Watt’s up with Christopher?

Christopher Monckton has a new post on Watts Up With That (WUWT) called Benchmarking IPCC’s warming predictions. I must admit that I had thought that Christopher Monckton had said and done so many odd things recently that he had even lost credibility with those at WUWT. Given that he has been involved in a number of recent posts, this perceptions appears to have been wrong.

I don’t really want to analyse this post in any detail. I thought I would make a couple of basic comments. The post includes the figure below. Monckton claims that this figure proves that the model predictions are wrong. This assessment is clearly wrong given that the observed anomalies lie within the ranges of at least 3 of the 4 models (I can’t see the full range for the FAR model). Furthermore, there is quite a large drop in the observed temperature anomaly between 1990 and 1995 which some of the models don’t seem to include. One could argue that this is a problem with the models, but it seems that the model trends and observed trend from 1995 onwards are actually quite close.

Comparison between measure temperature anomalies and IPCC model predictions.

Comparison between measured temperature anomalies and IPCC model predictions (credit : Christopher Monckton, WUWT).

Christopher goes on to say

And would it be worthwhile to circulate the monthly-updated graph widely to the news media as an answer to their dim question, “Why don’t you believe in global warming?”

Because there hasn’t been any to speak of this millennium, that’s why. The trouble that many of the media have taken to conceal this fact is shameful.

He’s claiming here that there hasn’t been any warming this millenium and that it is shameful that the media have concealed this “fact”. What I think is shameful is that some have indeed reported this “fact”. Why is it shameful? Well, because it is demonstrably incorrect. Firstly, it is based on global temperature anomalies only. To assess whether or not global warming is happening, one should also consider ocean heat content and the change in polar ice. Overall, there is strong evidence that global warming continues and may well be accelerating. However, even if one does only consider global temperature anomalies it is still wrong. The error in the trend in the observed global temperature anomaly for the last 15 years is large enough that we can’t rule out that it hasn’t been flat. However, we also can’t rule out that the trend hasn’t been greater than 0.15oC per decade. Hence, we cannot claim that there has been no warming this millenium, and there is substantial evidence to suggest that there has indeed been warming and that it is accelerating.

Christopher Monckton may indeed be a very fine fellow who genuinely believes that he is doing the right thing when he criticises the analysis presented by the IPCC. However, as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and it seems clear that Christopher really doesn’t know what he is talking about and should probably stop embarassing himself and those at WUWT. There will be occasions when one individual is correct and thousands of supposed experts are wrong. This, however, is clearly not one of those occasions.

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One Response to Watt’s up with Christopher?

  1. Pingback: Watt about sticking it to the Mann? | Wotts Up With That Blog

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