of them on the Pacific. Both sides of the Atlantic are passive margins with the lone exception of the Carribean (due to the Carribean Plate). Whereas, the Pacific, with its active margins, (and hence, tectonic uplift) is undersampled. Hmmmmmm …….

  98. Steve Bloom
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    I’m afraid climate science has “moved on” from straightforward projections of sea level rise based on thermal expansion and an “ice cube” view of melting. I look forward to being vastly entertained by the squawks here when some of the new dynamical ice model results are announced (probably within the next year). That are unlikely to resemble anything one could obtain with a straightedge.

  99. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    willis – given that there is year to year variation, and this it essentialy unpredictable in any given year, picking a single year is in fact a magnificent way to year-to-year variation to skew the results by whatever the magnitude of that year’s variation might be. do this graph the way you did it, 10 times, using 10 different starting dates, and you will get 10 different sets of offset results, for precisely this reason – you are allowing year to year variation at the start date to skew the results of the trend comparison.

    Thus the importance of using a multi-year zeroing technique, to allow year-to-year variation to average out to something much nearer the trend we are trying to examine.

    This point was made, many times. Eli did a pretty good job in that thread, for example. I don’t really see why I or others have to make it again every time this issue is raised.

    Yes, there were increases in some forcing and decreases in some forcing from what Hansen’s scenarios predicted. He didn’t make perfect assumptions about the future course of the carbon economy. He also wasn’t hugely off, when looking at the totality of the forcings. And he still, using a 20 year old model, came damn close, almost stunningly close, to what actually happened.

  100. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    Lee, how much of the 20th century warming trend do you think is attributable to human-caused greenhouse effects? Care to guess at a possible range of values?

  101. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    re 95 – simple linear models applied to circumstances that violate the assumptions behind the physics (ie, Monckton) aren’t likely to be helpful.

    SB may be useful at top of atmosphere, but TOA is not the ground or sea surface, and internal heat transport and heat “sequestration” issues are not likely to captured by it.
    The CO2 “greenhouse” surface-warming effect works by causing stratospheric cooling and thus reducing radiation of heat from the planet, which is what will be seen by the outside system, for example – How does a simple application of SB capture that complex heat layering and transport in the entire atmosphere system, for example, and tell us what will happen at the surface? It can’t.

    There are many papers in the literature applying what are essentially simple linear models to, for example, try to deduce from the data what the climate sensitivity is. Saying this isn’t done in climate science is simply wrong. I have recently looked at papers applying this approach to glacial-interglacial transitions, and to rates of ocean warming, to try to derive sensitivity to forcings.

    If the GCMs (working from applications of what we know of the basic physics) “do no better” than “simple linear models,” ie, they match simple mathematical descriptions of the observed data – how in hell is that invalidating for the models in any way? The response to increasing CO2 is likely to be effectively a straight line within the range of variation we are looking at – small portions of logarithmic curves approximate straight lines. IF the model results approximate the mathematical descriptions of observations, that is, if anything, a validation of the models.

    Remember that we are attempting to find the equilibrium sensitivity to changes in forcings. We are trying to get at the feedbacks, feed-forwards, and the time constants of them, to find the sensitivity. Simple linear extrapolation of current observed temperatures, abstracted from consideration of potential feedbacks and their time constants, CAN NOT by themselves get at the equilibrium sensitivity. Thus the models, attempting to understand this from detailed applications of the physics, and thus the attempts to calculate sensitivity from other sets of observations.

    and thus the criticisms of Monckton on this issue – which seems to be of a part with the other howlers Monckton included in that piece of rhetoric. And before anyone goes off on me for not detailing them here, recall that I have been doing so, or attempting to do so, for a few days now.

  102. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    re 96 – bender, I’ll repeat what I have said many, many times here now. I am not defending the tree ring work at this point, although I am willing to engage in argument against the dominant paradigm here to try to clarify my understanding. My stance for now is that I am essentailly neutral on the tree ring work as far as its claims further than a few centuries back, and I am observing to see what the outcome of the scientific debate is going to be, and for now I am provisionally assigning no weight to the tree ring data prior to a few centuries in informing my opinions on AGW. This is not a new stance, Ive said this here in oen way or another for months now.

    On being blocked – I don’t know what the reason is, but I know it happens too often (over a dozen times now since I started posting here), that it never happens to me at any other WP-SK blog where I post, that when it does happen it recurs over a period of time, that other ‘contrarians’ at this site have reported similar issues, and that I don’t see evidence of this happening to people not disputing things here. I’ll simply post these facts, and let y’all make of them what you will – I personally don’t know, I just know what Ive just said here.

    I’ll also point out that Steve had a post here saying he is tired of me complaining about being blocked when anyone can see from my posts that I’m not blocked – and that his plaint on this sat there while Steve and I exchanged emails as I kept finding over several days that I was still blocked and asking why, and while some posts from me were apparently entirely discarded in one way or another.

  103. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    Lee, how much of the 20th century warming trend do you think is attributable to human-caused greenhouse effects?

  104. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    re 101-

    bender, rather than continue in the recent tradition on this topic of applying wild-ass opinion-derived guesses to what is ultimately a scientific question…
    let me say that I see no reason not to accept as highly probable the currently widely-accepted range of 1.5C – 4.5C as the most probable climate sensitivity to 2xCO2 – since that is ultimately the issue we are getting at.

    From the papers and analyses I’ve looked at, I think the lower end of that range (1.5C) is getting pretty solid as a lower bound. The upper end looks less solid, but it does look like ongoing work is constraining possibilities for the upper end of CO2 sensitivity to values closer and closer to that 4.5C value. So, most likely, CO2 sensitivity is in that range.

    Applying this to the last century – I’m not sure we understand all the causes of natural variability overlain on top of the CO2 effect. In particular, I’m not convinced that we understand the causes of the mid-century decline in temperatures, and I’m don’t think we yet understand enough of the time constants in the warming and feedbacks well enough to be solid on the CO2-driven rates of increase – although I suspect the models are getting pretty good at that. I also don’t think this uncertainty invalidates much of the work on attempting to derive the equilibrium climate sensitivity to increased forcings and increased CO2.

    But if y’all want to continue applying statistical analysis to wild-ass gguesses on the anthro contribution to temp increases, be my guests…

  105. Paul
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    Remember that we are attempting to find the equilibrium sensitivity to changes in forcings.

    When has the earth’s climate been in equilibrium? This seems to be a completely silly statement. You must pick a point in time and measure from that point. There has never been a period where the climate was “stable” and equilibrium.

  106. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    Paul –

    Yes, forcings and responses vary over time. This is precisely the point.

    Simpl(isticall?)y put, at any given time, earth’s climate will be tending toward equilbrium. So if we want to know what is going to happen to earth’s climate, we need to know what the equilibrium condition WOULD BE (so we know the direction and potential magnitude of the change), and we need to know something about time constants, so we can know the rate of the change.

    The point is, that we cant look at change SO FAR and pretend that we ARE at equilibrium (which is what Monckton essentially does when he argues that there are no time lags) and that this tells us about potential change, unless we consider the potential magnitude and rate constants.

  107. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    Re #105
    Lee, you’ve got a “wild-ass” opinion on everything except that which is asked of you. Curious. Why the reluctance? Afraid you’ll jeopardize the consensus? Or your proximity to its centre? All I’m asking for is some sense of how strong you think this greenhouse effect is. I value your opinion.

    Of course the opinion that a consensus is correct is itself a “wild-ass” guess. Why does nothing stop you from spouting that party line?

  108. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    bender, I gave you my honest answer – I don’t think we know enough to be sure, because I dont think we understand the sources of natural veriatin upon which the Anthro signal is being laid.

    If you want a wild-ass guess – greater than 40%, less than 100%, no guesses about what the distribution looks like within those limits. If you still have a problem with me not wanting to commit myself to something for which I don’t think we have enough understand – too bad. Deal.

  109. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    BTW, bender, if you reread what I wrote, I didn’t say I was simply agreeing with the consensus. I said that I found the arguments supporting that consensus to be sufficient for me to buy it, especially the value at the lower end of that range.

    If yo are going to dispute with me for what I wrote, please be sure to aim your dispute at what I actually wrote.

  110. Stan Palmer
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    re 107

    from 107 Lee says

    which is what Monckton essentially does when he argues that there are no time lags)

    Monckton does not argue that there are no time lags. Can you quote anything from his work in which he does? He specfically acknowledges time lags and ppoints out for what degree of time lag his calculations are accurate.

  111. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    re 111 –

    page 27, paragraph 3 of his supplement, argues that the table of forcings must include all feedbacks, effectively claiming that there are no appreciable time lags that aren’t already realized. He gives a time range – “over as long a period as a century” – but does nothing to justify that claim in the real-world case of accelerating increases in CO2 and loading of the majority of the effect toward the end of the century.

    Waving his hands in the direction of the issue and claiming it isn’t an issue, is NOT the same as dealing with the issue.

  112. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    re: #102

    The CO2 “greenhouse” surface-warming effect works by causing stratospheric cooling and thus reducing radiation of heat from the planet

    No it doesn’t! Rather it’s the other way around. Surface warming, whether from increased CO2+ feedbacks, increased solar, or just plain internal climate cycles all are essentially decoupled from the TOA emissions. At the TOA, the increased CO2 will cool things because the emission is essentially proportional to concentration (Of course since the saturation concentration varies with frequency, so will the level at which CO2 can radiate directly to space.) But we all agree that CO2 concentrations have increased roughly 30% in the mixed layer of the atmosphere and somewhat less at higher elevations. This means that the CO2 the upper atmosphere will be able to emit roughly 30% more LWIR from whatever source. This increased emission will then cool those layers until they get low enough (in temperature) that the decreased temperature CO2 will only produce enough IR to balance the incoming solar radiation. But the actual greenhouse effect will only happen in the lower layers of the atmosphere where the bands which are emitting at the high levels will be saturated anyway. There the increased greenhouse effect only occurs because there are sidebands in CO2 which aren’t saturated and therefore will trap more IR from the surface as the CO2 concentration increases.

  113. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    Re #109 Thanks for the numbers!

  114. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Dardinger – both processes. Lower-altitude CO2 blocks outgoing IR, reducing energy flux into the stratosphere. Increased CO2 increases IR flux from the stratosphere. Probably still a radical oversimplification.

    The point stands – layering of processes from the earth surface, through regions of the atmosphere, to the TOA, means that one must consider those processes at each level. In effect, if we stick with the Stefan-Boltzman approach, one must apply SB to each layer from the surface through each region of the atmosphere to the TOA, and integrate them, to get at atmospheric effects. I understand that this is, in effect, what the vertical atmosphere profiles in the GCMs are doing.

    Treating this entire ground-and-sea-surface and successive atmospheric layers system as if they constitue a single radiating surface for SB calculations, and then applying all that to ground-and-sea-surface temperatures as Monckton attempted, is simply wrong.

  115. Neil Fisher
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Re#107:
    Lee, you suggest that climate should be tending toward equilibrium. If there is variation (and there is), and it happens at multiple time scales (and it does), then at any one time, or even over any relatively short period (ie geologically short!), ISTM that we can only conclude that there is a 50% chance that we are moving towards to the long term average, and a 50% chance we are moving away from it. This would be true regardless of any anthro forcings, which would, of course, be on top of the natural variation. As an anology, the ubiquitous pendulum – are we on the (natural) upswing or the downswing? Who knows? Certainly not I. It continues to concern me that proponents of AGW seem to believe that the pendulum has stopped all it’s natural movement, and we are nudging it (or shoving it, depending on your POV) to the upswing. This seems unlikely to me, to put it mildly.

  116. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Treating this entire ground-and-sea-surface and successive atmospheric layers system as if they constitue a single radiating surface for SB calculations, and then applying all that to ground-and-sea-surface temperatures as Monckton attempted, is simply wrong.

    Whoah, there, Lee. You can’t dismiss a model as “wrong”. This is a meaningless assertion. All models are wrong because they are, by definition, approximations. Einstein showed Newton was wrong; but Newton’s approximations are nonetheless useful for most applications.

    If you want to argue that Monckton’s model is a drastic oversimplification, that’s fine. But it means you’ve got to start doing some math to show the consequences of his overimplifying assumptions. You claim to have refuted Monckton in some comments that have been mysteriously blocked. Quit your whining and post your refutation now.

  117. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    re 116 –

    Except that we are already in a temp regime at or near highs, and are adding positive forcing on top of that, and getting warmer.

    Look at the ice core records. We are at temps near highs ever recorded in that 2/3 of a million years. We are looking at CO2 forcings substantially outside anything recorded in that time. Depending on the sensitivity to those forcings, we are looking at temp movements a little to a few degrees above any sustained temps in that record. That is, we KNOW the direction of he anthropogenic forcing, and we know the baseline to which we are adding it, and that points to regions well outside the natural variability we observe.

    And no, the ice cores aren’t a perfect record, but they look reasonably good and they are the best we have.

  118. Stan Palmer
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    re 112

    In the paragraph from Monckton’s document that you cite, Monckton writes

    … It must include all forcing effects of all climate feedbacks, unless it is assumed that the oceans or some other agency are masking additional temperature. Subject to this, the UN’s table of forcings, and its forcing equation are thus demonstrated to be inclusive of all feedbacks …

    It sounds to me like he did a calculation and made a statement that the calculation would be applicable if time lags were not an appreciable part of century. He wasn’t arguing that there were no time lags. He was only arguing time lags had to be less than some considerable period of time (appreciable part of a century). So Monckton did not argue what you said he argued.

    I asked earlier in another posting if there had been an estimate of these ocean and oehr time lages. Just what is the time constant?

  119. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    119 – Stan, no he did not show or mention any such calculation. He waved his hands at the issue, and stated they could be ignored. Go read it.

    Time lag due to ocean heating is, by my understanding, currently a hot topic – but is (also to my understanding) almost certainly on the order of decades or more.

    If substantial parts of the CO2 increase are in the last 3-4 decades, and times lags are on the order of decades, then Moncktons hand-waving argument that there are no significant unrealized feedbacks is simply wrong.

  120. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

    bender, what you are asking me to do, essentially, is show quantitatively that we get different results if we use less simplification. This is precisely what the models do. I am not a modeler, so I refer you to them for the quantitative refutation you ask for – adding complexity gives substantially different results.

    Alternatively, attempts to look at data that do include results of feedbacks- such as the glaciation transition data or the ocean warming rate data – and derive from that a climate sensitivity, arrive at climate sensitivities that require appreciable feedback. Monckton’s results give values that don’t allow any feedback. So he is refuted by appropriate data, too. His linear fit to the current data, hand-waving away any feedbacks, is simply another way to ignore relevant data indicating the presense of feedbacks. The fact that his results don’t match analyses that do include those effects shows that those effect matter.

    I have bene pointing out absurdities in hsi assumptins. Mro to your poijnt, I have been pointing out ways in which his results fail consider known issues and to match current data and analyses that do include those issues – if this isnt pointing out the resutls of oversimplifications, I don’t know what is.

  121. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    re: #102

    Dardinger – both processes.

    Except that the upper CO2 does the opposite of what you claimed. Cooling upper atmosphere prevents the lower atmosphere / surface from getting hotter. Admittedly it’s an automatic process, but it also means your earlier statement was wrong. If I want to play your Monckton game I can now proclaim that since you said something wrong, we need never listen to you again. Of course I don’t agree that you understand what Monckton was saying correctly, but whether he’s right or wrong on the point doesn’t affect his main point.

  122. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    Re #121 You criticize Monckton for “hand-waving away any feedbacks”. What makes you so sure that moist convection is not one of the important negative feedbacks limiting further temperature rise? Would this not be consistent with Mann & Emanuel’s ideas on detection & attribution, for example, re:changes in hurricane dynamics attributable to a strengthening of the planet’s primary heat circulation/ventilation pathway: ENSO? [Anyone?]

    Remember: no “hand-waving away any feedbacks”. Or I’ll have to put you on the “warmer” double-standard list!

  123. Jim Barrett
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

    Willis,

    You seem not to want to take up my challenge of either reading the literature (i.e. the Morner “garbage”, which started this exchange, and its rebuttals) or of showing that there was not a sigificant acceleration of sea-level rise in the late 19th century (which, incidentally, all the long-term tidal records show – see posting 62).

    You also put strange interpretations on what I and others say. For example, you say:

    “Church and White, and the IPCC TAR, say that sea level will rise about a foot in the next century”

    when in fact they said “IF this acceleration was maintained through the 21st century, sea level in 2100 would be 310 ± 30 mm higher than in 1990″ (my emphasis). Church and simply showed where their extrapolated parabola would go at the end of this century. I would also assume that they have the sense to rely on models, rather than glib extrapolations, when thay want projections.

    You also said:

    “You say that Jevrejeva doesn’t give an uncertainty for the rise, implying that this makes his study inferior to the other estimates. If you had read the article, or looked at the link, or examined the figure above, you would have seen that Jevrejeva gives the most detailed error estimate of all of the sources you quoted, a year-by-year estimate of the error in their results … it’s the gray area above and below their estimate in the figure.”

    I have of course read their paper, which is how I was able to quote their estimate of “1.8 mm/year”. It is however, curious that, although they of course indicate uncertainties in their plots, they don’t give an uncertainty for this rather important number — which is why I said “they don’t seem to give an uncertainty for this”. If you construe this to mean that I was “implying that this makes his study inferior to the other estimate” well I guess this says something about your deductive powers. You should also note that the “gray area above and below their estimate in the figure” is not an appropriate uncertainty to apply to their estimate of 20th century trend.

    Incidentally, assuming that you really have read the paper and know anything at all of the background, I am rather surprised that you refer to it as “Jevrejeva” rather than “Jevrejeva et al.”, and that you refer to Svetlana Jevrejeva as “he” rather than “she”.

    Finally, I think when most people talk about an “acceleration” in 20th century sea level they refer to a long term acceleration, in which the rate of rise at the end of the century is greater than the rate of rise at the start – they do not refer to the accelerations that accompany every little wiggle in the record (e.g. the decadal variability). The fact remains that the combination of geological, archeological and tide-gauge data shows that there must have been a systematic increase in the rate of sea-level rise from virtually nothing prior to the end of the 19th century to 1-2 mm/year during the 20th century. That is what I call “acceleration”. However, this does not have a lot of bearing on the best model projections which we have to date (although these will be updated by AR4 early next year) which indicate a rise of 0.09 to 0.88 m from 1990 to 2100, and a rise measured in metres during the coming centuries if greenhouse mitigation measures are not put in place.

    You can stick you head in the sand, Willis, but it won’t stop you getting drowned ….

  124. george h.
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    re 102 – “The CO2 “greenhouse” surface-warming effect works by causing stratospheric cooling and thus reducing radiation of heat from the planet, which is what will be seen by the outside system”

    Ok, Lee. So where is the stratospheric cooling? As Lubos points out on his blog today, “in the last 12 years, the years of the highest CO2 concentrations and their highest growth, the predicted and celebrated cooling effect doesn’t seem to exist.” see http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadat/images/update_images/global_upper_air.png. And as Monckton so clearly demonstrates, the problem with the UN GCMs, despite their sophistication, is that they don’t match reality — they project a sensitivity to additional C02 that is not even close to what is observed –that’s why they’re invalidated.

  125. Stan Palmer
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    re 120

    in 120 lee says

    …Time lag due to ocean heating is, by my understanding, currently a hot topic – but is (also to my understanding) almost certainly on the order of decades or more.

    If substantial parts of the CO2 increase are in the last 3-4 decades, and times lags are on the order of decades, then Moncktons hand-waving argument that there are no significant unrealized feedbacks is simply wrong. …

    Time lags of several decades are within Monckton’s limit of “a period as long as a century” so as he says if time lags are in the order of a few decades they must be appearing now and be in the observed rise.

    So you said previously that

    a) Monckton did not consider feedbacks

    when it was pointed out that he did

    you said that

    b) he did not consider time lags due to the integrative efect of the ocean

    when it was pointed out that he did

    you said that

    c) weel I can’t quite figure out what you said except perhaps that even if Monckton consider all feedbacks and lags, he must not have meant it or something.

    These are the same mistakes that the Real Climate reviewer made.

    Do you think that the Real Climate reviewer actually read Monckton’s work. Do you think the Real Climate reviewer actually has a deep understanding of the physics that Monckton is explaining?

  126. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    #124

    …there must have been a systematic increase in the rate of sea-level rise from virtually nothing prior to the end of the 19th century to 1-2 mm/year during the 20th century…

    Since the end of the last age 18,000 years ago sea level has been rising and it probably hasnt been constant, but it graphs almost that way. It’s actually slowed down since the end of the last ice age. Here’s a spot measured in New England:
    http://tinyurl.com/yxzupu

    The graph will look different at almost any place measured in the world.

  127. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

    Stan – MENTINING feedbzcks and dsimissing them, is NOT the same as considering them.

    He says simply that all feedbacks must be in the table of forcings – he does not in any way demostrate that. Ive said several times WHY I don’t think that is accurate, pointing at the back-loading of CO2 effects into the last several decades, and time lags thought to be on the order of decades or more and therfoer exceeding that period, as evidence against his handwaving. You aren’t responding to those points – you’re simply repeating the Monckton ‘dealt with’ that issue.

    Ive also pointed out that people who DO set out to consider feedbacks get wildly different results than what he gets – further evidence that feedbacks do exist and matter.

    The denro reconstructionists have said they considered the issue of autocorrelation. This is hotly disputed on this site. Why don’t you bring the same skepticism to bear on his statement (not demonstration) that feedbacks are already included in that table of forcings?

  128. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    Lee, since you bring it up practically every message, let’s talk a bit about the back-loading of ocean heating. Are you aware of the recent paper indicating that some 20% (or was it 40%?) of the heat absorbed by the ocean in the last decade “escaped” in the past two years? Since it appears (and I’m not claiming this has been confirmed, so it’s subject to change) that the ocean can quickly release heat which has built up, what does/would this do to the idea that warming of the ocean is a one-way street?

    I might say that the el-nino / la-nina results in such quick changes of SSTs that I’ve wondered about how we can be at all certain of how the ocean – global temperature interaction works.

  129. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    re 125 –

    Well, lets see. There is a stratospheric temp anomaly of +1 in 1957, and of -.25 to -.1 over the last 12 years. IOW a drop in stratospheric temps of somewhere between 1.25C and 2C in 50 years.

    I see a strong negative trend, with shorter term variability overlain on it.

    Lubos is prone to cherry-picking his time series.

  130. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    Dardinger, I am aware of that work. I’m not so sure about ‘escape.” Most of that temp delta is well below the surface – as in hundreds of meters below. There is evidence of previous such episodes – short lived. I haven’t seen evidence as to where the heat went – whether to the surface or to deep waters.

    If your point is that there are things we don’t understand completely – well, who thinks otherwise?

    BTW, my point is about backloading of CO2 increases, and therefore of any effects downstream of that. Ocean heating is only one such – and Monckton’s argument that there cant be unincluded feedbacks because of the times involved, seems simply handwaving to me.

  131. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

    Backloading of CO2 increases? Whatever do you mean by that, Lee? Obviously if humans continue to burn fossil fuels CO2 will increase, but if, say we suddenly stopped emitting CO2 there’s no backlog of CO2 which would gradually go into the atmosphere. Quite the contrary, a steady amount of CO2 would drizzle down to the ocean bottom via dead organisms and if we go very much farther in CO2 concentrations in the surface waters there will also be CO2 move from the surface waters to the deep waters via ocean currents. This all would result in a lowering of atmospheric CO2.

  132. Lee
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

    Don’t pretend to be dense, Dave.

    CO2 increases cause changes in temperature which set in motion sets of feedbacks. All of those are relevant – not just ocean heat content.

  133. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 10:25 PM | Permalink

    Jim, thanks for your post above. You still seem to be in mystery about what we are discussing here.

    We’re discussing whether Monckton was right to ridicule Gore’s claims that 1) we should be worried about an 18 to 20 foot sea level rise, and 2) we could make a difference of “many times” in the rate of sea level rise if we act now. The subject is not the quality of his evidence, or my evidence, but whether Moncton was correct.

    Despite a variety of invitations to talk about that question, you insist on talking about whether a change in rise from -1.5 to +2 is an “acceleration” (how could it not be), or whether Jevrejeva is a man or a woman (what difference does it make), or exactly what Church and White said about the coming century.

    You chided me above for not paying attention to the subject of this thread, while I have been addressing the subject throughout, whereas you seem very reluctant to touch on the subject at all. So, let me try again:

    Do you think we are in danger of an 18-20′ sea level rise?

    Do you think we can change future sea level rises by “many times” by our actions today?

    If so, please substantiate your comments. If not, you agree with me, Moncton, and most people in the field.

    w.

  134. bender
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    Re #131

    If your point is that there are things we don’t understand completely – well, who thinks otherwise?

    Ummm, (1) the people who won’t print confidence intervals on their:
    -temperature rconstructions
    -hurricane “trends”
    -GCM-based forecasts

    And (2) the people who are convinced about things “unprecedented” in a thousand, or even a milll-yun years.

    In short, the alarmists. People like yourself who think we know enough to invoke a “precautionary” principle.

  135. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

    re: #133

    Sorry, Lee, but I took you at your word. If you meant “CO2 caused temperature increases,” then say that, not “CO2 increases.” You’re very sloppy in your posts. If you don’t care enough about your posts to even re-read and correct your obvious mistakes, then you’d better get used to people not being able to read your mind.

    I always re-read my messages before sending them off. I don’t always catch all my mistakes, but I do find lots of them, and often they include ambiguous or overly ambitious statements which need correction or modulation. And if you added a step intended to moderate your insults, you’d find being here a lot more pleasant, not to mention not being called a troll.

  136. Lee
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 12:00 AM | Permalink

    Dardinger, I said “backloading of CO2 effects” in 128, to which you responded in 129. Not the word “effects.” I the nest post, the one yo pretned not to understand, i aid ‘backloading of CO2 increases, and therefore any effects downstream of that.”

    I said it in the context of talking about feedbacks in the system. In both cases, I used the word “effects.” The entire conversation is about feedbacks in CO2-induced warming.

    I make a basic assumption that the reader will be at least marginally intelligent and honest. I appear to ahve been wrong.

    When you ding me about the feedback effects in one post, and in the very next pretend I mean something entirely different because I moved the word “effects” to the next sentence in talking about the concentration of CO2-induced effects at the end of the century, then I become hard pressed to believe anything other than that you are being dishonest.

    Like I said, stop pretending to be dense.

  137. Loki on the run
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    I am trying to figure out how the absorbtion of LWIR by CO2 transports energy in the atmosphere.

    It seems to me that the layer near the surface absorbs energy around 15 microns, but that causes the CO2’s temperature to rise, and so the gas rises, allowing cooler molecules above to move closer to the surface where it too can absorb LWIR.

    The rising CO2 eventually re-radiates its excess energy higher up in the atmosphere and sinks down again. At some point the energy is being radiated out into space.

    Is this essentially what is happening?

  138. Jim Barrett
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 4:04 AM | Permalink

    Welikerocks:

    When I read the kinds of sermon (posting 95) that start “The sea has risen since the last ice age, and in some places ocean water now exerts a downward force on parts of the continental shelf ….” I tend to put my head in my hands. It’s a bit like you arguing with a brain surgeon about his methodology and supporting your argument with the claim that he doesn’t “know what he is talking about” because he doesn’t realise that people have ears on the sides of their heads. Do you honestly believe that sea-level scientists have somehow missed the fact that the crust of the Earth moves both due to ice and water loading and tectonic activity? If you read my posting 93 with even a modicum of care you would have seen that I said to Willis:

    “….. go away and show me the evidence that sea level (after adjustment for PGR/GIA) was 3.6 metres lower around 0 AD than it is now – and no cherrypicking – show me all the data and show me that the mean was around 3.6 metres lower than today”.

    Do you have any idea what “PGR” or “GIA” are? I’ll tell you. They are names for the same thing: postglacial rebound or glacial isostatic adjustment. It refers to the warping of the Earth’s crust when you move mass (like ice and water) around on its surface. You can MODEL it (chortles from the crowd …). If you do actually apply a modelled adjustment for PGR/GIA to RELATIVE sea level you arrive at remarkably constant rates of changes over the world at any one time – you are effectively estimating the change in ocean volume.

    Which gets me on to your next posting (127) – thanks for the plot at http://tinyurl.com/yxzupu – it’s actually quite useful.
    When you say “The graph will look different at almost any place measured in the world” it again shows that you probably don’t really understand that, if we adjust for PGR/GIA, we can remove most of this “difference”. So let’s look at the plot. The really interesting thing is that, somwhere between the end of the “geological” record and 1931, the rate of rise of relative sea level changed from 1.3 mm/year to 2.4 mm/year. Isn’t this thought-provoking, even for a geologist? It is what we call an ACCELERATION – the rate of rise of relative sea level changed by 1.1 mm/year – which is within the range of global sea-level rise for the 20th century estimated by the IPCC (2001). The reason is, of course, that PGR/GIA cannot respond at the timescales at which sea level has presently accelerated. In fact I would be pretty confident that the vertical crustal movement is now probably close to 1.3 mm/year at this site, and that the 20th century “accelerated” portion is simply (mainly) anthropogenic sea-level rise, superimposed on the remaining (weak) recovery of sea level from the last glaciation.

    Thanks for this nice illustration of sea-level “acceleration”!

  139. Jim Barrett
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

    Willis:

    You claim (134) that I “still seem to be in mystery about what we are discussing here”.

    On the contrary, if you read my first posting (57), you will see that I was responding to Reid who asked (in 21) for details of what makes the Monckton article garbage – I wasn’t actually talking to you. Now you may have more time to spare than I do but, if I am given a paper which purports to be science and I find that it cites “Alice in Wonderland”, then I generally throw it in the bin and do something more useful. As it happens, Morner (2004) is much worse than “Alice in Wonderland” – it isn’t even mildly entertaining. But it IS garbage and I note that you persistently refuse to even read it.

    However, I will indulge you one more time and answer your questions:

    1. Do you think we are in danger of an 18-20 ft sea level rise?

    Let’s work in metric units and use 19 ft as the sea-level rise – that’s 5.8 metres. So, let’s look at what the IPCC TAR had to say ….. after the end of this century, things obviously start to get very fuzzy both because of uncertainties in the science and because of uncertainties in the way humankind will develop. However, my reading of the TAR is that we are looking at (very very roughly) something like 8 metres of sea level rise by the end of this millenium if we don’t make a serious attempt at mitigation. Remember also that the papers that contributed to the TAR were written BEFORE the spectacular disintegration of a number of ice shelves in West Antarctica and BEFORE glaciologists really appreciated that there are two ways to melt Greenland — the “hard” way by melting it from the top, and the much easier way by allowing a bit of meltwater to penetrate to the base of the ice, whereby the greatly enhanced lubrication speeds the glaciers on their way to the sea, where they are melted by relatively warm ocean water. Also, of course, there is a lot of ice to play with – 7 metres of potential sea-level rise in Greenland and 6 metres in West Antarctica – 5.8 metres is only 45% of this, ignoring any contribution due to thermal expansion.

    So, yes, I do think we are in danger of an 18-20 ft sea level rise.

    2. Do you think we can change future sea level rises by “many times” by our actions today?

    What a damn-fool question. Of course we can. We would be creating virtually all of this rise and we can prevent most of it if we choose. It just needs the greedy bloated nations of this world to be just a little less greedy and a little less bloated. Just read the literature and get over this crazy notion that the world is too big for us to have any effect on it.

    As for “…. please substantiate your comments. If not, you agree with me, Moncton, and most people in the field.” …. and who exactly are “most people in the field” – you know them I suppose; you have read their papers; you are, of course “in the field” yourself (God help us all) ….. I give up.

  140. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 5:18 AM | Permalink

    Jim, you say:

    I give up

    Best news I’ve heard all week. If you believe we’re in danger from 18 foot sea level rises and believe that the Kyoto protocol or its cousin will stop them, you should give up.

    w.

  141. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 5:22 AM | Permalink

    #139 Jim Barret,
    here’s the main page for that graph : http://tinyurl.com/yyuz2k. I think you are looking for disaster and not reading what I wrote either. I said “sea level has been rising and it probably hasnt been constant” which is why that insert is there on the graph-it is showing the detail of the spikes and valleys of tidal variation -it doesn’t make the fact that sea level has been rising in a pretty constant rate since the last ice age go away, what it does show us about GW believers is that they want to focus on the spike because it falls into the GW catagory of “evidence”-and they fail to take any consideration of earth age and timescales, land characteristics-and sea level rise being constant overall for a very long time-

    The text says that this about the “acceleration” in the insert :
    “Recent
    Tide gauge and radiocarbon based sea level records for southern New England indicate an apparent acceleration in the rate of relative sea-level rise (RSLR) from approximately 1 mm/year to over 2.5 mm/year within the last 500 years (Figure 2). Given that the community structure of salt marsh flora and fauna is intrinsically linked to tidal flooding frequency. Increases in the rate of RSLR can lead to shifts in the distribution of flora and fauna. In addition, marshes can be lost if the rate of RSLR exceeds the ability of a marsh to accrete vertically maintaining elevation relative to local sea level.

    Note: “recent” is within 500 yrs. Note: the interplay between the coastal marshes and the tides over 500 yrs has something to do with it.

    you say: “Do you have any idea what “PGR” or “GIA” are? ”
    Yes I do, and the California report I referred to hid those factors and used tidal data from sinking coastal cities-to promote the state of fear known as GW for the citizens of California to worry over. You also fail to concede that there are places on earth where there is no major sea level rise at all-including areas with subsidence-my husband is an expert for one of those places: Crescent City, Ca., and there is no alarming rise there.

    here’s a graph of the Bering land Bridge and sea level…the animals and maybe even people were able to migrate to North America because there was a land bridge-which is now underwater…
    http://tinyurl.com/se8uo

    Here’s a paper:
    Title:
    Eustatic sea variation in the last 2000 years in the Mediterranean
    Authors:
    Caputo, M.; Pieri, L.
    Publication:
    Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 81, Issue C33, p. 5787-5790 (JGR Homepage)
    Publication Date:
    00/1976
    Origin:
    AGU
    Abstract Copyright:
    (c) 1976: American Geophysical Union
    Bibliographic Code:
    1976JGR….81.5787C

    “Abstract

    In this paper the sea level rise in the Mediterranean Sea in the period ranging from 600 B.C. to 100 A.D. is studied by using archeological ruins chosen in order to give assurance with respect to the date and the height. Among the archeological structures still and in contact with the sea. Roman fishponds, harbor wharves, and docks are the most important. A plot of measured depth versus date shows that from 600 B.C. to 100 A.D. the Mediterranean Sea rose from -1.7 to -0.4 m with respect to mean sea level in 1884. Two least squares regression lines with 95% confidence region were drawn. The first, which includes all 22 data sets, shows a rise of the mean sea level of 1.7 mm/yr in the time span from 600 B.C. to 100 A.D. the other one, containing only 20 data sets, shows a rise of the mean sea level of 1.4 mm/yr in the same time period. This rise of the sea may have ended around the year 350 A.D. A rise of 1.4 mm/yr agrees with the rise of the Mediterranean Sea as recorded in the last century by tide gage.”

    I could pull up hundreds of papers that show the sea level has been rising in a constant curve since the last ice age.

  142. Paul Dennis
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

    re #140

    Jim, I’ve been following the debate here between yourself, Reid, Willis and welikerocks for the past few days and have desited from contributing because sea-level measurement and analysis is not my field though I have an interest in it from the earth system science point of view.

    From the sidelines it seems to me that both you and Willis are saying pretty much the same thing with respect to the data. There has been a change in the sign of sea level movement over the past 150 years. i.e. prior to 1850 it may have been either static or had been falling for an undetermined period. Unfortunately the tide gauge data do not extend far back to say exactly what has happened. From most analyses this acceleration occured during a pretty small time interval between 1850 and 1900. The 20th century data shows some fluctuation in the measured rate of rise of the eustatic level. It may have accelerated slightly throughout the century, it may have not. I think the jury is probably still out on that.

    The data begs several really interesting questions not least of which is what is the cause of the sudden acceleration during the latter half of the 19th century. Do we have an adequate understanding and phenomenological model to account for this and the observed fluctuations. I’m not convinced that we have a good enough handle on this yet.

    Your position as I read it is that using climate models, incorporating some possibilities for melting of continental ice sheets and projecting into the future, I think you used the word millenium, the rise might be 8 metres. This is a fine position to hold and I have no objection to that. It is however based on a model that sees significant collapse of both the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets.

    I think Willis and welikrocks are perhaps arguing from the position that they don’t as yet have any confidence in the models and certainly in their ability to predict climate change and ice sheet dynamics long into the future. They are basing predictions on a simple extrapolation of existing data over a hundred year time scale. I think Monckton is saying the same thing though he ill advisedly used the Morner references to back up his claim!

    The standpoint of Willis and others is that they are not convinced that CO2 forcing of the climate system will result in significant temperature shifts and dramatic changes to ice sheet dynamics, not withstanding the collapse of some ice shelves such as Larsen B. To this extent their argument is staill based on a model, one that does not agree with the projections of the TAR or your analysis of the situation. None the less, given our understanding, it is a perfectly valid position to hold.

    Which is right I honestly don’t know. However there is a rational scientific debate to be had here. It is not well served by the general tone. One thing I value this site for is its pedagogical possibilities. What we have here is not debate but statements of entrenched positions. Smug remarks about PGR/GIA and modelling that demonstrate the depth of your knowledge don’t help either. If you want to make a case then let’s do so in a civilised debate. What you have to say is important but it is getting lost in the antagonism.

  143. jae
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 6:40 AM | Permalink

    139: Jim, you say:

    The really interesting thing is that, somwhere between the end of the “geological” record and 1931, the rate of rise of relative sea level changed from 1.3 mm/year to 2.4 mm/year.

    How do you blame the rise at this time on CO2? Where is the CO2-driven acceleration since 1931?

  144. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

    Thanks Paul Dennis for your voice of reason. :)

  145. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:13 AM | Permalink

    Re: the Greenland Debate

    Perhaps Monckton got his words (right or wrong) regarding Greenland from this article in the New York Times:

    “Story of Viking Colonies’ Icy ‘Pompeii’ Unfolds From Ancient Greenland Farm”
    May 8,2001 [registration required, so if you join you can access]

    Text: from the article [bold text added by me]

    Called “The Farm Beneath the Sand,” this site lay buried under glacial sands for six centuries. Today, it is called the Viking Pompeii in the Scandinavian press.

    “The site lay buried under , glacial sands for six centuries.” caption under picture.

    “At the Viking site near here, artifacts were locked in permafrost and buried under several feet of sand. Many organic artifacts, like antlers, bones, skins and wood, did not decompose. All farm animals appeared to have been evacuated, with the exception of a stray goat, which took refuge in a barn. Six centuries later, its mummified remains were under the collapsed thatch twig roof.”

    “At the farm site, there is no indication that conflict with natives, now called the Thule people, precipitated the Norse departure. Virtually all Thule artifacts discovered at the farm were at the most recent layer of human occupation, indicating that migrating native hunters used the structure as a caribou hunting camp after the Europeans left.

    What does seem to have contributed to the abandonment of the Western Settlements, archaeologists said, is climate change. The onset of a “little ice age” made living halfway up Greenland’s coast untenable in the mid-1300’s, argues Dr. Charles Schweger, an archaeology professor at the University of Alberta, who has studied soils around the Farm Beneath the Sand.
    Dr. Schweger said the Norse were no match for cooling temperatures, which caused a glacier several miles up a valley to expand. As this glacier grew, it also released more water every summer into the valley, causing turbidity in drinking water and raging floods that blanketed meadows with sand and gravel. Today the edge of Greenland’s ice cap is only six miles from the old farm site. But in the mid-14th century, it probably was far closer.

    The farm’s evolving architecture also reflected the effect of cooling temperatures, Dr. Berglund said. Initially, a cluster of earthen walled buildings, the farm evolved over the centuries into one large building, with several small rooms, all under one roof. This “centralized farm” maximized body heat of humans and animals. Noting that the main building seemed to be constantly undergoing changes, Dr. Berglund estimated that a total of 40 rooms were configured at the site over nearly four centuries of occupation.

    Ground into the mud were remains of wild animals, their bones cracked open to yield the marrow. Studies of skeletons at a regional churchyard indicate that the Norse diet grew increasingly dependent on marine life, largely seals and fish, as it became increasingly difficult to maintain cows and sheep.

    In another reflection of how climate change and degradation of meadows eroded the Norses’ pastoral economy, yarn found in the weaving room indicates that the weavers stretched their wool supply by mixing sheep wool with fur from caribou, polar bears, foxes and wolves.”

  146. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

    Re: #146 I put my comment in the wrong discussion.
    It should be in the Monbiot vs Monckton topic. So sorry!

  147. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

    re: #137 Lee,

    I was being honest and frank. I give you one more chance. Quit insulting people needlessly or I’ll give up, brush the dust off my feet and admit you’re simply a troll.

    And while I think it’s a bit much to expect people to go back farther than the actual message referenced to determine context, I was aware that you’d been talking CO2 effects, or so I’d thought. But you said:

    BTW, my point is about backloading of CO2 increases, and therefore of any effects downstream of that.

    This sentence separates out the CO2 increases and the effects thereof and attaches the backloading to the former. That was what I was responding to. I can see now that you just don’t understand the problem with misplaced modifiers but believe me, it’s not obvious to someone reading a sentence like that what you imagined you were conveying.

  148. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    re: #138 Loki,

    It seems to me that the layer near the surface absorbs energy around 15 microns, but that causes the CO2’s temperature to rise, and so the gas rises, allowing cooler molecules above to move closer to the surface where it too can absorb LWIR.

    Sorry, but you’re rather far off. Individual molecules of CO2 absorb LWIR alright, but they then collide with other non-GHG molecules before they can re-radiate. This warms the entire air mass slightly. Now the lower troposphere is well mixed, generally over a fairly short period of time but not only from IR absorption but also from conduction and evaporation [water vapor being less dense than the rest of the air].) So some of the heat will be carried higher into the atmosphere via the normal convection processes as well as by re-radiation by the thermalized GHGs and some blackbody radiation also. BTW, when I say some of the heat is carried higher, that doesn’t mean that the air mass rising will maintain its temperature. As air rises the effects of gravity result in cooling the mass. There are also some pressure-volume changes which might cause cooling though strictly speaking they should work in concert to keep the temperature constant.

    Anyway, the point is that it’s not the convection per se which causes the heat to escape via radiation. If air is prevented from mixing, say in an inversion situation, the radiation portion of atmospheric heat loss continues to work as usual since the CO2 (& H2O, etc.) pick up the energy needed to radiate from other molecules around them, not by having to physically move up (or down) in the atmosphere.

  149. Lee
    Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    I would love to see how one imagines a a backloading of CO2 without an accompanying backloading (“therefore of”) the effects of CO2.

    its interesting that I’m being attacked on sentence cosntruction now, and not on the argument.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,111 other followers

%d bloggers like this: