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Monckton’s deliberate manipulation

Filed under: — gavin @ 2 May 2009

Our favorite contrarian, the potty peer Christopher Monckton has been indulging in a little aristocratic artifice again. Not one to be constrained by mere facts or observable reality, he has launched a sally against Andy Revkin for reporting the shocking news that past industry disinformation campaigns were not sincere explorations of the true uncertainties in climate science.

The letter he has written to the NY Times public editor, with its liberal sprinkling of his usual pomposity, has at its heart the following graph:

Among other issues, it is quite amusing that Monckton apparently thinks that;

  • trends from January 2002 are relevant to a complaint about a story discussing a 1995 report,
  • someone might be fooled by the cherry-picked January 2002 start date,
  • no-one would notice that he has just made up the IPCC projection curves

The last is even more amusing because he was caught out making stuff up on a slightly different figure just a few weeks ago.

To see the extent of this chicanery, one needs only plot the actual IPCC projections against the observations. This can be done a number of ways, firstly, plotting the observational data and the models used by IPCC with a common baseline of 1980-1999 temperatures (as done in the 2007 report) (Note that the model output is for the annual mean, monthly variance would be larger):

These show clearly that 2002-2009 is way too short a period for the trends to be meaningful and that Monckton’s estimate of what the IPCC projects for the current period is woefully wrong. Not just wrong, fake.

Even if one assumes that the baseline should be the year 2002 making no allowance for internal variability (which makes no sense whatsoever), you would get the following graph:

- still nothing like Monckton showed. Instead, he appears to have derived his ‘projections’ by drawing a line from 2002 to a selection of real projections in 2100 and ignoring the fact that the actual projections accelerate as time goes on, and thus strongly over-estimating the projected changes that are expected now (see here).

Lest this be thought a mere aberration or a slip of his quill, it turns out he has previously faked the data on projections of CO2 as well. This graph is from a recent presentation of his, compared to the actual projections:

How can this be described except as fake?

Apart from this nonsense, is there anything to Monckton’s complaint about Revkin’s story? Sadly no. Once one cuts out the paranoid hints about dark conspiracies between “prejudiced campaigners”, Al Gore and the New York Times editors, the only point he appear to make is that this passage from the scientific advice somehow redeems the industry lobbyists who ignored it:

The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential for a human impact on climate is based on well-established scientific fact, and should not be denied. While, in theory, human activities have the potential to result in net cooling, a concern about 25 years ago, the current balance between greenhouse gas emissions and the emissions of particulates and particulate-formers is such that essentially all of today’s concern is about net warming. However, as will be discussed below, it is still not possible to accurately predict the magnitude (if any), timing or impact of climate change as a result of the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. Also, because of the complex, possibly chaotic, nature of the climate system, it may never be possible to accurately predict future climate or to estimate the impact of increased greenhouse gas concentrations.

This is a curious claim, since the passage is pretty much mainstream. For instance, in the IPCC Second Assessment Report (1995) (p528):

Complex systems often allow deterministic predictability of some characteristics … yet do not permit skilful forecasts of other phenomena …

or even more clearly in IPCC TAR (2001):

In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states….

Much more central to the point Revkin was making was the deletion of the sections dealing with how weak the standard contrarian arguments were – arguments that GCC publications continued to use for years afterward (and indeed arguments that Monckton is still using) (see this amendment to the original story).

Monckton’s ironic piece de resistance though is the fact that he entitled his letter “Deliberate Misrepresentation” – and this is possibly the only true statement in it.

513 Responses to “Monckton’s deliberate manipulation”

  1. 401
    Hank Roberts says:

    The hydraulics is not settled. If it were, we would have great confidence in all these statements: 1. The tub is getting fuller. 2. Overflowing will do more bad than good. 3. Humans are causing the overfilling. 4. We know how to fix the problem.

    What are the chances that all four are true?

  2. 402
    Doug Bostrom says:

    #398: Chuck Booth:

    “From yesterday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution”

    Good ol’ Hotlanta, wallowing in the soup wafting down from Georgia Power’s Plant Bowen. Atlanta’s the poster child for what a shambolical mess our cities are, not least in the slobby energy-suck department.

    “To find out, we must multiply the four individual probabilities by each other. If each statement has a 70 percent chance of being correct, the overall probability is just 24 percent that all are true.”

    Watch out, he’s going scientistical! Can you hear the clattering of DenialChow nuggets hitting the dog dishes?

    Can’t Dr. J. Winston Porter do better?

    Probably not; this manner of schlock is reflexive for him. Doc Porter was a Reagan-era appointee to EPA, in charge of hazardous waste, but the bulk of his professional career was at Bechtel, where he ended up serving on bended knee to mediaeval Saudi overlords, ensuring the smooth flowing of oil and money.

    How good was he at EPA? For that matter, is this a guy talking from the center? Take a guess from the titles of his op-ed pieces:

    “We need more oil refineries”

    “A Common Sense Approach to Power Plant Emissions”

    “Ethanol is the fuel of a clean-air future”

    “Too much recycling can be a waste of resources”

    “Time to Rethink Germany’s Onerous Environmental Laws”

    “Let States Clean Up Superfund’s Mess”

    “Trash That Recycling Plan”

    “Uranium mining has to be an option”

    Sheep, meet your wolven herder. Seen in a heap these titles read like a parody from The Onion.

    Perhaps “whore” is a bit strong, but Dr. J. Winston Porter has his red light on in the window of his “Waste Policy Center”, where he’s got a sort of one-stop misinformation and policy distortion shop going:

  3. 403

    To Hank Roberts in # 401

    Good story. Good laugh!



  4. 404
    Hank Roberts says:

    John B — not my analogy; it’s a very good one from the Sustainability folks now at MIT. Lots of places point to it and one of these links gets you directly to the model. Show it to your friends:“bathtub+model

  5. 405
    J. Bob says:

    #395 – Thanks Walter

    #400 Tom – Checked your first reference and it turned up blank. Checked the graph, looks familiar. Now is there any reason why the last eight years were not included? That would be interesting. I’ve not head of EMD, but more info might be interesting. Do you have a site? Also it would be most interesting to compare results.

    Putting a linear trend line into the FFT is often done to reduce or remove the discontinuities at the end points. We called it “de-trending”.

  6. 406
    Arch Stanton says:

    J. Bob -

    Tom’s link picked up the period at the end of the sentence. Cut and paste it into your browser without it.

  7. 407
    David B. Benson says:

    J. Bob (392) — To answer your question, no, it is not.

  8. 408
    Chemist says:


    Care to comment on this? It seems like you’ve been shot down and called out on falsifying your “credible information” once again.

    Of course you’ll just delete this, but I hope you know that whenever faced with arguments of the rational mindset, you run like a sheep from the wolves.


    [Response: Paranoia much? There are already two links to this in the above comment thread. And for a chemist, who presumably has some integrity in their own work, to defend Monckton's fakery ... doesn't that give you even the least bit of pause? Monckton isn't a wolf, he isn't even an actor dressed as a wolf in a seasonal pantomime. Get real. - gavin]

  9. 409
    Mark says:

    Further to 401 and to JBob, yup, you should have realised that. What does a fourier transform do? It changes time into frequency. You lose the time aspect so that you can fit the frequency in its place.

    So it can’t show *changes through time* can it. It ignores time.

    When you solve a dynamic equation (e.g. the Shroedinger equation for a H2 pair), you often ignore the time dependent part. This shows what the steady state is, but is naff at telling you what’s going to happen when you put variable energy into it, or have another H2 pair pass by.

    Similarly here with FFT.

  10. 410
    Chemist says:


    [Response: 'liar', 'fraud', blah, blah blah... oh, how original. Perhaps you think it's brave or exciting to leave anonymous attacks in blog postings? Actually, it's juvenile and boring. If you want to have a discussion, than be substantive and talk about things that matter. If you want to simply reinforce your imagined notions that your point of view is being suppressed by those mean people at RealClimate, then continue to rant and rave and be ignored. Hey it's easy - why bother to think? - gavin]

  11. 411
    lucia says:

    I’m the “she” in this paragraph in Monckton’s response to Gavin

    Monckton: Schmidt fails to point out that the author of the blog he cites, unlike Schmidt himself, subsequently did me the courtesy of asking for the basis on which my graphs were calculated, and published a correction, for she had made several mistakes and incorrect assumptions in her original posting.

    I commented on Monckton’s “IPCC” projections. What I say is:

    I think it’s safe to say that regular readers are aware that I often disagree with Gavin. However, I anticipate Gavin will agree with me that, whatever the projections in Monckton’s graphs may be:

    1. They are not “IPCC projections” in the sense of appearing in the summary for policy makers of the AR4.
    2. They are not “IPCC projections” in the sense of appearing in Chapter 10 of the AR4.
    3. They are not “IPCC projections” in the sense of appearing the average of the multi-model ensemble used to develop projections in the AR4.
    4. They are not computed by any method advocated or described anywhere in the IPCC AR4 or any previous incarnation of the Assessment Report.
    5. The numerical values of Monckton’s projections do not correspond to anything a reader with ordinary reading skills would consider to be “IPCC projections” based on the content of the IPCC AR4, the TAR, the SAR or the FAR.

    If anyone anywhere wishes to call the lavender-pink region Monckton calls the “IPCC projections” in his graphs, I guess they may do so. However, I will also ask them to write a dissertation on the meaning of “is”, placing it in the context of recent American history.

    For more, read Post 1. Response to reader discussing Koutsoyiannis’s 2008 graph here. If you read the second, you’ll see that Koutsoyiannis, Gavin and I interpret the IPCC projections in roughly the same way. If you read Knapperger/Michaels presentations, they interpert the projections in roughly the same way. Or differences of opinion relate to the significance we attribute the model mean and most realizations exceeding the observed temperatures.

    Monckton’s temperature and uncertainty intervals may be something he considers meaningful in some way but they are not the range of temperatures the IPCC suggested we would observe on earth during the time period Monckton illustrates on his graphs. Whatever those temperatures may be, comparing them to observations tells us nothing about the merit of IPCC projections.

  12. 412
    spilgard says:

    Re #408:
    I’d say that Monckton more resembles Wile E. Coyote than a wolf, except that Wile E. makes at least a token effort to learn as he moves from one folly to the next.

  13. 413
    John Mashey says:

    AGW’s impact depends on where you live
    Texas is Not Scotland, even when a Scottish peer visits

    Viscount Monckton lives in the highlands of Scotland (Carie, Rannoch, 57degN, about the same as Juneau, AK, but warmer from Gulf Stream.)

    Most of Scotland (esp the highlands) is well above sea level, and in any case, from Post-Glacial Rebound, it’s going up. [Not true of Southern England.]

    Scotland gets lots of regular precipitation. From that, he likely gets ~1690mm or more rainfall/year, noticeably more than Seattle or Vancouver.

    Scotland has complex, variable weather systems, with more rain in West than in East, but has frequent precipitation all year.

    Scotland’s climate would likely be better with substantial warming. See UK Met Office on Scotland, which one might compare with NASA GISS Global Annual Mean Surface Air Temperature Change. Scotland average maximum temperatures are 18-19C in the summer, i.e., in most places it might occasionally get up to 70F, although of course it varies by geography. +3C is no big deal. The record maximum was 32.9C (91F), set in 2003. Maybe there is yet a good future for air-conditioning/cooling vendors.

    If one does a simple linear regression on both sets of annual data, one finds that SLOPE(Scotland) = .0071C/year, SLOPE(world) = .0057C/year, i.e., Scotland is warming slightly faster than the world as a whole.

    The combination of b) and c) is, most likely *good* for agriculture in Scotland. There is plenty of rain, and higher temperatures mean less snow and a longer growing season. Great!

    In addition, the British geoscientist/vineyard archaeologist Richard Selley thinks that while it may be too hot for good vineyards in Southern England by 2080, it will be fine for some areas of Scotland.
    Future Loch Ness Vineyard: great!

    Fossil fuel production (North Sea oil&gas) is very important to the Scotland economy. Wikipedia claims oil-related employment is 100,000 (out of total population of about 5M).

    Scotland has not always been ecstatic to be part of the UK.

    2) TEXAS
    The Viscount Monckton spoke for Young Conservatives of Texas, April 28 @ Texas A&M, which of course has a credible Atmospheric Sciences Department. Of course, many of them were unable to hear the Viscount because they were in Austin at CLIMATE CHANGE Impacts on TEXAS WATER, whose proceedings are online. See especially Gerald North on Global Warming and TX Water.

    Monckton delivered his message: “no worries, no problems” which might well fit Scotland just fine, at least through his normal life expectancy.

    The message was delivered to Texans typically in their 20s, many of whom would expect to see 2060 or 2070, and whose future children, and certainly grandchildren, might well see 2100.

    Texas is rather different from Scotland, although with one similarity (oil+gas).


    Texas has a long, low coastline in major hurricane territory.
    Brownsville, TX to Port Arthur is a 450-mile drive, with coastal towns like Corpus Christi, Galveston, and Port Arthur listed at 7 feet elevations. The center of Houston is higher, but some the TX coast has subsidence issues, not PGR helping it rise. The Houston Ship Canal and massive amounts of infrastructure are very near sea level. More people live in the Houston metropolitan area + rest of the TX coast than in all of Scotland.

    Of course, while North Sea storms can be serious, they are not hurricanes. IF it turns out that the intensity distribution of hurricanes shifts higher, it’s not good, since in the short term (but likely not the long term), storm surge is worse than sea level rise.

    Hurricane Rita (2005) and Hurricane Ike (2008) both did serious damage, but in some sense, both “missed” Houston. (Rita turned North, and hit as a Category 3; Ike was down to Category 2 before hitting Galveston).

    Scotland: no roblem
    TX: problems already

    Texas is very complex meteorologically, and of course, it’s big, but as seen in the conference mentioned above (start with North’s presentation), one might say:

    - The Western and Southern parts may well share in the Hadley-Expansion-induced loss of rain, i.e., longer and stronger droughts, in common with NM, AZ, and Southern CA. Many towns are dependent on water in rivers that come from the center of the state, like the Brazos.

    - The NorthEast part will likely get more rain. [North's comment about I35 versus I45 indicates uncertainty in the models.]

    - Rain is likely to be more intense when it happens, but droughts will be more difficult.

    Extreme weather in TX already causes high insurance costs, here, or here.

    Scotland: no problem
    Texas: problems.


    Texas A&M is ~31degN, rather nearer the Equator than 57degN.
    Wikipedia has a temperature chart. It is rather warmer in TX, but is also more given to extremes.

    Scotland: +3C would be dandy,
    Texas: +3C not so dandy.

    Between b) and c), less water in dry places, more water in wet places, more variations in water, and higher temperatures (hence worse evaporation/precipitation difference) are not good news for TX agriculture, or so says Bruce McCarl, Professor of Agricultural Economics at TAMU.

    For audiences unfamiliar with Texas A&M, the “A” originally stood for Agriculture, and people are called Aggies. One might assume that agricultural research is valued.
    Politically, “Aggie-land” would not be considered a hotspot of hyper-liberal folks prone to becoming climate “alarmists”.

    Scotland: warmer, great! Wine!
    Texas: serious stress.

    Here, there is more similarity: fossil fuels are economically important.

    On the other hand, Scotland was settled long before the use of petroleum, and while places like the highlands are very sparse, cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow are relatively dense, and many villages are quite walkable. Warmer temperatures mean *lower* heating costs.

    Texas has naturally developed in a very different style, and with forthcoming Peak Oil, this may be relevant. In 2006, according to EIA, Texas was #1 in energy consumption, 5th per-capita (after AK, WY, LA, ND) and uses 2X/capita of states like NY or CA. Some of that is inherent in different climate and industry.

    Sprawling development in a state with water problems, subject to dangerous weather extremes, and already seriously-dependent on air-conditioning, may end being expensive for the residents.

    Scotland: makes money from fossil energy, but it was mostly built without it. Warmer temperatures reduce energy use.
    Texas: already uses ~2.5-3X higher energy/capita, compared to Scotland. Warmer temperatures likely raise energy use.

    3. SUMMARY

    Gerald North’s talk ended by asking:
    “Is Texas the most vulnerable state?”

    That sounds like an expert on trains, hearing one coming in the distance, standing on the tracks amidst a bunch of kids, trying to get them off the tracks before there’s blood everywhere.

    On the other side, someone safely away from tracks keeps telling the kids that experts are wrong, there is no danger, so they can play there as long as they like.

  14. 414
    J. Bob says:

    #400 Tom P
    Comparison of the EMD and FFT Convolution for the Hadcet Data Set.

    Here is a brief comparison of the EMD method and the FFT convolution method of looking at the at temperature from 1850-2000. The data I used was from the site below:

    The EMD graph is presented at:

    And shows the temperature filtering and moving up to the year 2000. It’s to bad that it didn’t continue into the 2007-08 range, but whatever.

    The FFT Convolution results are shown in Fig. T_est_17,

    and includes two runs. The first is to the year 2000, the second, includes curves to the year 2008. Comparing the data set, there is some difference, but on the whole, both methods due a good job of getting the underlying information, but in different ways. The main difference is the EMD reduces the need to add a trend line. The FFT uses a trend line to reduce discontinuity at the end points, or one could use “windowing” to do the same.

    The interesting thing about the EMD method is the bending of the thick gray line to the right. Would that indicate a leveling off? It would be nice if someone would redo the analysis out to the 2008. The lower graph in Fig. T_est_17 shows the FFT method carried out to the year 2008. In this case a flattening occurs. So it looks like the debate continues.

    One other point, If one looks at the 150 year data, one could get the impression of a significant temperature rise, in the making. If one looks at the 350 year data, it’s more like here we go again, get out the Union suits.

  15. 415
    dhogaza says:

    So it looks like the debate continues.

    Not until you subject your FFT fit to the same level of statistical significance testing that the EMD people did with their fit …

  16. 416
    J. Bob says:

    #415 – Since you seem to have a good knowledge of statistics, why don’t YOU complete the EMD analysis to 2008, and show your results.

  17. 417
    Mark says:

    re 415, are you expecting JBob to manage the same rigour as he expects of others???


  18. 418
    Mark says:

    JBob you’re the one who has demonstrated not just the inability but the desire to actively avoid ANY analysis for significance, you obviously will not change your “work”.

    Until you do place it under such a statistical test, your message means nothing more than Summer is gone because today was colder than yesterday, so winter is already upon us.

  19. 419
    dhogaza says:

    #415 – Since you seem to have a good knowledge of statistics, why don’t YOU complete the EMD analysis to 2008, and show your results

    Because I’m not the person claiming to have proven that climate science is bunk. You make the claim, YOU do the work.

  20. 420
    dhogaza says:

    Oh, confusion … no I’m not interested in running the EMD work out to 2008.

    YOU are claiming that your misapplication of FFT to the data proves that the earth is cooling, that there’s no CO2-forced warming, and we’re just seeing a natural cycle.

    YOU need to support that claim, WE don’t need to do your work for you.

  21. 421
    Doug Bostrom says:

    #419 dhogaza:

    Don’t do it. If you do, next you know he’ll be wanting to have a few beers with you over an exhaustive discussion of vortex shedding from the stirring paddles of bovine excrement ponds.

  22. 422
    Tom P says:


    The EMD analysis went out to 2003, not 2000. Extending the analysis by a further five years will have very little effect as the only two statistically significant modes found were a monotonic trend and an approximate 65-year cyclic wave.

    Fourier analysis cannot properly handle non-stationary data, i.e. data that has a trend. Fitting a linear trend will not work if there is a non-linear trend, and windowing de-emphasises the data at the beginning and end of the series – the latter being of greatest interest. Both detrending and windowing are ways of forcing data to behave as cyclic for the sake of a Fourier analysis and will give spurious results if the data is not cyclic.

  23. 423
    Charles says:

    “On the other side, someone safely away from tracks keeps telling the kids that experts are wrong, there is no danger, so they can play there as long as they like.” John Masley, #413

    Yes, indeed. Thank you, John, for pointing out this out. Mr. Monckton claims he has a paper out for a peer-reviewed journal, implying that it will demonstrate that Gavin is mistaken. And given that Lucia (post #411) still (like Gavin) disagrees with Monckton’s portrayal of the IPCC projections, this paper will be interesting to see! I hope that the identities of the previous reviewers Monckton mentions–”a Professor of Physics, a Doctor of Physics, and a Doctor of Mathematics – all of them eminent”–will be revealed.

    [Response: Don't hold your breath. - gavin]

  24. 424
    John Philip says:

    I believe His Lordship described his methodology in this letter to Senators Markey and Barton. In a nutshell, get the IPCC projections for CO2, get the IPCC climate sensitivity, multiply one by t’other, plug into Excel and hey presto you have an ‘IPCC projection’, without all that tedious mucking about with climate models….

    Caution: 8Mb pdf.

    [Response: Doesn't explain how he pulled the 'CO2 projections' out of thin air though.... - gavin]

  25. 425
    John Philip says:

    Indeed. I love all the From these results it is legitimate to infer, in the absence of explicit confirmation by the IPCC …Effectively he is discrediting what the IPCC meant to say. I do not recommend anyone actually download and read this tome; the main value of the document is that it pulls together all the latest aristocratic pseudoscience into one place for easy rebuttal. But then, much of it is a rehashing of his APS ‘paper’ and to the best of my knowledge His Lordship has not deigned to respond to Arthur Smith’s comprehensive debunking of that, a piece of work for which we should all thank Mr Smith bigtime as it saves us having to muddy our screens, so to speak.


    PS Rather shorter, but equally chuckleworthy is His Lordship’s 1st reply to Gavin’s comment on the APS piece.

    Here is how it begins..I shall refrain from any ad-hominem remarks of my

    And here is how it ends ..Another blogger commenting at FalseClimate on Schmidt’s attack on me was John Mashey, who appears very frequently as a commentator on another tendentious blog, funded by a convicted internetgaming fraudster who owns a solar-energy corporation and accordingly has a financial vested interest in promoting the “global warming” scare…Schmidt himself is a colleague of James Hansen, [..]Hansen, whose 1984 paper Schmidt misstates in his second attempt to discredit me, is linked financially and politically to Al Gore through repeated donations of many thousands of dollars to Gore’s re-election campaigns and to those of John Kerry, whose wife recently gave Hansen at least $250,000 from a charitable fund she administers.

    Given he holds a degree in Classics, is it remotely possible he does not know what an ad hominem argument is?

  26. 426
    MarkB says:

    From #332:

    “The discussion of the science is up to his usual standards. He accuses Gavin of “tampering” with his plots. This sounds rather serious until he makes clear that the tampering in this case consists of not including Monckton’s url or original caption.”

    I noticed this too. I had to look at the before/after picture a few times before realizing the only difference was the link…and somehow that realization was expected. Shame on Dr. Schmidt for not advertising Monckton’s political reference!

  27. 427
    J. Bob says:

    #422 Tom P

    Thanks for the item. The EMD methods does seem to give a more straight forward way of non-stationary data ( I think they are just about all non-stationary) analysis. That is a problem with the FFT, it does require more fiddling. We always required a re-construction of the original signal to quantitize any errors, just for starters.

  28. 428
    David Watt says:

    I thought I should read what Monckton actually said before commenting, but found I douldn’t access it. Surely this doesn’t mean that Gavin wants us to form an opinion without any actual knowledge.
    Fortunately I found it on Icecap and having read it would like to see a decent grown up crit on it.

    Sadly this does not appear to be here on Realclimate

    [Response: The letter is clearly linked in the top post and it downloads fine for me. Try a different browser before casting aspersions perhaps. But on the bigger issue, how can you have a 'grown up crit' of someone who just makes up his numbers? Dismissing that based on your inability to download a pdf file seems a little too flip, wouldn't you say? - gavin]

  29. 429
    Hemp says:

    “Every major international organization that works to reduce or alleviate poverty has stated that global warming is already increasing poverty and making their work more difficult, and that unmitigated anthropogenic global warming will overwhelm and defeat all of their efforts.”

    Strange because global poverty has been steadily decreasing over the last several decades. And the alleviation of poverty is down to the growth of capitalist economies not the growth of NGOs and charities.

  30. 430
    John Mashey says:

    re: #428
    Works for me under:
    Win XP (Firefox, Safari, IE)
    Linux (Firefox)
    iPhone (Safari)

  31. 431
    Ian says:

    David Watt,

    If you really need a “decent grown up crit” of Monckton’s latest, especially after reading it, it’s hard to know where to point you. One good start is Arthur Smith’s posting:

    which critiques a previous Monckton letter, much of which he recycled in his new one linked above.

  32. 432
    Doug Bostrom says:

    #429 Hemp:

    How is what you say connected with threats that are not purely economic in nature? For instance, for a person drowned in a storm surge, how did the abatement in poverty work out? And for the person faced with relocation due to rising sea level?

    Here are some free tickets for you, to the cluetrain:

    By the way, disclosing that you have some sort of issue with philanthropic organizations does not mean you are right and they are wrong, it does not somehow innoculate you against facts, it only means you;re likely blinkered by romantic ideological claptrap, You’ll have to do better than making revealing remark about your own limitations if your objective is to discredit their work. How about besting their surveys, with data and expertise?

  33. 433
    Charles says:

    David Watt (#428), you wrote: “Sadly this ["a decent grown up crit"] does not appear to be here on Realclimate.

    Actually, there is plenty of such crit here, provided by Gavin and the other RealClimate scientists. Check out these two previous postings, for example:

    There are numerous other such critical debunkings to be had, if one takes the time to look for them. May I also suggest that the paragraph in Gavin’s most recent posting, beginning with: “To see the extent of this chicanery, one needs only plot the actual IPCC projections against the observations. This can be done a number of ways, firstly, plotting the observational data and the models used by IPCC with a common baseline of 1980-1999 temperatures (as done in the 2007 report) …” and continuing on with the series of graphs forms some subtantive crit? I think Gavin makes a pretty persuasive argument here, and it’s not very difficult to understand. What do you see wrong with it, if anything?

  34. 434
    Mark says:

    re 429.

    Please prove it.

    The disparity between the wealthy and the poor has increased MARKEDLY too. If you’re talking about “per capita GDP” all that means is that the rich are getting richer off the poor man’s back.

  35. 435

    And if I may contribute:

    Just move the hyphen and paste into your browser.

  36. 436
    Ray Ladbury says:

    David Watt, What I find astounding is that folks like Monckton are taken seriously by anyone in society. He is a loon, from a long line of loons. He has no training or education in science–and yet people are talking as if he has credibility on climate commensurate with that of researchers who have devoted their lives to the study of the subject. I guess it just shows the power of telling people what they want to hear.

  37. 437
    Mark says:

    Further to 436, the “paper” that Monkton produced showing that temperature sensitivity to CO2 was lower was based on

    1) Tropics not showing any definitive signal of heating (not showing a signal of NO heating, though, or of a signal that precluded model expectations)
    2) Dividing the flux part way through his work by a third because the tropics recieved most of the insolation. Forgetting that the tropical nighttime sees none.

    And if you reduce your forcing by a third in the wrong place, you get the wrong answer, even if that reduction should be made.

    It’s never been peer reviewed (unless he got some other lords [not members of the House of Lords, who are also peers] to review it.

  38. 438

    Barton Paul Levenson Says:
    20 May 2009 at 5:31 AM
    And if I may contribute:

    Thanks for the web reference. I wish you also had one like it on Rush Limbaugh, Shawn Hannity, Fred Singer and Senator Imhofe!

    You have an interesting website — I have bookmarked it for future reading. Suggestion — put a link to it on your secondary pages, such as the one above. I find that this helps folks on my own site,


  39. 439
    John Mashey says:

    re: #423 Charles

    Actually, I’m sure he can come up with some “reviewers” with those credentials. What remains to be seen is:

    a) Are they truly “eminent” or not?
    b) If so, are they actually “eminent” in climate science?
    c) And are they actually peer-reviewers (in the normal sense) Picked by a reputable journal that normally publishes climate science.

    Recall that Monckton still claimed that last year’s APS FPS paper was peer-reviewed, when it certainly was not, but was only a brief editorial review by one editor not really familiar with the field.

    But, I’d guess he might get fine reviews from one or more of:

    Laurence Gould, Professor of Physics at University of Hartford, CT, an ardent Monckton publicizer. It’s hard to determine “eminent”.

    Syun-Ichi Akasofu, who certainly was an eminent researcher in aurora physics.

    William Happer, Prof. Physics @ Princeton, also Chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute, and eminent in atomic physics, although he has interesting opinions on climate change.

    He could have gone through the list of fellow Heartland Global Warming Experts, including:
    Akasofu, Baliunas, Christy, Douglass, Essex, Giaver, Gould, Herman, Lindzen, Lupo, Miskolczi, Pekarek, Giaver, Gould, Singer, Spencer, Zagoni, Zichichi. One could add a few more from the recent CATO-100 list. One would expect that at least a few would stand up publicly and support his work. Gould certainly does.

  40. 440

    J. Bob

    If the earth is cooling (stable or trending down #107) as you say, why is the Arctic ice mass disappearing at such a rapid rate and the worlds glaciers melting, Antarctica warming, and increased atmospheric moisture content which is a feedback of warmer oceans…

    These are observations, not models. I’d really like that all explained though. I mean maybe I’m just missing something and certainly oversimplifying the question, but in a stable/cooling world, shouldn’t the observations be going in the other direction?

    Or does your stable/trending down analysis explain the total thermal inertia causing the melting and atmospheric moisture increase?

  41. 441

    JB — thanks for the kind comments about my web site. I do, in fact, have a page about Limbaugh:

    CAPTCHA: hoarier priorities

  42. 442

    This seems like a good thread to ask a question:

    I received the following from a “friend” who has exhibited less than steller credibility in the past. Yet, acting on the motto that even a blind pig sometimes roots up an acorn, cal someone comment on it? Thanks.


    NSIDC pulls the plug on Arctic Sea Ice Graphs


    During the the last week, NSIDC graphs of arctic sea ice extent have been dropping so steeply that many have called them into question. Finally NSIDC ended the daily updates and … have placed an “out of order” sign on the website.

    As we first pointed out to NSIDC back on 2/18/09 (even though it “wasn’t worth blogging about”) the sensor has been on the fritz for quite awhile, calling the whole arctic sea ice series into question.
    From their most recent announcement, it looks like that it is now “DOA”. ..

    Here’s what they say now.

    [Response: Things break.... such is life. - gavin]

  43. 443
    Jim Bouldin says:

    David Watt, What I find astounding is that folks like Monckton are taken seriously by anyone in society. He is a loon, from a long line of loons.

    Ray, please don’t disparage loons like that, they’re among my favorite birds.

  44. 444
    Pekka Kostamo says:

    #442. They forget a later note, dated Feb 26, which explains in detail what was done and why. Who would believe they can make such a gross blunder?

    In addition to the Defense Dept DMSP-series, also other satellites (AMSR-E) provide essentially the same measurements, using different sensors and data processing chains. Very useful for cross-checking and ensures stability of the measurements. Differences between these two systems are minimal, as can be expected.

  45. 445
    Hank Roberts says:

    > #442. They forget a later note, dated Feb 26
    Thanks Pekka.

    John, you’ve _always_ got to do what Pekka does here; check the reference — look for further information.

    Don’t assume it’s correct, remember where you’re reading it!
    Always look into it just a bit for yourself. Skepticism, you know.

    Much of what you find reblogged has already been debunked, and they’re just not telling you that; if it was a good science cite at the time it was posted, it may well have been extended, or corrected, or even retracted in the science journal.

    Your friend’s spreading red herring, I fear. Or else he’s taken the bait himself and …. well, metaphor fails here.

  46. 446

    I did not assume it had any credibility but my Google searches at the time came up empty. Thanks for the added info.

    I do get stuff like this frequently; usually I can (if I take the time) get the real scoop easily.

    I am, however, getting less and less inclined anymore to take the time unless the source is a genuine friend or — in this case, a genuine troll (Janice) who tosses her cookies over the fence to the ASA list from time to time. On a whim, I surfed over to a web site she recommended; I felt “unclean” when I left it.

    BTW I just read in NEW SCIENTIST (5/16/09 issue) a neat little piece on John Tyndall’s discovery in May 1859 of the GHG property of CO2. I added this information to my “Climate 101″ article on


  47. 447
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Google searches … came up empty

    Brief aside to John because this is important. Learning how to find things is among the best lessons people here have been teaching us. Let me try summing up a bit on what I’ve learned so far.

    For Google searches, don’t rely on the assertion to craft your search.

    I found nothing, today, as long as I used only search strings found in the WTF site article you quoted.

    Meta-aside: There are lots of copies of that, many places, it’s much copypasted. None of the copies have the error corrected. The copypasters have no skepticism at all, they are true believers in what they read.

    Lesson: Don’t start by assuming the article on that sort of site is accurate and correct and arguing with their statement.

    When you meet a strawman by the side of the road, don’t argue with him. Listen for the giggles from the bushes.

    (As illustrated here: Find out what a straw man argument is, and how the most spectacular cherry pick in the history of scientific … Climate Denial Crock of the Week )

    John, whatever you hear or are told, test -that- first.
    Teach your friend. First thing a scientist does, check the claims.

    For NSIDC, did you try going to the source, their page?
    There’s a “site search” button at top right of the page.

    Right at the moment, this is the top item:

    —quote follows—-
    Update: May 26 2009 The daily image update has been temporarily suspended because of large areas of missing data in the past week. NSIDC currently gets its data from the SSM/I sensor on the DMSP F13 satellite, which is nearing the end of its operational life and experiencing intermittent problems. NSIDC has been working on a transition to a newer sensor on the F17 satellite for several months. At this time, we have more than a year of data from F17, which we are using to intercalibrate with F13 data. The F17 data are not yet available for near-real-time updates. We will resume posting daily updates as soon as possible, either from F13, if the present problem is resolved, or from F17, when the transition is complete.

    To read more about the sensor transition, see Building Long Time Series from Satellite Data, on the February 26 update to Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis. For more information on the data used in the daily update, see Image and Data Questions on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
    —- end quote, see original for links—-

  48. 448
    Hank Roberts says:

    PS, John, the other satellite source:

    Discussion of the various instrumental records and how they’re being correlated is down at the bottom of this page:

  49. 449
    Hank Roberts says:

    In case you ever took any of these people seriously:

  50. 450

    Just a quick update: NSIDC has completed the transition to a different satellite sensor (having intercalibrated over a year’s worth of data), and the daily update is once again available.

    Not surprisingly, the trend in sea ice extent has been sharply downward, and the extent is now much closer to 2008 levels than to the reference mean for the date. So any denialists you may still hear crowing about the “recovery” of Arctic sea ice–of whom I heard quite a few in April–are now behind the curve, literally. Live by the short-term trend, die by the short-term trend. . .

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