The designers of our climate

Okay, I finally succumbed and actually waded through some of the new paper by Monckton, Soon, Legates & Briggs called Why models run hot: results from an irreducibly simple climate model. I did it, so you don’t have to (and believe me, it’s really not worth it). I’m not even sure I actually quite get it, since it is so chock full of stuff that doesn’t really make a great deal of sense.

I, however, think I’ve worked it out. According to their model, temperature T_t at time t after a change in forcing \Delta F_t is given by

\Delta T_t = q_t^{-1} \Delta F_t r_t \lambda_o (1 - g)^{-1},

where q_t is the fraction of the forcing due to CO2, r_t is the fraction of the equilibrium response attained by time t, \lambda_o is the no-feedback sensitivity, and g is the feedback factor, or closed-loop gain.

Figure 5 from Monckton et al. (2015)

Figure 5 from Monckton et al. (2015)


The fundamental figure is the figure to the right, which illustrates how the feedback factor, or closed-loop gain, would influence climate sensitivity. Now, as is clear from the figure, the maximum value for the closed-loop gain – or feedback factor g – allowed by process engineers designing electronic circuits intended not to oscillate under any operating conditions, is 0.1. Therefore, since no process engineer would possibly design our climate to have a feedback factor greater than this, feedbacks have to be small, and the equilibrium climate sensitivity has to be about 1K per doubling of CO2.

So, there you have it, we can’t warm much over the coming century because the designers wouldn’t have designed a system that would allow for this. Of course, I should be honest and admit that I may have misunderstood the paper, but that’s mostly because it’s gobbledygook.

P.S. : Just it case the tone of this post isn’t completely obvious, no, our climate was not designed by process engineers and, no, the feedback factor is not constrained to be small.

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393 Responses to The designers of our climate

  1. Yvan Dutil says:

    it makes senses if you think that God has design the world to be stable. QED

  2. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: Because the OP is short and sweet, it will draw climate denier drones like bees to honey.

    How’s that for a convoluted metaphor?

  3. Yvan,
    I had considered linking this to Intelligent Design, but I was reluctant to use the word “intelligent” when discussing this paper 🙂

  4. JH,

    Because the OP is short and sweet, it will draw climate denier drones like bees to honey.

    Well, I kind of hoping that this paper is so obviously nonsense, that even they will stay away.

  5. verytallguy says:

    I was once given a problem as an undergraduate:

    “Given that it takes 3 minutes to boil an egg, and assuming the earth is soft boiled, calculate the age of the earth”

    Confession: I am a (chemical) process engineer by profession

  6. vtg,
    Either it’s a silly question, or I’m not understanding how to solve it, because I’m getting older than the age of the universe.

  7. verytallguy says:

    There is, of course another way to interpret the study (I am assuming your reading of it is correct as I have no intention of going there)

    – ice age cycles show that the earth’s climate is NOT stable
    – therefore g is constrained to be >0.1

    Or, as BBD might put it, “But paleoclimate”

  8. vtg,
    Yes, that’s what you might expect. Of course the authors of this paper say,

    A plausible upper bound to f may be found by recalling that absolute surface temperature has varied by only 1 % or 3 K either side of the 810,000-year mean [40, 41]. This robust thermostasis [42, 43], notwithstanding Milankovich and other forcings, suggests the absence of strongly net-positive temperature feedbacks acting on the climate.

    which assumes that the variations are small feedbacks relative to the overall forcing, rather than large feedbacks relative to the small changes in forcing. It’s an easy mistake to make, right?

  9. Monckton has been using that one for a while now. And the first time I heard it I just couldn’t believe he was saying it with a straight face. It’s nonsense was also my response to this particular claim.

  10. Collin,
    Yes, I’m not surprised that it was Monckton’s idea. I hadn’t realised the others were quite that silly, though (although, publishing a paper with Monckton isn’t a great sign).

  11. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: Do you happen to know if the statement, “Snark begets snark.” is already someone’s law?

  12. JH,
    I’m not sure. Are you wanting to claim it 🙂

  13. verytallguy says:

    ATTP

    “Either it’s a silly question, or…”

    Of course it’s a f***king silly question, you dunderhead, it assumes the earth is a SOFT BOILED EGG!

    The only way to get sillier would be to assume the earth was DESIGNED by process engineers!

    Now you’ve had a go at answering, pride means I need to try too. Which means dredging up dimensional analysis from a quarter of a century ago.

    Gah!

    (will post back an answer in 3 months time)

  14. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: You state:

    Well, I kind of hoping that this paper is so obviously nonsense, that even they will stay away.

    Fat chance. You have dissed one of their demi-gods.

  15. vtg,
    I also realised that my response to you made it sound like “I” was getting older than the age of the universe, rather than “the Earth” was older than the age of the universe. Given the topic of this post, I think that this comment thread getting ever sillier is exactly the right way to be going.

  16. dana1981 says:

    I rather doubt even the deniers will make much noise about this paper because it’s just so dumb. I did a quick dumpster dive over to WUWT for the first time in months – no mention of the paper. It was published in some Chinese journal, in its first edition since “entering a new era”, that era apparently being one in which they publish junk science.

    The first figure in the paper is just a blatant misrepresentation of the IPCC FAR, showing a projected linear trend of 2.78°C/century (0.28°C/decade) since 1990. In reality IPCC FAR projected an accelerating warming trend that’s around 0.17°C/decade since 1990. This is something I show in my book, due out in March (shameless plug). The IPCC FAR projections were almost right on the button.

    Skimming through the paper, Figure 6 is even worse, misrepresenting Hansen’s 1988 projection as well as 4 IPCC projections, and then comparing them to satellite TLT measurements instead of surface temperature measurements, which is what they were projecting. They do the same misrepresentation of Hansen 1988 as Patrick Michaels by only showing his Scenario A when reality has been between Scenarios B and C (also discussed in my book).

    The mere fact that those figures made it into the final paper means it either wasn’t reviewed by anyone who knows anything about climate science, or that the comments by any such expert reviewers were ignored. It’s garbage. Something I’d expect to see (and have) in a Monckton blog post on WUWT, but an embarrassment for any journal to have published.

  17. Dana,
    Yes, I also had a quick look through WUWT and couldn’t find any mention either. I was quite surprised as WUWT usually promotes anything that suggests climate sensitivity might/is be low. This is paper is clearly very dumb, but that’s the norm for WUWT. Maybe Anthony just hasn’t had time to put it up yet?

  18. verytallguy says:

    Well, you tried being serious in your responses to Richard Tol a thread or two back. Look where that got you…

    Silliness is the way forward, except in the miltary, of course

  19. dana1981 says:

    I hadn’t realised the others were quite that silly

    Willie Soon will say anything that will benefit any industry fighting against any environmental regulation. He’s made a career out of it. And of course he published the silly Soon & Baliunas paper.

    David Legates teamed up with Monckton to publish another WUWT blogpost-like ‘paper’ attacking the Cook et al. 97% consensus paper. It was nearly as silly as this one.

    William Briggs advertises himself as “statistician to the stars!”. It doesn’t get much sillier than that.

  20. BBD says:

    Yes but hyperthermals 🙂

    Falsified in three words.

    (With a nod to VTG).

  21. dana1981 says:

    Maybe Anthony just hasn’t had time to put it up yet?

    Maybe. Watts also has a huge man-crush on Monckton and will usually post anything from him. Side note – I was once in the room when Monckton and Watts met in person in California (a presentation Monckton gave to California state senators to try and dissuade them from voting for climate legislation – except only 4 showed up, and the climate bill passed). As I recall, Watts beamed and cried out “Moncky!”.

    That being said, even Watts should be able to see how transparently stupid and wrong this paper is. He might be smart enough to realize that pushing it will do the deniers more harm than good. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see a WUWT post about it in the near future, because this is Moncky after all.

  22. verytallguy says:

    There’s more to this than I realised:

    Turns out Chris Monckton

    was actually in Monty Python:

  23. John Hartz says:

    Here’s my submission for the alternate title competition…

    “There’s physics…and then there’s Monckton”

  24. John Mashey says:

    That a Monckton-led paper is junk is not a surprise. But if people know any of the following, they might ask them if they are proud to have their names associated with a journal that publishes this:.
    Note that about half are located outside China, and the Exec Editor for Earth Sciences is in UK.

    http://www.scibull.com:8080/EN/column/column132.shtml
    Xao-Ya Chen(Life & Medical Sciences)
    Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

    Executive Editors
    Yaoling Niu (Earth Sciences)
    Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, UK
    Associate Editors
    The Earth Sciences section:
    Wolfgang Bach Department of Geosciences, University of Bremen, Germany
    Paterno R. Castillo Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, USA
    Xiao-Long Huang Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
    Sanzhong Li Department of Marine Geosciences, Ocean University of China, China
    Shuguang Song School of Earth and Space Science, Peking University, China
    Fang-Zhen Teng Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, USA
    Yang Wang National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, USA
    Chun-Ming Wu College of Earth Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
    Xunlai Yuan Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
    Lingsen Zeng Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, China
    Zhidan Zhao School of Earth Science and Resources, China University of Geosciences, China
    Yan Zheng City University of New York at Queens College and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, USA
    Shiyuan Zhong Department of Geography, Michigan State University, USA
    Yongguan Zhu Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

  25. John Hartz says:

    John Mashey:

    Are you telling us that the international Climate Denieal Spin Machine has now set up shop in China?

  26. Yvan Dutil says:

    I have not touched control loop for over 20 years, but the loop gain is defined for a specific loop period. Setting below 0,1, is just a general rule of thumb, but it could be any value, it is just a matter of system design.

  27. Yvan Dutil says:

    By the way, I forgot gain is only one part of the equation. Most control systems are PID (Proportional, integral, differential) normally. Single gain only apply to proportional system.

  28. BBD says:

    Interesting to hear from Willie Soon again so recently after his foray into bivalve proxies.

  29. Magma says:

    I thought the key ‘finding’ of Monckton et al. (2015) was the comforting (and wholly unsupported) conclusion that “combustion of all recoverable fossil fuels will cause < 2.2 K global warming to equilibrium." I stopped reading there.

    But acidified oceans aside, wouldn't that be nice?

  30. Rob Nicholls says:

    Thanks ATTP. I’m really grateful that you went through this paper in such detail and I admire your dedication. I just skimmed through it when you pointed it out yesterday, and although I spotted a few funny things, and although I like science fiction just as much as the next guy, I realised I didn’t have the skill or the heart to trudge through it all. Part of the conclusion was hilarious enough to convince me that it’s nonsense: “Suppose, for instance, that the equilibrium response to a CO2 doubling is, as the simple model credibly suggests it is, <1 K…Then, the total warming we shall cause by consuming all remaining recoverable reserves will be little more than 2.2 K, and not the 12 K imagined by IPCC on the RCP 8.5 scenario." (Wouldn't that be great, hey? Shame it's just wishful thinking contradicted by a mountain of evidence). I was wondering whether the peer reviewers had just had a bad day. I suspect WUWT might report on this in due course, unless Anthony Watts has started to reject the most obvious rubbish (I haven't been over to WUWT for a while). Let's see if this "Science Bulletin" earns the dubious accolade of accepting a paper even Anthony couldn't stomach. It'll be a dead cert for the next NIPPC report, though.

  31. Rob Nicholls says:

    Typo in my last comment…I meant “NIPCC”, not “NIPPC”. There are enough such organisations around already without me inventing more.

  32. pbjamm says:

    If WUWT does not post and article about this PUBLISHED paper on climate science doesnt that imply that Mr Watts does not really believe Monckton et al to be an experts on the subject?

  33. But if people know any of the following, they might ask them if they are proud to have their names associated with a journal that publishes this:.

    I find it more surprising that Springer is the co-publisher of that journal

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11434-014-0699-2

  34. BBD says:

    I was wondering whether the peer reviewers had just had a bad day.

    Or a really, really good lunch, if you know what I mean.

  35. Did the process designer also design the economy with a g < 0.1 so that it does not immediately explode as soon as one introduces a little renewable energy? If not, why not?

  36. Eli Rabett says:

    The watchword on how to analyze this sort of crap is to look where they declare that if pigs were horses cows would fly. Attack at the assumptions. Way to go ATTP

    Also a fine strategy for readers of the Economist and Tol.

  37. numerobis says:

    I thought the key ‘finding’ of Monckton et al. (2015) was the comforting (and wholly unsupported) conclusion that “combustion of all recoverable fossil fuels will cause < 2.2 K global warming to equilibrium." I stopped reading there.

    But acidified oceans aside, wouldn't that be nice?

    OK, let’s inject a tiny bit of science in this thread. I’ve heard this argument from a few deniers, that we don’t need to do anything to reduce our fossil fuel usage because even if we burn it all over the next century, we’ll only get to [insert small number here] ppm CO2 (and CO2 doesn’t do anything and warming is good and Al Gore is fat, but let’s ignore that part).

    My understanding is that this is bullshit, but does anyone have any actual knowledge about this?

  38. numerobis says:

    I mean, one obvious counter to that is that if true, then we’d better figure out how to get off a fossil-fuel economy before we run out. But I want to stick to the ppm-if-we-burn-everything bit.

  39. Pingback: Media coverage of a dubious paper | Musings on Quantitative Palaeoecology

  40. John Hartz says:

    Just when you thought the news couldn’t get any worse, along comes…

    Humans are “eating away at our own life support systems” at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years by degrading land and freshwater systems, emitting greenhouse gases and releasing vast amounts of agricultural chemicals into the environment, new research has found.

    Two major new studies by an international team of researchers have pinpointed the key factors that ensure a livable planet for humans, with stark results.

    Of nine worldwide processes that underpin life on Earth, four have exceeded “safe” levels – human-driven climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land system change and the high level of phosphorus and nitrogen flowing into the oceans due to fertiliser use.

    Rate of environmental degradation puts life on Earth at risk, say scientists by Oliver Milman, The Guardian, Jan 15, 2015

    How the heck is the human race going to successfully deal with four major existential threats simultaneously?

  41. Andrew Dodds says:

    numerobis –

    The problem is the amount of Coal.

    Oil and Gas are of limited availability – to the extent that it’s fairly easy to show that they won’t scale to a whole world using European amounts, never mind US amounts per capita. So.. if we stuck to just those, we’d probably not exceed 500ppm (although full exploitation of unconventional sources might derail that).

    Coal is different – reliable data is hard to come by, but it seems like we have enough to totally fry the planet (technical term). If we try to use coal to replace gas and oil – which is technically possible – and start doing things like underground coal gasification to bring sub-sea coal into play.. let’s not think about that. I suspect we could reach 1000ppm.

    The sad thing is that coal is the easiest of the fossil fuels to phase out – simply* replace coal electric plant with nuclear plants and you get rid of 90% of coal burning at a stroke; had we done this from the mid-1980s when AGW became obvious as a problem we’d be over half way to fixing the problem by now.

    *For a given value of ‘simple’, YMMV.

  42. Andrew Dodds says:

    John H –

    Yes, the human impact on the nitrogen and phosphorous cycles is disturbing to say the least..

    In my more cornucopian flights of fancy I do wonder if we should be looking at the idea of direct food synthesis. At the very least, culturing food in vats.. it may not sound appetizing, but if the alternative is planet-wide industrial farming then it’s something we should be investigating.

  43. victorpetri says:

    @Eli
    What’s wrong with readers of the Economist, or implicitly, what’s wrong with the Economist?

  44. victorpetri says:

    @Andrew
    The horn of plenty sounds much more appetizing than the vat of plenty.

  45. victorpetri says:

    @John
    Bleh, typical Guardian piece, commenters are trying to outdo each other in hyperbole about mankind the parasite, the cancer, the bacteria in a petri dish and the growth addict, which are repeated endlessly across 100s of comments. They blabber on about overpopulation, corporations, capitalism, religion and globalism, whilst patting each other on the back for not having children and lamenting those that do. They think they display intellectual superiority by looking down on mankind, each trumping the other in how depressed they are about mankind’s sorry nature. They think they all are brave taboo breakers because in contrast with the political elite they lay the blame on overpopulation, were it high fertility rates in the developing world, but better still, with those greedy overconsuming first world people.

    Meanwhile, people have it much better than ever, do they know this at all? What we have done to planet Earth so far, in spite of all dire warnings for centuries on, has been enormously beneficial to our well being. I will not state that the future will be fine, but when will we ever not see bears on the road ahead?

  46. harrytwinotter says:

    So Monckton, Soon, Legates & Briggs managed to build a straw man of the earth’s climatic system, in a manner of speaking? 🙂

  47. John says:

    Est: You see, Vlad? There seems to be a “pause” in the depth of this hole. I believe we could keep digging forever and it still wouldn’t get much deeper.
    Vlad: Still in denial, are you?
    Est: Shh! Did you hear something? Sounds like Monckto and Wottsy.
    Monckto: Pip, pip, boys! Cheerio! What are you two going on about?
    Vlad: We’ve been having a heated debate, Lord Monckto.
    Monckto: On matters scientific? Perhaps I can be of some assistance, gents – I am, of course, the personal scientific adviser to the Queen. I rather fancy myself a modern day Galileo.
    Vlad: No you’re not!
    Est: All right, well, Vlad here seems to think these shovels are making the hole deeper.
    Monckto: Hah! What utter poppycock! You see, if you subtract the differential from the fractal superliosis, and multiply it by the price of jam in Central London, it becomes quite obvious that this hole doesn’t even really exist. Perhaps you should get your eyes checked, Vlad.
    Vlad: Huh?
    Monckto: Why, just have a look at my Magical Chart! See, if we assume a zero value for the hole, then the hole must have a zero value. From this, we can infer that Hole Depthability is no greater and 0.0000013 Units. QED. It’s all quite simple really.
    Est: That’s the best scientific analysis I’ve ever seen. Another winner, Monckto!
    Vlad: I think it’s B#$&%t.
    Monckto: How dare you challenge me, you fascist tramp! I’ll drag you before the Magistrate for that, you filthy little Hitler Youth.
    Vlad: What? Where did that come from?
    Monckto: Commie!
    Vlad: Commie?
    Monckto: Wottsy! Hand me my great coat and pith helmet!. I’m over-tired, and feel like retiring to the House of Lords for a cup of tea. Of course, we’ll have to sneak in the back way…
    Vlad: Good riddance.
    Monckto: Oh, don’t worry… I’ll be back! Cheers, boys!

  48. milopete says:

    VPetri, that’s all very interesting but what’s your point?
    Is it not possible that in recent decades both material circumstances have to a small degree improved for a large number of impoverished people AND we are degrading the planet and it’s life support systems at the same time? Can you not deal with those two facts at once?
    BTW, in 2010 an estimated 1.2 billion people lived in absolute poverty (The Economist). That’s more than the entire population of the world in 1850. So there are now more people at near-starvation level or below than were even alive 170 years ago. Progress!

  49. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    and there we go again

    if we believe some of the regulars here, some stuff cannot be criticized because it was published in a peer-reviewed journal whereas other stuff can be …

    internal consistency is a great good

  50. milopete says:

    its not it’s. I hate that.

  51. milopete says:

    Tol, “some stuff cannot be criticised because it was published in a peer-reviewed journal”. What???

  52. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    @milopete
    Just re-read some of the many discussions on 97% consensus. Key arguments: It’s peer-reviewed so off-limits & you can’t critique a journal paper on a blog.

    Guess what the same people are doing now.

  53. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Sorry, there was a third argument: If you mock a published academic, that shows you’re biased, and everything you say is invalid.

  54. Marco says:

    Richard Tol, please provide evidence for your claims that
    a) some regulars here argued that a peer reviewed article cannot be criticized
    b) that some regulars here claimed you cannot critique a journal paper on a blog
    c) that some regulars here claimed that mocking a published academic shows you are biased and therefore everything you say is invalid.

    I am not holding my breath.

  55. verytallguy says:

    Richard Tol,

    what a delight to find you offering your wisdom once more, it’s a real privilege to have such jewels to mentally admire.

    But what disappointment that you never followed up on your promise to look in the mirror and reflect on what you see!

    I think you were going to start by inspiring us with your journey of personal improvement driven by this if I remember rightly?

    http://frankackerman.com/tol-controversy/

  56. Andrew Dodds says:

    @Tol

    If you mock a published academic without being able to show that their work is wrong, then that is a good indicator of bias.

    However, mocking an academic who published papers of awful quality, was incapable of making or defending a position even in blog comments, threatened people with libel suits for criticizing, and generally flounced around like a prima donna on a bad hair day.. that would look fair game to me.

  57. BBD says:

    It depends on what the published academic is being mocked for, Richard. For example, if it is their frequently risible contributions to online discussions, well fair game.

  58. verytallguy says:

    If you mock a published academic…

    But what academic could ever give us grounds to mock them?

    I cannot imageine such a situation arising. Not with present company, leastways.

    http://andrewgelman.com/2014/05/27/whole-fleet-gremlins-looking-carefully-richard-tols-twice-corrected-paper-economic-effects-climate-change/

  59. victorpetri says:

    @milopete
    On the other hand, we have 12 million millionaires. That’s more than the estimated population at 6000BC,
    So you better look at relative numbers, not absolute ones (although absolute number of poor and malnurished people have been falling rapidly in the last couple of decades).

    The point is, that far for degrading our surroundings, the alterations caused by us have greatly improved our well being. We have transformed the Earth to be much more energy and resource rich, and much less life threatening (hence population growth and hence this enormous improvements in well being). Changing woodland to farmland, using fossil fuels, laying down roads, erecting buildings (and shelters) and all that, have for a large part been “degrading the planet”, but also improved the lives of many.

  60. BBD says:

    We’ve been through this in detail already vp, and your arguments were junk the last time. Let’s not have a re-run. It’s tedious.

  61. John says:

    Sorry, that should be “Wattsy”, not “Wottsy” – I didn’t mean to imply that you were holding Monckto’s pith helmet, ATTP.

  62. Andrew Dodds says:

    @vp

    If I stop saving, remortgage for a longer term, cash out the retirement plan and sign up for a few credit cards then I can appear far wealthier than I do now (and continue to do so for years). Is this a good long term plan, though?

    Stocks of fossil fuels and biosphere services are just that. And whilst there is a case for expending some of this lump sum for improving our lot right now, we should really be looking at using it to create long term ‘income streams’ as it were. Fair analogy?

  63. milopete says:

    VP
    “So you better look at relative numbers, not absolute ones”
    Why? Isn’t the absolute number of people starving more important than the relative number?

    “far for degrading our surroundings, the alterations caused by us have greatly improved our well being”
    You elide blatantly from “surroundings” to “well being”. They are of course not the same thing. You are avoiding the issue (again).

    “Changing woodland to farmland, using fossil fuels, laying down roads, erecting buildings (and shelters) and all that, have for a large part been “degrading the planet”, but also improved the lives of many.”
    Why the quotes around degrading the planet. In important respects, we are, clearly. You just can’t face it, can you?

    Approximately half of the planet (c3 billion people) survive on $2.5 a day or less. One in every two people. Exactly what are you celebrating?

  64. victorpetri says:

    @Andrew,
    With investment, it can make sense to create debts now, e.g. to pay for a college education.

    Furthermore, it assumes the current condition is acceptable, expending ‘lump sum’ now to improve the lot of over a billion poor people seems a worthy cause.

    Finally, the lump sum assumes a static fossil fuel amount, where it is not, the amount of fossil fuel is both a function of human knowledge (technology) and its price. Despite our consumption, fossil fuels have actually become less scarce with time

    and we have more years left of it as time go by:

  65. victorpetri says:

    @milopete
    The relative numbers are important, as is shown by my millionaire comment, also it is the way to compare how ‘good’ a society is, i.o.w. Being born now or being born in 1850, how long would you live on average, what chance did you have to be poor or be malnourished, what chance would you have to die before the age of 5 or when giving birth, what chance did you have to die due to violence or war, that kind of questions.
    I quoted the degrading planet, because it is a quote… from you… In important aspects, we surely are degrading it, question remains, has this degradation been detrimental for our well being.
    Has, for example, cutting almost all primal forest in Europe been positive or negative for Europeans.

  66. victorpetri says:

    @milopete
    “One in every two people. Exactly what are you celebrating?”
    We are celebrating that it used to be much worse.

  67. BBD says:

    Peddle much, victorpetri?

  68. BBD says:

    Or put another way, WTF do your junk arguments have to do with Monckton’s crap paper?

  69. if we believe some of the regulars here, some stuff cannot be criticized because it was published in a peer-reviewed journal whereas other stuff can be …

    I suspect what Richard is referring to is discussions that were had many moons ago, when some suggested that if he wanted his critique of Cook et al. (2013) to be taken seriously, he should publish it. As should be obvious to anyone who thinks about this for more than a nano-second, that’s not the same as “cannot be criticised”. Even “cannot be criticised ” is silly, because clearly it can. Maybe it should be “shouldn’t be”, but it’s hard to see why (free speech and all that). What probably shouldn’t happen is senior academics tweeting pictures of their critics with Jedwards’ hair photoshopped onto their critic’s head. Also, senior academics probably shouldn’t consort with mouthy PhD students from Arizona who think that the appropriate way to critique someone else’s work is to accuse them of fraud and misconduct (and who appears not to understand the concept of a consensus).

    Sorry, there was a third argument: If you mock a published academic, that shows you’re biased, and everything you say is invalid.

    This probably refers to this post, where I applauded Richard’s behaviour towards John Cook and the consensus paper. Of course, I’m not quite sure where he gets “everything you say is invalid”. Projection? Additionally, I would argue that Richard’s obsession with John Cook and the consensus project is significantly different to people here mocking a nonsensical paper by Christopher Monckton and colleagues. Bear in mind that Richard himself has accepted that the result of the consensus project is almost certainly close to be correct, while Monckton et al. (2015) is clearly bollocks.

  70. verytallguy says:

    ATTP

    while Monckton et al. (2015) Tol 2014 is clearly bollocks.

    corrected for you

    Refs

    Richard Tol (blog)

    “There is no doubt in my mind that the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans. I have very little reason to doubt that the consensus is indeed correct.”

    Richard Tol (Tol 2014)

    “A claim has been that 97% of the scientific literature endorses anthropogenic climate change (Cook et al., 2013. Environ. Res. Lett. 8, 024024). This claim, frequently repeated in debates about climate policy, does not stand.”

    #FreetheTol300

  71. Eli Rabett says:

    VP,if you read the Economist, or Tol for that matter you get an argument that goes, if……therefore…..

    The problem is always in the if.

  72. Joshua says:

    If anyone thought that Tol actually contributes comments of value to blogs, then let them look at this”

    ==> “if we believe some of the regulars here, some stuff cannot be criticized because it was published in a peer-reviewed journal whereas other stuff can be …”

    And consider that Richard actually believes that’s a valid argument. What kind of thinking leads Richard to believe that’s a valid argument?

    Pekka seems to think that Richard’s blog comments add value. I find that Richard’s blog comments are pretty much universally that bad.

  73. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    @Josh
    I’ll take that as a compliment.

  74. Richard,

    I’ll take that as a compliment.

    I’ve no idea why you would. It clearly wasn’t meant as one, and is a view held by many. Why not try to actually think a little before posting a comment? You clearly can’t be stupid enough to really believe what you’ve been saying on this thread (right?). The alternative, is that you’re just trying to be disruptive and difficult. It’s fine for you to do that. I don’t really mind. But if that is what you’re doing, then people are going to interpret you blog contributions as Joshua has.

  75. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    @Wotts
    I see the confusion. [Mod : redacted]

  76. John Hartz says:

    Richard S.J. Tol :

    How does the GWPF propose to help the poor of the world become healthy, wealthy, and wise?

    Will international cooperation and agreement be required to bring about this transformation?

  77. Richard,
    Ahh, okay, yes I assumed you were referring to Joshua as “Josh”.

  78. victorpetri says:

    @Eli
    Don’t understand what you mean at all.
    If… therefor..
    Do you mean they are not direct enough in their opinion? Or perhaps evading certain truths?
    Is this your critique on readers of the economist as well?

  79. verytallguy says:

    Richard,

    regretfully, given your most unfortunate delay in coming back to us with your wisdom on what you see looking in the mirror, I’ve felt the need to have a quick look elsewere.

    Here’s what Andrew Gelman saw:

    1. A stubborn refusal on your part to even consider you could have made an error;
    2. A lack of command of the literature on which you are considered an expert …
    3. A continuing pattern to dismiss valid criticism, a pattern that is continuing today.

    Ouch!

    But I guess your introspection was probably much more profound.

    Please share it. We’re waiting. Breath bated.

    Refs:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Gelman

    http://andrewgelman.com/2014/05/27/whole-fleet-gremlins-looking-carefully-richard-tols-twice-corrected-paper-economic-effects-climate-change/#comment-168245

  80. vp,
    I think what Eli means (correct me if I’m wrong, Eli) is that in any study one needs to make some initial assumptions (the “ifs”). His suggestion is that if you look at the assumptions used in economics they tend to be problematic and hence bring into question what one concludes from the study (the “then”).

  81. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    @victor
    [Mod : edited]Eli refers to the contingent structure of public economics: If we assume A then B is the best course of action.

    I guess a lot of economists would, like I would, take pride in that B logically follows from A; but would less stock in A. That is, we’d just as happily argue that if we assume A’ then B’ is the best course of action.

    In fact, I would argue that it is for the electorate to choose between A and A’.

  82. Peter Jacobs says:

    ATTP,

    Richard Tol is remarkably adept at getting you to talk to and about Richard Tol.

    Almost everything he writes in his comments is either a blatant misrepresentation of something you supposedly said, some other kind of strawman, something to derail the conversation, something irrelevant, or all of the above.

    He is setting the tune and you are dancing his dance.

    It is of course your “house” so to speak, and I am not suggesting that you ignore everything he ever writes. But perhaps you might want to focus on the comments he makes that actually represent people’s positions fairly and have some point to them, if and when he ever makes one?

  83. Richard,
    What if A is “assume global GDP will continue to grow at 3% pa”. How can the electorate choose that?

  84. Peter,
    Sound advice. I’m currently involved in a telecon where I don’t really have anything to say (listening to those who do) so don’t have much else better to do 🙂

  85. Andrew Dodds says:

    @vp

    If we really had 1.4 trillion barrels of proven oil reserves, that would imply a production capability in the region of 70 billion barrels per year, or over twice reality.

    The reason for this mismatch is the problem with reporting, it’s not actually valid to add proven reserve figures together just as it’s not valid to add prospective resource figures together. But that requires some familiarity with the subject.

    Doesn’t change my argument, in any case.

    The difference between a cornucopian – which seems to be your position – and a theoretical cornucopian – which I call my position – is that I do not regard a conucopian outcome as simple, or even likely. Just possible. Whereas you seem to casually dismiss any inconvenient issues..

  86. John Hartz says:

    [Mod : Let’s not prompt discussions that won’t be particularly constructive.]

  87. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    @Wotts
    The rate of economic growth is a B rather than an A.

  88. jsam says:

    The world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change conspiracy theories is running with it.
    http://www.donotlink.com/d8gi

  89. Richard,
    That doesn’t really answer the question I asked. According to this growth is more an A than a B.

  90. jsam says:

    Economists make good sea lions. Which reminds me, I must go to the fishmonger today.
    http://wondermark.com/1k62/

  91. Marco says:

    ATTP, if those are indeed the examples he has, perhaps it is time to agree Tol is just trolling. I know I have once been moderated (quite some time ago) for suggesting the latter (arguably in a more mocking tone – and I am not complaining about the moderation), but this is just getting silly.

    But perhaps Tol can remove that impression by providing some evidence?

    (not holding my breath)

  92. jsam,
    Wow, I really had thought that this one may be even too bonkers for WUWT. Yes, I know, I’m naive and continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.

  93. Peter Jacobs says:

    [Mod : Since this refers to a comment that I moderated, I’ll moderate this one too.]

  94. verytallguy says:

    @Wotts (see what I did there? Smart, aren’t I?)

    Ahh, okay, yes I assumed you were referring to Joshua as “Josh”.

    No, just, showing how clever it is to “reveal” the alter egos of weblog contributors. The sort of thing only a senior academic could manage, not just any old troll.

  95. jsam says:

    ATTP – paraphrasing Mencken, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    There is a market for Soon, Monckton, Legates and, my favourite, “Numerologist to the Stars”, Briggs.

    There is nought less sceptical than a “climate sceptic”.

  96. John Hartz says:

    [Mod: refers to a deleted comment]

  97. toby52 says:

    Surely this headline:

    Peer-reviewed pocket-calculator climate model exposes serious errors in complex computer models and reveals that Man’s influence on the climate is negligible

    … from the Science Bulletin (formerly Chinese Science Bulletin) “the Orient’s equivalent of Science or Nature.” ..

    .. must be up there with any legendary headline you can think of like Russian Expert predicts a New Ice Age or Oil-funded Senator says Global Warming a Hoax. Not sure if the 2nd one really happened!

  98. Joshua says:

    What’s unfortunate about Richard’s blog input, is that this kind of argument:

    ==> “if we believe some of the regulars here, some stuff cannot be criticized because it was published in a peer-reviewed journal whereas other stuff can be …”

    Reflects what we see in the climate wars more generally. It’s part of a larger group of similar arguments, but in this case it’s an argument that makes no serious attempt that taking alternative views seriously. It is clearly a willful misrepresentation of counterarguments for rhetorical purposes.

    We all do this to some extent, but what we have here is someone who (1) does this almost universally in his blog comments, (2) contributes material that is looked to more widely in the public discussions related to climate change and, (3) is given quite a bit of attention for his expressions of concern about poor reasoning (5) often expresses concern about the counterproductive effects of “advocacy,” and (5) given quite a bit of attention w/r/t his arguments about the counterproductive effects of “advocacy.”

    In a nutshell, Richard’s blog participation should, IMO, serve as an excellent object lesson for why so little progress is made in the climate wars despite the input of people who, are seriously attempting to move the discussion of climate change forward. It is unfortunate that for Richard, and many other folks as well, moving the discussion forward looks like tribalism and fallacious argumentation.

  99. I think it is important to treat CO2 as a leading indicator of all of the athro GHG gases. In that case, the TCR is closer to 2C and this constant negotiating downward for a low CO2 value can stop. So if someone decides to publish a TCR for CO2 alone, it really needs to be followed with the effective values for CH4, N2O, O3, and all the halocarbons. If they do not do this they are not acting in good faith.

  100. Joshua says:

    Sorry for the jumbled numbering in the list. I started with only 2 items but couldn’t get through the paragraph without adding more. 🙂

  101. verytallguy says:

    Joshua,

    seriously, Richard Tol’s blog participation tells you about nothing more than Richard Tol.

  102. verytallguy says:

    WHT,

    If they do not do this they are not acting in good faith

    TCR is defined as the CO2 response. The RCPs contain the other GHGs as CO2e

    There is plenty of bad faith in the climatosphere, lots of it in this thread indeed, but not in the definiton of TCR.

    Perhaps if you want your model to be taken seriously, you should publish it? The review process would be very useful to your thinking.

  103. victorpetri says:

    Thanks for clarifying,

    I am not aware that the Economist makes assumptions that are problematic or unrealistic and I can more often than not agree with their logical reasoning following it.

    @Andrew
    The graph show 30 billion BoO production, ~45 years of reserves left (and climbing), and I do think this changes your argument, it shows that you should not consider fossil fuels as a static system. a bank containing a total amount X from with you make continuous withdrawals. Rather, it is a dynamic system where increasing technology will allow the total amount X to grow with time, as of yet, faster than we have been withdrawing.
    Whether we will or want to burn it all is a whole different matter all together.

  104. vtg,

    TCR is defined as the CO2 response. The RCPs contain the other GHGs as CO2e

    I might suggest changing that to “TCR is formally a model metric where the only change is a doubling of CO2. The RCPs contain the other GHGs as CO2e.”

  105. Joshua,

    Pekka seems to think that Richard’s blog comments add value. I find that Richard’s blog comments are pretty much universally that bad.

    You must be referring to the single case, where I proposed that. In most cases I consider that unlikely. His way of commenting leads to that even in cases, where I do think that he has a valid point.

    Economic factors are of essential importance, but the problems in applying economics to climate change are really difficult. We should be able to compare long term paths of development that result from different near term decisions taking into account huge uncertainties in estimates of technology development and all kind of adaptation, and we should agree on the way intergenerational justice and other distributional issues are taken into account in that (discounting is just an unsatisfactory partial solution). Richard has a lot of knowledge on these issues, but his conclusions depend on choices that many other environmental and development economists do not accept. His way of commenting does not help much in learning about these issues or the arguments he has in support of his views.

  106. Morbeau says:

    Entertainingly, according to Monckton et al’s second graph, they’ve shown that The Pause no longer exists.

  107. Joshua says:

    VTG –

    We’ll have to agree to disagree.

    It adds no value – but I think it is meaningful that someone who carries some weight in the public discussion so regularly engages in such vacuous dreck.

  108. VictorPetri put up some numbers regarding oil reserves. It’s clear that the world has extracted over half of the easily recoverable high-grade crude oil reserves (URR). The future prospects remain in the low-grade heavy or unconventional oil reserves.

    Two issues come up considering the unconventional reserves, both centering on the low energy return on energy invested (EROI) that the low-grade quality of oil provides us with.

    It may be that EROI values approaching unity (from highs of 20-100 in the past) will make these reserves economically unviable, so that most of it may remain in the ground. However, if technology advances that EROI values just above unity are still effective, the amount of wasted energy will act as a significant multiplier to our current fossil-fuel combustion levels. So that for every barrel of oil that gets extracted, effectively one or more equivalent barrels of oil might be combusted to aid in its recovery. In other words, waste heat from fossil fuels contributing to more GHGs

    More that I have written here

    This is what has geophyicists such as Raymond Pierrehumbert concerned about the future.

  109. Joshua says:

    Pekka –

    I would say that those singular cases can’t really be isolated. IMO, the net worth of those singular cases is derived within the larger, real-world context.

    The same is true for his work in economics. His work in economics exists within a context that include the vacuous reasoning he displays in his blog comments. It exists with the context of his being an advocate even as he grandstands about the damage he attributes to the corrupting influence of advocacy.

    And further – to the extent that his economic analysis is considered by some as conclusive, then the vacuous dreck he engages in here must, I think, inform us about the probabilities related to his choices in subjective decision-making as it plays out in the near-term to long-term dynamic as you describe.

  110. verytallguy says:

    ATTP, yes, agree re TCR. I should think more and type less.

  111. verytallguy says:

    Joshua,

    it is perfectly possible for someone to be simultaneously a total arsehole and a genius who transforms our understanding of the world.

    http://io9.com/5877660/was-robert-hooke-really-sciences-greatest-asshole

    I would not, of course, suggest that Richard Tol was anything other than the latter.

  112. milopete says:

    VP says, “We are celebrating that it used to be much worse.”
    No it didn’t. Never in human history have there been so many people (3 billion) living in such abject poverty . The total world population didn’t even each 3 billion until 1900.
    You try to avoid this indisputable fact by switching to relative rather than absolute figures, which allow you to say: things are getting better. Which is the message you like.


  113. I might suggest changing that to “TCR is formally a model metric where the only change is a doubling of CO2. The RCPs contain the other GHGs as CO2e.”

    The first sentence is unfortunately not as precise as it can be, since it is well known that CO2 is a leading indicator of the other GHGs, and that it is virtually impossible to isolate CO2 by itself. For example, methane is know to be released during the fossil fuel extraction process and that it also has a positive feedback outgassing effect (from peat bogs for example) due to the warming effects of CO2. So it is impossible to emit just CO2, as the other GHGs go along for the ride.

    The second sentence is better as it does touch on the fact that the other GHGs can double along with CO2. My point really is that the skeptics make pains to avoid talking about that and focus on CO2 alone.

    My research area is unique in this regard in that I have spent just as much time studying the fossil fuel extraction process as I have aspects of climate science.

  114. Joshua says:

    VTG –

    I’m not talking about whether Richard’s an asshole. I’m sure that his family members love him very much.

    I’m talking about his reasoning, and what it means that someone who reasons as he does so often is given weight in the public discussion, and that reasoning such as that he displays so often is so ubiquitous in the public discussion.

  115. WHT,

    The first sentence is unfortunately not as precise as it can be, since it is well known that CO2 is a leading indicator of the other GHGs, and that it is virtually impossible to isolate CO2 by itself

    It could be more precise, but the point is that the TCR and ECS are formally “model metrics”, not real world numbers. Since they’re model metrics, you can clearly run a model in which the only change is CO2, and in which you increase CO2 at 1% per year.

    The formal definition from the IPCC is

    Global mean temperature change for 1%/yr CO2 increase with subsequent stabilisation at 2xCO2 and 4cCO2. …….The transient climate respons, TCR, is the temperature change at the time of CO2 doubling and the equilibrium climate sensitivity, T2x, is the temperature change after the system has reached a new equilibrium for doubled CO2, i.e., after the additional warming commitment has been realised.

    You can, of course, equate this to real world conditions, but this is normally done by comparing the change in anthropogenic forcing with what change in CO2 would produce the same change in radiative forcing. In an observationally based estimate of TCR, one would normally define it as the change in temperature when the change in anthropogenic forcing is the same as would occur if CO2, alone, were to double (i.e., 3.7 Wm-2).

  116. @dana1981
    ” even Watts should be able to see how transparently stupid and wrong this paper is.”

    Never overestimate Watts – he has posted an uncritical piece on it now.

  117. Joshua says:

    I mean really, just look at this again:

    ==> “if we believe some of the regulars here, some stuff cannot be criticized because it was published in a peer-reviewed journal whereas other stuff can be …”

    Richard actually believes that was a valid argument.

    Think about that.

    Someone who is considered to provide useful input into the public discussion of the economic implications of climate change thinks that is a valid argument.

    Someone who garners a lot of attention for his concern about advocacy among scientists thinks that is a valid argument.

  118. John Hartz says:

    ATTP:

    Reasoning with a propagandist like Tol is akin to pushing water up hill. It simply cannot be done.

  119. victorpetri says:

    @milopete
    So your account of the state of the world is that it is worse than ever?
    You are not making any sense, it is quite the norm to look at these matters in a relative sense.
    But, absolute numbers over poor people have been declining as well:

  120. vp,

    So your account of the state of the world is that it is worse than ever?

    No, I think you’re paraphrasing a bit too much. The argument that we’re better off know that we were in the 1800s (for example) because a smaller fraction live in poverty now than then, ignores that in absolutes terms there are more living in poverty now than then. It doesn’t have to be relative or absolute. We’re allowed to delve into the details.

    It would be nice if your graph had axis labels. The x-axis is presumably year, but the y-axis could be anything.

  121. richard telford,

    Never overestimate Watts – he has posted an uncritical piece on it now.

    Maybe that’s because people here were suggesting that this paper was even too dumb for Watts and he thought “How dare they suggest such a thing! I’ll show them that they couldn’t be more wrong!”.

  122. jsam says:

    East Asia and the Pacific account for the reduction in poverty. It would seem two centuries of fossil fuels have not helped South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. :-))
    http://ourworldindata.org/data/growth-and-distribution-of-prosperity/world-poverty/

    http://ourworldindata.org/data/growth-and-distribution-of-prosperity/world-poverty/

  123. fragmeister says:

    “It would be nice if your graph had axis labels. The x-axis is presumably year, but the y-axis could be anything.”

    The trends look suspiciously parallel too. Real world data does not tend to be so neat and tidy and one would expect that different parts of the world would change at different rates or times.

  124. I don’t think a paper that I write will have a chance of getting published. For my CSALT model, I straighten out the large (+/- 0.1C) variations in temperature by compensating against the historical LOD (length-of-day) variations. The scientists at NASA JPL lead by Jean Dickey are proponents of this approach, but they are geophycists and not climate scientists and likely will have the same issue in getting their idea widely accepted. I will ride on whatever limited coat-tails they have on this one.

    The outcome of applying the physics model of LOD variations is that a clear linear dependence of temperature change with the logarithm of estimated atmospheric CO2 is observed. See the chart I displayed about an hour ago.

  125. Joshua says:

    JH –

    ==> “Reasoning with a propagandist like Tol is akin to pushing water up hill. It simply cannot be done.”

    Seems to me that a propagandist would be someone who promotes arguments that they know are flawed. In turn, it would seem to me that in calling Richard a propagandist, you are masking assumptions about his motivations and his integrity.

    Consider another possibility. Consider that Richard actually believes that the following is a valid argument.

    ==> “if we believe some of the regulars here, some stuff cannot be criticized because it was published in a peer-reviewed journal whereas other stuff can be …”

    We’ve certainly other situations where Richard make similarly vacuous arguments. Many of them. And we’ve seen him defend such vacuous arguments.

    Consider that it isn’t that Richard is deliberately promoting arguments he knows are invalid. We don’t really have the evidence, I would argue, to support conclusions about his motivations. I would argue that the evidence he has is w/r/t his reasoning

  126. victorpetri says:

    @ATTP
    It doesn’t ignore it, I am trying to answer how good living is for the average person on planet Earth, which is better than ever.
    About a billion people have a car nowadays, meaning that there are as much people with cars as there were people in 1800, which is quite a useless comparison.
    Y axis are millions of people.

  127. Rachel M says:

    Work productivity is pretty low on a Friday, it seems.

  128. vp,

    It doesn’t ignore it, I am trying to answer how good living is for the average person on planet Earth, which is better than ever.

    Hmmm, so when Bill Gates earned that extra billion and the average wage of everyone in the country went up, we were all happier and wealthier as a result? You seem to failing into the same trap as those who think that all we need to do is continue to increase global GDP. To be clear, I’m not arguing against GDP growth, simply that simple metrics often hide a multitude of sins.

  129. victorpetri says:

    @attp
    I am well aware of that trap, the numbers I had shown have nothing to do with that, the enormous decline in relative poverty and malnourishment, as well as the fact that for the first time in history more than half of mankind is considered middle class, show that improvements are well distributed.

  130. BBD says:

    vp

    What you persistently ignore is that we cannot continue as a species to increase our net impact on the ecosystem as we have done up to now. Future incremental gains in human wellbeing will be increasingly hard to achieve – let alone maintain – in the face of the consequent ecosystem damage they cause (I include climate change impacts here).

    Your argument is incomplete and so fails.

  131. BBD says:

    Rachel

    Get back to work!

    🙂

  132. Andrew Dodds says:

    @vp

    I’m saying that the ‘reserves’ plot on your graph is invalid. You can either look at in detail and note that ‘proved reserves’ means completely different things in different places (so adding these values is pointless), or look at production levels which should relate strongly to ‘proved reserves’ as the term is defined, but blatantly don’t.

    It’s very little to do with technology. I advise you to check the figures you cite in a bit more detail.

  133. jsam says:

    vp –

    East Asia and the Pacific account for the reduction in poverty. It would seem two centuries of fossil fuels have not helped South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. :-))

    http://ourworldindata.org/data/growth-and-distribution-of-prosperity/world-poverty/

  134. Rachel M says:

    BBD,

    Get back to work!

    I’m trying to but people keep leaving comments! Next Friday afternoon I’m turning the comments off 🙂

  135. BBD says:

    Should have done it months ago.

    🙂

  136. Joshua says:

    ==> “Next Friday afternoon I’m turning the comments off”

    Will the world survive?

  137. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    @Pekka
    If someone wants me to teach them economics, they can enroll in my classes or buy my book.

    My intervention above is about hypocrisy.

  138. milopete says:

    VP
    “So your account of the state of the world is that it is worse than ever?”

    Well really I was responding were to your continued assertions that things are better than ever, which seems to be your only argument on this blog. You can only argue this if you choose your own metrics and definitions, which you love to do. What do we mean by “better”? So the proportion of people living in poverty is smaller than ever. That’s good. But the total number is larger than ever. That’s bad. You want to argue the good and ignore the bad.

    “You are not making any sense, it is quite the norm to look at these matters in a relative sense.”

    Really? As ATTP points out, I think you have to look at these matters in both senses.

    “But, absolute numbers over [sic] poor people have been declining as well”

    Well, firstly you cherrypick the time period for your graph. Yes, there has been a fall in the proportion in absolute poverty in the past several decades, a recent phenomena. Draw it back from say 300 years ago, pre the Industrial Revolution (a fair start point in the context of a climate change blog), and tell me if absolute numbers have been declining.
    Secondly a lot of the recent fall appears to be the move of some of those in absolute poverty ($1.25 a day or less) to something barely different ($2.50 a day). That might look like a roaring success from whatever comfy chair you sit in but forgive me for not breaking out the bunting and throwing the climate under a bus.

  139. BBD says:

    @ Richard

    My intervention above is about hypocrisy.

    Top cut out and keep RT comment of the week.

  140. Richard,

    My intervention above is about hypocrisy.

    I almost moderated your comment. I decided not to. I think you’re the last person who should be lecturing others about behaviour. None of your interventions about hypocrisy made the slightest bit of sense since they were entirely nonsensical interpretations of what others have said. I really assumed you were just playing the fool to wind people up. I really did not think you were stupid enough to actually believe your interpretations. It appears I was wrong.

  141. Andrew,

    Secondly a lot of the recent fall appears to be the move of some of those in absolute poverty ($1.25 a day or less) to something barely different ($2.50 a day). That might look like a roaring success from whatever comfy chair you sit in but forgive me for not breaking out the bunting and throwing the climate under a bus.

    Yes, I assumed that it was something like this. Millions of people in the developed world give (through outsourcing, I assume) a small amount of their wealth to hundreds of millions in the developing world to move them from extreme poverty, to not so extreme poverty. Not exactly a roaring success, but better than nothing.

  142. Sam Taylor says:

    As regards poverty levels, I’ve always felt a $/day measure was most unhelpful, since what a dollar buys you will change with time. Consumption based measures are surely closer to reality. Something like undernourishment as shown in the FAO’s hunger report (http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4030e.pdf). Although even they seem to change their methodology every few years, and enver include any error bars, which is most unhelpful. Of course such a measure misses quite a lot, including the fact that those living in poverty in the USA are more likely to be over than under nourished.

    Of course, the problem with growing GDP as a solution to world hunger is that continually growing GDP necesarilly involves impacting planetary systems on a never-before seen scale to our likely ultimate detrement. Ho hum.

  143. Brandon Gates says:

    ATTP,

    This paper is too mainstream for some over at WUWT. Even though the Dragon Slayers have been officially stomped out over there, one can still get away with thrashing “back radiation”. Monkers is actually responding to some critiques, and just the plain stupidly misinformed, with reasonably correct basics.

    Why Briggs would put his name on this paper boggles my mind. It’s just the sort of time series trend analyisis he scathingly critiques on a regular basis. Only difference I can see here is that the regression constant has been broken into multiple parts and filled in with IPCC-approved values. The plug number happens to look like good design practice.

  144. Joseph says:

    Rather, it is a dynamic system where increasing technology will allow the total amount X to grow with time, as of yet, faster than we have been withdrawing.

    So you are saying that oil is not a finite resource and that as long as the technology improves we will never run out?

    And take a look at the history of oil prices. I know the price has dropped lately due to falling demand, but if we continue the current historical trend and the economic growth return to a normal pace, the developing world won’t be able to afford it even if supply increases.

  145. Eli Rabett says:

    VP ATTP, not quite. It is trivial to construct a logically consistent statement starting from a set of assumptions designed to validate the statement, and indeed that is how good propagandists work. So to analyse such nonsense you start by looking at the assumptions.

    Freakenomics types are often of this ilk

    However, and of course, if you think the people uttering the idiocy are idiots, well, you can check the math for gremlins.

    On this scale, there are a few folk suffering from bad Dunning Krugar who think you are an idiot and they are a genius, so they just screw up the math anyhow. Some of those clowns are even IPCC WGII contributing lead authors with a whole six pack of gremlins.

  146. Eli Rabett says:

    [Mod: Sorry, this is a bit disrespectful]

  147. Eli Rabett says:

    Joseph, the issue is what the real cost of extracting the marginal barrel is both in terms of money and energy return. We are still well below the social cost of carbon on that with oil and unconventional oil.

  148. Layzej says:

    Hi @numerobis – “even if we burn it all over the next century, we’ll only get to [insert small number here] ppm CO2”

    The geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2 °CIt has been estimated that to have at least a 50 per cent chance of keeping warming below 2 °C throughout the twenty-first century, the cumulative carbon emissions between 2011 and 2050 need to be limited to around 1,100 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (Gt CO2). However, the greenhouse gas emissions contained in present estimates of global fossil fuel reserves are around three times higher than this2, and so the unabated use of all current fossil fuel reserves is incompatible with a warming limit of 2 °C. Here we use a single integrated assessment model that contains estimates of the quantities, locations and nature of the world’s oil, gas and coal reserves and resources, and which is shown to be consistent with a wide variety of modelling approaches with different assumptions to explore the implications of this emissions limit for fossil fuel production in different regions.

  149. John Hartz says:

    Remind me again… What is the topic of the OP of this thread?

  150. JH,
    I’m not really sure, but anything’s better than pretending that Monckton’s paper is actually worth discussing.

  151. John Hartz says:

    Out of curiosity, are “Punch ‘n Judy” puppet shows still popular in Europe?

    I remember watching them on the Ed Sullivan show when I was a kid.

  152. JH,
    No, I don’t think they are, but I don’t often visit typically seaside towns.

  153. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: i’m not sure why I thought of that show when I read the comments that were posted here while i was at the gym. The mind works in mysterious ways.

  154. John Hartz says:

    Joshua: Re Richard Tol’s objectivity, follow the money.

  155. Joshua says:

    Could be, JH. But that is a favored argument from “skeptics,” and I find that line of logic to be rather unskeptical.

  156. E. Swanson says:

    One problem with a “simple” model as described is that it is in essence a perturbation model. The authors’ claim that their feedback can’t exceed a certain value ignores the basic fact that the Earth radiates IR energy with a 4th power relationship to absolute temperature. Thus, the real system isn’t oscillating about some mean value of a variable, but is a highly non-linear system and the average “temperature” doesn’t capture the tremendous variation across the surface or the yearly cycle. The simple model can’t capture some of the other non-linear processes, such as the snow/ice/land and sea-ice/ocean albedo feed backs, and the impact of the oceans’ thermohaline circulation.

    Also, in their supplemental material, the authors mention ocean warming, claiming that there’s no way for surface warming to reach deep layers, while the near freezing temperatures below the thermocline are the result of both the geothermal heating and the replenishment of cold waters via the THC process. In other words, the deep layers could warm if the THC slows, reducing the replacement of the cold, deep waters, a process which their simple model can not address.

  157. John Hartz says:

    Joshua: In my book, a hired gun is a hired gun.

  158. E.Swanson,

    The authors’ claim that their feedback can’t exceed a certain value ignores the basic fact that the Earth radiates IR energy with a 4th power relationship to absolute temperature.

    I don’t really think this is the reason that it’s nonsense. It’s nonsense simply because they’re using engineering arguments to claim that the feedback has to be small and justifying it that historical variations are small relative to the absolute temperature.

    Also, in their supplemental material, the authors mention ocean warming, claiming that there’s no way for surface warming to reach deep layers, while the near freezing temperatures below the thermocline are the result of both the geothermal heating and the replenishment of cold waters via the THC process. In other words, the deep layers could warm if the THC slows, reducing the replacement of the cold, deep waters, a process which their simple model can not address.

    You’re correct that this is wrong. If we increase the energy in the climate system it will accumulate in the deep ocean. It might take a very long time, but it will eventually happen.

  159. verytallguy says:

    JU, 

    I believe the topic is”being silly” – why else would a serious academic here comment on the way Tol has?

    [Mod : I think I shall moderate the latter part of this comment, but you do make a good point above. Maybe Richard was just being silly because I’d suggested that that was appropriate for this thread.]

  160. John Hartz says:

    Joshua: Let me also remind you that it was the fossil fuel industry who, decades ago, turned thoughtful discussions about manamde climate change and what to do about it into a propaganda war. Their effort subesquently grew as political and religious ideologs came on board. That cabal is still waging a propganda war and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. In a propaganda war there are no rules — which is why I find “Climateball” to a be a rather silly distraction.

  161. BBD says:

    Yup. And this is Willie Soon.

  162. Joshua says:

    “Maybe Richard was just being silly because I’d suggested that that was appropriate for this thread.”

    In what way was Richard’s participation in this thread distinguishable from his participation in any other thread?

    He makes really, really bad arguments pretty much all the time. I mean really bad. Pretty much all the time.

    I find it implausible that he makes such bad arguments, so regularly, with intent of making bad arguments regularly. My guess is that he really thinks they are good arguments.

  163. Joshua,
    I was trying, for reasons I don’t quite understand, to give Richard an out that he was almost certainly not going to take.

    I find it implausible that he makes such bad arguments, so regularly, with intent of making bad arguments regularly. My guess is that he really thinks they are good arguments.

    Yes, I’m starting to think the same, which is quite remarkable. There are alternatives, but they may be even worse than the possibility that he thinks his bad arguments are actually good arguments.

  164. Joshua says:

    ==> “I was trying, for reasons I don’t quite understand, to give Richard an out that he was almost certainly not going to take.”

    Seems to me that you still have a hard time wrapping your head around the prospect of a respected academic making such bad arguments so regularly.

    It’s kind of fun to watch, actually. Didn’t Rachel post a cartoon of that Lucy/Charlie Brown trying to kick the football?

  165. Richard

    @Pekka
    If someone wants me to teach them economics, they can enroll in my classes or buy my book.

    Different ways of providing information are not mutually exclusive. What you do on the net is your choice, and my judgments on, how your contributions could be more useful are my judgments. I do, however, appreciate that many of the issues are complex enough to make it demanding to get them understood from full scientific papers, and that also for readers with fair background in economics.

    My intervention above is about hypocrisy.

    My comment was an answer to a comment of Joshua (not Eli), and referred to your comments more generally.

  166. Joshua,

    Seems to me that you still have a hard time wrapping your head around the prospect of a respected academic making such bad arguments so regularly.

    Indeed, I am still amazed by it. I shouldn’t be, though, because I work with people who do this all the time 😉

  167. I guess we’ll now be seeing his lordship claiming to be a published and peer-reviewed climate scientist, as well as an expert reviewer of IPCC reports. Will it enable him, I wonder, to request an increased fee next time he undertakes one of his public speaking tours in territories that are in awe of his upper-class presence? And, in spite of it’s conclusions, somewhat ironically, am I right in thinking that it also adds to the 97%?

    PS: I’m also loving the misplaced greengrocers’ apostrophe on the title for the WUWT post.

  168. verytallguy says:

    Spoilsport. It is Friday and it was a great likeness 🙂

  169. johnrussell40,

    And, in spite of it’s conclusions, somewhat ironically, am I right in thinking that it also adds to the 97%?

    Hmm, if he thinks feedbacks are negative, then I think it would fall outside the 97% since it would imply that less than half of the warming since 1950 was anthropogenic.

  170. Eli Rabett says:

    Eli will let Joshua handle Richard.

    Also allow Eli to associate his bunnyself with vtg

  171. Vinny Burgoo says:

    johnrussell40, ‘am I right in thinking that it also adds to the 97%?’

    Unlikely. The Cook et al classifiers would probably have found a way to bin it under 6.1, ‘Explicitly … minimises anthropogenic warming without putting a figure on it’, which would put in the 3%.

  172. verytallguy says:

    Vtg would be honoured.

    Perhaps somebunny should start a denier lookalike post

    http://www.private-eye.co.uk/mobi/sections.php?section_link=lookalikes

  173. Vinny Burgoo says:

    ATTP, the rated (as opposed to self-rated) 97% Cook consensus was for an unquantified anthropogenic contribution.

  174. Vinny,
    The rating classifications were the same, but let’s not start this again. It really is tedious.

    vtg,
    Yes, I did think of the private eye series after moderating your comment.

  175. dana1981 says:

    Never overestimate Watts – he has posted an uncritical piece on it now.

    Yes, I’ve once again overestimated Watts. To be fair, I’m not sure it’s possible to underestimate him. Certainly not his commenters, all of whom seem to have several screws loose.

    I do appreciate the unintentionally humorous comments provided here by Ricard Tol though. Always good for a laugh.

  176. Everett F Sargent says:

    CLAIM: … one of the world’s top six learned journals of science …

    Now whom do you suppose would use such language as “learned” to describe the Chinese Science Bulletin?

    A new IF index coming from none other than Monkeytown, UK?

  177. Vinny Burgoo says:

    ATTP, I agree that it’s tedious but you keep offering wrong interpretations of the Cook et al findings. (I might have done too in this case. I really can’t be arsed to read the paper again but I think the self-rated 97% – 96%? – consensus was also for an unquantified anthropogenic contribution. Perhaps dana1981 can clarify.)

  178. Vinny,
    Arrrrrgggghhhhh, I don’t care any more!

  179. jsam says:

    Vinny’s looking for his emergency parachute – the one he forgot to pack.

  180. Vinny Burgoo says:

    But you’re a scientist! You have to care bout the accurate representation of science – or even of Cook et al.

  181. But you’re a scientist! You have to care bout the accurate representation of science – or even of Cook et al.

    Not even Cook et al. think Cook et al. is science. I don’t care about Cook et al. I know that there is a very strong consensus that we are warming and that it is mostly us. Cook et al. was for those who don’t realise this, not for those who do. Plus I think the word “causing” means “causing”, but I don’t really want to argue about it specifically.

  182. Everett F Sargent says:

    Well, Willard Anthony Watts is playing with a full deck …

    … however, it did take 26 decks to assemble his deck of …

    … Jokers Wild!

    Signed,
    The 3.7% NonConsensus

  183. Vinny Burgoo says:

    ATTP, I’m lost for words. (No, don’t thank me. Really.)

  184. BBD says:

    Vinny

    Have you read Spencer Weart’s The Discovery of Global Warming?

    The history of climate science is the missing context in so much of the debate which is unfortunate as it is essential reading for all real sceptics.

    Our differences aside – this is a civilised ask – would you read it?

  185. Brandon Gates says:

    ATTP,

    I’m not really sure, but anything’s better than pretending that Monckton’s paper is actually worth discussing.

    Well the dissonance at WUWT over the standard bits of physics and IPCC approved constants in the paper is something I find quite interesting: https://archive.today/NJU5l#selection-10023.0-10018.3

    What I wouldn’t mind seeing discussed here a little more is why gt is not constrained to be small. It is intuitive to me — I believe the answer lies in the S-B relationship and equilbrium flux equations — but I don’t know how to explain that for myself to my own satisfaction.

  186. dana1981 says:

    In Cook et al. (2013) the self-rated consensus was 97.2% (with the 2.8% including papers that implicitly minimized the human contribution). The self-rated consensus among papers explicitly quantifying the human contribution was 96.1%.

  187. Brandon,

    What I wouldn’t mind seeing discussed here a little more is why gt is not constrained to be small.

    Assuming I understand your question, here is an attempt at an answer. Normally g is the fractional feedback response to the transient warming due some change in forcing. For example, if the change in forcing is 1 Wm-2 then the transient warming due solely to this change in forcing would be something like 0.2oC. This warming will produce feedbacks (water vapour, albedo changes due to melting ice, lapse rate, clouds) and if the radiative effect of these feedbacks if 0.5Wm-2 then g is 0.5 (i.e., 0.5/1).

    However, the warming due to the feedback produces, itself, a feedback with the same fractional relationship. Therefore to determine the final equilibrium change, the infinite sum is

    1 + g + g^2 + g^3 + g^4 + g^5 + ....  = \frac{1}{1-g}.

    Therefore, as long as g < 1 the sum converges and we don't undergo runaway warming. Of course, if g is close to 1, then of course the warming is substantial.

    In the absence of feedbacks a doubling of CO2 produces 1.2oC of warming. Therefore if g = 0.5, the inifinite sum converges to 1/(1-g) = 2, so the ECS is 2.4oC. An ECS of 3oC would imply g = 0.6.

    Hope that roughly answers your question.

    Addendum : If we consider a doubling of CO2 producing a change in forcing of 3.7Wm-2 and producing a change in temperature of 1.2K, then if g = 0.5, the feedback response f is 1.54 Wm-2K-1 (f = 3.7/1.2 \times 0.5 = 1.54). Therefore each 1K rise in temperature produces feedbacks that result in an additional 1.54Wm-2. Ultimately, however, the infinite sum converges to 2, and the net change will be a doubling of temperature from 1.2K to 2.4K.

  188. Dana,
    Yes, but Vinny is suggesting that the self raters rated their papers as endorsing the consensus as long as some as their paper assumed/concluded that some of the warming was anthropogenic, not most (> 50%) anthropogenic.

  189. Tom Curtis says:

    Anders:

    “Not even Cook et al. think Cook et al. is science.

    I think they would not think it is physical science (but who does?). They would think it was sociology, or possible social psychology and may well think that they are sciences (a common opinion). They would also certainly think that the survey was designed and conducted scientifically.

  190. Everett F Sargent says:

    So, the Chinese Science Bulletin use to look like this:

    The new (Chinese) Science Bulletin now looks like this:

    And Science currently looks like this:

    I’d say something else, but I don’t want to get in trouble.

  191. Rob Nicholls says:

    I did actually get my hopes up that perhaps Anthony Watts was filtering this paper out, but I suppose that would have been a rather unusual occurence.

  192. Vinny Burgoo says:

    BBD, probably not. I used to read two, three, even four books a week. But then I got broadband. It’s one or two books a year now. (Help! How do I switch this thing off?) Plus it looks like Weart’s book covers stuff I already accept and, probably, know.

    dana1981: Thanks.

  193. izen says:

    There is something deeply amusing to see Monckton of Brenchley having to defend his work from those at ‘theotherplace’ that think it is too closely tied into mainstream science.
    While here opinion is the obverse.
    Being somewhere in the middle…perhaps he is right!
    -GRIN-

  194. Steven Mosher says:

    “Just re-read some of the many discussions on 97% consensus. Key arguments: It’s peer-reviewed so off-limits & you can’t critique a journal paper on a blog.”

    Folks don’t make these arguments explicitly, but I defininately make them implicitly.

    When people criticize peer reviewed work, I will often tell them to go publish in a journal.
    What’s that mean?
    Well literally I havent made the argument in words that peer reviewed articles are “off limits” but it’s the effective result of the argument.

    If you have a problem with Monkton’s paper. Go publish a peer reviewed rebuttle.

    So perhaps being a bit more generous with Tol than you guys are I get the point of his observation.

    There are times where we ( I know I have) shut off discussions by telling the person to go publish.
    Go pick of your noble prize. etc. Operationally that comes down to “dont criticize peer reviewed stuff on blogs, because the right way to do this is to rebut in the literature. ” Is that literally the same as ” It’s peer-reviewed so off-limits & you can’t critique a journal paper on a blog.”
    literally. no. practically, we tell people this all the time with our behavior.
    dont do that here. do that in journals.
    or, you’ll be more effective if you do it journals
    or, I’ll respond to when you when you do it in a journal.

    But hey, it’s easier to pull a Willis on Tol and ask him to cite the exact argument.
    That way other folks can pile on

  195. Rob Nicholls says:

    “(Help! How do I switch this thing off?)” Good point. I fear we are being quietly enslaved by this internet thingy and all the gadgets that go with it. (I wonder whether someone said the same thing when the printing press was invented).

  196. Hey, you all, who have suspected this paper by Monckton, Soon, Legates, and Briggs would have been too low quality to be mentioned at Anthony Watts’ blog.

    Here it is at WUWT (together with two of the figures from it):

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/16/peer-reviewed-pocket-calculator-climate-model-exposes-serious-errors-in-complex-computer-models-and-reveals-that-mans-influence-on-the-climate-is-negligible/

    Thus, to the contrary, Anthony Watts is totally affirming the claims in the paper. The crowd is ecstatic. Apparently, they perceive it as another (of all the ones over the years) final blow to the “AGW-hoax”. The rating is 4.5 stars after 62 votes and counting.

    According to Anthony Watts, the development process for ground breaking Equation (1) in the paper, with which the authors refute all the complex climate models, took them eight years.

  197. BBD says:

    Steven

    Tol just needs to be correct.

  198. John Hartz says:

    Somehting for Richard Tol (and everyone else for that matter) to chew on;

    “It is difficult to overestimate the scale and speed of change. In a single lifetime humanity has become a geological force at the planetary-scale.” – Prof. Will Steffen, Stockholm Resilience Centre

    That Was Easy: In Just 60 Years, Neoliberal Capitalism Has Nearly Broken Planet Earth by John Queally, Common Dreams, Jan 16, 2015

  199. MikeH says:

    A review of Tol’s book by Professor Harry Clarke which offers little to surprise veteran Tol watchers.
    http://harryrclarkenew.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/review-of-richard-tol-on-climate-change.html

  200. Brandon Gates says:

    ATTP,

    Thanks, yes your response helps.

    Therefore, as long as f < 1 the sum converges and we don't undergo runaway warming.

    Perfectly clear.

    In the absence of feedbacks a doubling of CO2 produces 1.2°C of warming. Therefore if f = 0.5, the inifinite sum converges to 1/(1-f) = 2, so the ECS is 2.4°C. An ECS of 3°C would imply f = 0.6

    Ah. It’s been throwing me is that their 1/(1-g) looks like 1/(1-f), but g = λo * f according to them, not f. That seems like an extra step they don’t need to take. If so, this model isn’t “irreducibly simple”, somewhat confusing, and potentially obfuscatory.

    What it does allow them to do is get a reasonable fit to observation, and invoke a process engineer’s design heuristic with little other substantiation. Is all that more or less on the money?

  201. Everett F Sargent says:

    IANAL,

    However, I do find this a rather interesting legal decision:

    http://www.leagle.com/decision/1980742498FSupp244_1689.xml/AM.%20ASS'N%20FOR%20ADV.%20OF%20SCIENCE%20v.%20HEARST%20CORP.

    Consistent with the findings of fact and conclusions of law embodied in the Memorandum Opinion of this date, it is, by the Court, this 28th day of April, 1980,

    ORDERED that defendant The Hearst Corporation be and hereby is restrained and enjoined permanently from

    1. Publishing its magazine Science Digest with undue prominence given to the word “Science” or with the word “Digest” occupying less than seventy-five (75) percent of the area occupied by the word “Science” on the cover of the magazine or anywhere else that the title is presented or displayed, and from

    2. Publishing a magazine with any title confusingly similar to “Science”, or with any title logo design confusingly similar to that now used by plaintiff American Association for the Advancement of Science on its magazine Science.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that within five days from this date counsel for plaintiff shall notify the Court, in writing, whether it intends to proceed with its claim for damages. If it does, then both parties through counsel shall notify the Court, in writing, no later than May 10, 1980, the time required for pre-trial preparation and for the hearing itself on the issues of damages and attorney’s fees.

    I would say more, but I don’t want to get in trouble.

  202. Tom Curtis says:

    Everett F Sargent, different Science Digest.

  203. Everett F Sargent says:

    TC,

    You mean this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_Digest

    “Science Digest was a monthly American magazine published by the Hearst Corporation from 1937 through 1986.”

    Here’s another link titled ‘Curbing the copyists’ from 2011 even:

    http://www.worldtrademarkreview.com/Magazine/Issue/28/Country-correspondents/United-States-Edwards-Angell-Palmer-Dodge

    (the AAAS decision is mentioned)

    Please see the images I posted above.

    Thank you.

  204. Everett F Sargent says:

    TC,

    The 2nd link does not go directly to the PDF (you have to click skip this) or Google “Curbing the copyists” to get to it (or several other versions).

    Sorry about that.

  205. “…and Then There’s Physics says: January 15, 2015 at 4:40 pm
    I had considered linking this to Intelligent Design, but I was reluctant to use the word “intelligent” when discussing this paper :-)”

    Since Monckton , Legates & Soon have broken break bread at ore than one Heartland conference with Calvin Beisner Th.D. a Dominionist divine who teaches AGW must be metaphysically subordinate to Biblical revelation, they must realize intelligent design oriented evangelicals are in the market for climate systems concordant with Beisner’s exegesis.

    I wish my Republican brethren would reflect more on how, in a postmodern world whose structures owe more to Adorno than Milton Friedman, materialism has become much too important to be left to the Marxists.

  206. Marco says:

    For those who are interested, Science Bulletin has a 2013 impact factor of 1.365 according to Thomson Reuters’ Journal Citation Reports.

    Which isn’t very good. Just to compare: fewer than 5% of my papers are in journals with an impact factor equal or lower than that. Most of those 5% were in journals that were primarily aimed at industry.

    So, I guess with “one of the world’s top six learned journals of science” they are not referring to the journal itself, but rather to the scientific organization that publishes the journal. This is probably based on a comment on Wikipedia that states “Based on the number of papers published in Nature and/or Nature monthly research journals, the Chinese Academy of Science ranks 6th in the world by Nature Publishing Index (2013), by Nature Publishing Group.”

    It should be noted that CAS has more journals.

    And a final comment for others to contemplate:
    The journal contains extremely few papers written by non-Chinese authors.

  207. Marco says:

    Steven, you are definitely giving Tol a very, very favorable interpretation. In *my* world there is a very big gap between saying peer reviewed papers are off limits and telling people to submit to a journal if they are so certain their criticism is right. Generally this follows after a discussion about the merits and flaws of the criticism and the perceived impact of the criticism on the paper or the broader field.

  208. I just have realized that Anthony Watts posted the press release w/o mentioning that it was the press release. Thus all the praise was basically self-praise by the authors.

    As for “Intelligent Design”. David Legates is one of the signers” of “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming” by the Cornwall Alliance.
    http://www.cornwallalliance.org/2009/05/01/evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/

    Thus, it may not be as far off that there could be a metaphysical assumption behind the reasoning in the paper why climate feedbacks could be only very small. Otherwise, the link between what “process engineers” did and the feedbacks would just be a plain non-sequitur.

    I also don’t get at all how the authors conclude that a maximum amplitude of the temperature change of 6 Kelvin between glacials and interglacials would imply only very small feedbacks in the climate system. The variations in the Earth orbital parameter mostly change the seasonal and latitudinal distribution of insolation. However, the annually and globally averaged range of the maximum Milankovitch forcing is rather small, less than 0.5 W/m^2 (mostly caused by the assymetric distribution of Earth’s albedo; Hansen et al., OASJ 2008, http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1874282300802010217). This is just a fraction of the anthropogenic forcing. A global temperature change of 6 Kelvin from a forcing of only 0.5 W/m^2 is a huge change. It suggest the opposite of what Monckton et al. claim. It suggests that large positive feedbacks must have been in play between glacials and interglacials, larger than what is simulated by climate models driven by anthropogenic forcing. This is just another plain non-sequitur claim by the authors.

    And since this is all the reasoning which the authors have to offer for assuming near Zero feedbacks, these assumptions that are the foundations for their central conclusions don’t have any scientific basis whatsoever.

    I see another issue with the paper (besides the misleading figures and methodically invalid comparisons between measurements and climate model simulations, which are in their as well). The authors present the model as their own original work, a model that was allegedly developed over eight years. However, a nearly identical simple energy balance model, including the “closed loop gain” term, had already been described in Gerard Roe, Feedbacks, Timescales, and Seeing Red, Annu. Rev. Earth Planet Sci. 2009, 37, 93-115, http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.earth.061008.134734

    Unfortunately, the Roe-paper is behind a paywall. I have a copy, though. Why don’t Monckton et al. reference the paper by Roe when they present their “Irreducible climate sensitivity model”? To claim that they didn’t know the paper by Roe won’t work, since the paper is referenced further down in Section 4.6 and 4.8 and results from that paper are used.

  209. Tom,

    They would think it was sociology, or possible social psychology and may well think that they are sciences (a common opinion). They would also certainly think that the survey was designed and conducted scientifically.

    Yes, I agree. I was trying to be snarky in my response to Vinny, rather than snarky towards Cook et al.

  210. Brandon,

    Ah. It’s been throwing me is that their 1/(1-g) looks like 1/(1-f), but g = λo * f according to them, not f. That seems like an extra step they don’t need to take. If so, this model isn’t “irreducibly simple”, somewhat confusing, and potentially obfuscatory.

    I mixed up my variables. I meant to stick with g, but switched to f (which is what I normally use). The f in Monckton et al. (2015) is the actual feedback value in Wm-2K-1. I was using it to be the fractional feedback response (i.e., with respect to the initial forcing), so should really have stuck with g throughout. I’ve corrected it now, in case any reads that earlier comment and doesn’t understand this one.

  211. Everett F Sargent says:

    Jan P Perlwitz,

    The paper you mentioned can be downloaded from ~8 locations:
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?start=0&hl=en&as_sdt=0,25&cluster=17707028223833462437
    http://earthweb.ess.washington.edu/roe/Publications/Roe_FeedbacksRev_08.pdf

    “To claim that they didn’t know the paper by Roe won’t work, since the paper is referenced further down in Section 4.6 and 4.8 and results from that paper are used.”

    Double negative?

    “To claim that they know the paper by Roe would work, since the paper is referenced further down in Section 4.6 and 4.8 and results from that paper are used.”

    Still sounds strange, also the paper by Roe is mentioned as [38] in their paper.

  212. Steven,

    If you have a problem with Monkton’s paper. Go publish a peer reviewed rebuttle.

    Of course, but I don’t really. I don’t care if it’s published and I don’t really care if the Watties like it or not. I’m not going to go on a crusade about it. All I’ll probably do is write this post and then ignore it.

    So perhaps being a bit more generous with Tol than you guys are I get the point of his observation.

    If Tol actually wanted to make a case and discuss it in some detail (even in a little detail), yes I would be much more generous. Behaving like an unpleasant arse, however, deserves responses in kind. Of course, it would also help if his observations didn’t largely misrepresent what he’s claiming others have said before. Personally, I avoid accusing people of being hypocrites. In my – maybe limited – experience, those who choose to do so are quite likely to be one themselves.

    But hey, it’s easier to pull a Willis on Tol and ask him to cite the exact argument.
    That way other folks can pile on

    Have you ever tried to get Tol to have an actual discussion. It’s virtually impossible, in my experience at least.

    I don’t really mind you defending him since I realise that he has had some flack here, but I’ve seen little to make me think it isn’t at least partly deserved.

  213. Jan,

    The variations in the Earth orbital parameter mostly change the seasonal and latitudinal distribution of insolation. However, the annually and globally averaged range of the maximum Milankovitch forcing is rather small, less than 0.5 W/m^2 (mostly caused by the assymetric distribution of Earth’s albedo; Hansen et al., OASJ 2008, http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1874282300802010217). This is just a fraction of the anthropogenic forcing. A global temperature change of 6 Kelvin from a forcing of only 0.5 W/m^2 is a huge change.

    Yes, exactly. They’re assuming that the feedbacks are small because the change is small relative to the background temperature, rather than realising that it is large relative to the relatively small insolation changes. It’s hard to see how they can’t get this, as I imagine many have tried to explain it to them.

  214. Everett F Sargent,

    Thanks for the other links to the Roe paper.

    The double negative was intention, but perhaps not clear enough. I rephrase and elaborate what I wanted to say.

    Monckton et al. present the model in their paper as their own work (allegedly as result of a development process over eight years, according to their press release), although a nearly identical model had already been presented by Roe in his paper (who properly references previous work by others). Although Monckton et al reference the Roe paper further down, they do this in another context. There they use results from an advective-diffusive model applied by Roe in his paper, but developed by other researchers referenced by Roe. There is no mentioning whatsoever in the Monckton et al. paper of Roe’s energy balance model. Citing Roe is proof that Monckton et al. knew the Roe-paper, though. Therefore, claiming that they didn’t know Roe’s energy balance model wouldn’t work as excuse for not properly referencing Roe’s paper as source in the Section where they present the model.

    There must be a name for such praxis, when someone uses someone else’s scientific work without giving proper credit where the idea originated.

  215. Their formula (1) is nothing more than definition of the concepts and fully standard practice for decades. The earliest reference in Roe’s paper is Trenberth (1992) and even that is given after for example implying that they Roe does not consider the original source significant. Thus giving no references at that point is not significantly wrong.

    Where they start to transform definitions into a model is, when they make assumptions on the values and behavior of the defined variables and parameters.

    The problem is not that they present the formula (1) without references at that point, the problem of their model is the wrongly justified, and almost certainly wrong, claim that the feedback parameter must be less than 0.1.

  216. Their formula (1) is nothing more than definition of the concepts and fully standard practice for decades.

    Yes, I agree. If anything, they’ve taken something simple and made it appear more complicated.

    Where they start to transform definitions into a model is, when they make assumptions on the values and behavior of the defined variables and parameters.

    The problem is not that they present the formula (1) without references at that point, the problem of their model is the wrongly justified, and almost certainly wrong, claim that the feedback parameter must be less than 0.1.

    Precisely.

  217. Everett F Sargent says:

    It’s probably been mentioned already, but using only temperature data circa 1990-2014?

    That would be called the calibration period.

    The satellite era starts in 1979.

    SAT starts in 1880.

    Last glacial maximum to the beginning of the Holocene.

    I mean seriously, how about some out of sample verification and validation?

  218. It’s probably been mentioned already, but using only temperature data circa 1990-2014?

    Well, yes, that would also explain why they can get a low level of feedback. Use a very short time interval and ignore ocean heat content (OHC). I also think there was a comment in the paper about us already being in equilibrium which, given the continued rise in OHC is clearly wrong.

  219. John Hartz says:

    Meanwhile, back in the real world…,

    “It’s not often that the climate change deniers get clobbered three times in just two days. But that’s what happened with the release of a trio of new studies that ought to serve as solid body blows to the fading but persistent fiction that human-mediated warming is somehow a hoax. Good news for the forces of reason, however, is bad news for the planet—especially the oceans.”

    A Bad Day for Climate Change Deniers … And the Planet by Jeffrey Kluger, Time, Jan 16, 2015

  220. Lars Karlsson says:

    Their formula (1) is nothing more than definition of the concepts and fully standard practice for decades.

    In other words, it took them 8 years simply to plug in the wrong numbers.

  221. Rob Nicholls says:

    Steven Mosher said “If you have a problem with Monkton’s paper. Go publish a peer reviewed rebuttle.” That sounds reasonable to me (and I’ve said similar things on other blogs before). My opinion counts for nothing as I lack the necessary background but the paper seems to me to contain a number of glaring errors, cherry-picks (intentionally or otherwise) and statements contradicated by a wealth of previously-published evidence (evidence which the paper fails to mention or engage with) even without getting my head round the equations, and a peer-reviewed response might confirm my suspicions.

    Steven Mosher’s comment opened up a lot of questions for me (sorry this is probably both OT and OTT), (I’m assuming Monkton’s paper is riddled with errors): Is this a serious reputable journal which just made a mistake by publishing Monkton’s paper or is it a joke journal? How common are mistakes of this magnitude in a serious journal, and how many mistakes like this would have to occur before a journal becomes regarded as a joke? When experts (e.g. at the IPCC or a national scientific organisation, or indeed individual researchers) are reviewing the literature, are they obliged to consider every journal in existence or are criteria applied to determine which journals are ‘reputable’, i.e. which ones have a properly-operating peer-review process? Assuming that this is a serious journal in this case, in order for science to move on from Monkton’s paper, does it have to be rebutted in literature, or can it be ignored on the basis that many if not all of its arguments have been thoroughly falsified by previously published, but still currently relevant literature? Does the fact that Monkton’s paper is more recent than other papers which quite clearly show it to be jam-packed with nonsense mean that it somehow has some credibility until it’s directly rebutted in the literature after it’s published? Do the IPCC’s assessment reports count as peer-reviewed literature, i.e. is it appropriate to cite them in a paper submitted for publication or is it always best to cite the underlying research on which they are based? (Maybe I need to read some of the basics about how science works, any relevant links would be much appreciated).

  222. Rob,

    Steven Mosher said “If you have a problem with Monkton’s paper. Go publish a peer reviewed rebuttle.” That sounds reasonable to me (and I’ve said similar things on other blogs before).

    Yes, it is reasonable, although it’s also reasonable to simply ignore papers that are clearly wrong. No serious scientists will take Monckton’s paper seriously. The rebuttal would purely be for the benefit of the general public. This is where there is an issue. If you consider the furore over the minor error in Cawley et al., one problem with publishing a rebuttal to a clearly incorrect paper is that if you happen to make one silly mistake, the denizens at WUWT/BH/Lucia’s will jump all over that and ignore that the paper you were attempting to rebut is clearly wrong.

    Is this a serious reputable journal which just made a mistake by publishing Monkton’s paper or is it a joke journal?

    I think it’s attempting to be serious, but it is new and I don’t think many are publishing in it.

    Assuming that this is a serious journal in this case, in order for science to move on from Monkton’s paper, does it have to be rebutted in literature, or can it be ignored on the basis that many if not all of its arguments have been thoroughly falsified by previously published, but still currently relevant literature?

    Yes, it could just be ignored and that would probably be best – for the moment at least.

    Does the fact that Monkton’s paper is more recent than other papers which quite clearly show it to be jam-packed with nonsense mean that it somehow has some credibility until it’s directly rebutted in the literature after it’s published?

    No, not really. Credibility comes from reproduceability and replicability. In some sense, the newer the idea, the less credible it is. Until others confirm the idea and it becomes accepted, it doesn’t really have credibility. Given that Monckton’s paper will probably just be ignored, this is unlikely to happen.

    Also, given that the equations in Monckton’s paper are essentially the same as have been used by many others before, the actual idea isn’t new. As Lars points out above, they’ve basically spent years working out how to plug in the wrong numbers.

  223. Rob Nicholls says:

    Thanks v much ATTP, v helpful.

  224. Rob,
    Authors can submit their paper to IPCC lead authors. That implies also that the submitted paper must be considered in some way, but it certainly does not mean that every submitted paper must be mentioned in the report. I think that the lead authors should state in some document why a paper is not mentioned in the report, but I’m not sure of this requirement. At least they should answer to later questions about excluding the paper.

    There are no specific requirements for looking at all or at a specific set of peer reviewed journals, but the main rule is that the paper must be accepted to a peer reviewed journal to be considered (there are some exceptions to this, but those are very rare in the WG1 report).

  225. Pekka,

    “Their formula (1) is nothing more than definition of the concepts and fully standard practice for decades. The earliest reference in Roe’s paper is Trenberth (1992) and even that is given after for example implying that they Roe does not consider the original source significant. Thus giving no references at that point is not significantly wrong.”

    I disagree. Consider how Monckton et al. sell their paper in the own pompous press release (bold face after headline by me, except bold face of “Lord Monckton”):

    “NEW PAPER: Why Models Run Hot: Results From An Irreducible Simple Climate Model
    […]
    The IPCC has long predicted that doubling the CO2 in the air might eventually warm the Earth by 3.3 oC. However, the new, simple model presented in the Science Bulletin predicts no more than 1 oC warming instead—and possibly much less. The model, developed over eight years, is so easy to use that a high-school math teacher or undergrad student can get credible results in minutes running it on a pocket scientific calculator.
    […]
    The new, simple climate model helps to expose the errors in the complex models the IPCC and governments rely upon.
    […]
    Lord Monckton, the paper’s lead author, created the new model on the basis of earlier reviewed research by him published in Physics and Society, in the UK Quarterly Economic Bulletin, in the Annual Proceedings of the World Federation of Scientists’ Seminars on Planetary Emergencies, and in Energy & Environment.”

    (Source: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=15237)

    In accordance to the claims in the press release, none of the existing literature where the same type of Zero-dimensional climate models had already been presented is referenced by Monckton et al. Strangely, not even Monckton’s allegedly own, “earlier reviewed research” is cited in the paper.

    This is so wrong.

    Actually, one can go back further than to Trenberth (1992) (BTW, an excellent introductory book to clmate modeling, even though it has been a bit older already). This type of Zero-dimensional climate models, on which Equation (1) is based, is going back at least to Budyko (1969), http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2153-3490.1969.tb00466.x. Analyzing the feedbacks using the form of the closed loop gain referencing Bode goes back at least to Hansen et al. (1984), http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1984/1984_Hansen_etal_1.pdf

    Just plugging in the wrong numbers doesn’t make it their own new model what Monckton et al did, for which one didn’t need to give proper references anymore.

    In contrast to Monckton et al, Roe lists previous relevant studies on the topic in the Introduction, and he properly cites the other studies further down. He does it how it is usually done in scientific papers by real scientists with integrity. He doesn’t try to sell something what others had already presented before as his own new creation. Scientists make mistakes, too. It happens. But the whole presentation of the paper by Monckton et al. indicates something else than a simple, honest mistake in this matter. As I said before. Citing the Roe paper further down in another context is proof that they must have known about the existing literature where nearly identical models have been presented. At least they knew the description of the model in the Roe-paper itself, if they were too lazy to check out the earlier literature (which wouldn’t be a proper excuse). I don’t see any justificiation whatsoever for presenting the model as a “new” one created by Monckton (et al.) him(them)selves.

  226. Jan,
    Oh, I agree that they’re wrong to not have cited earlier work. I was just agreeing with Pekka that there’s nothing special about their equations/model.

  227. Correction to my comment at January 17, 2015 at 3:00 pm:

    Please remove following statement by me (if not in the original comment, than virtually in your mind):

    “Strangely, not even Monckton’s allegedly own, “earlier reviewed research” is cited in the paper.”

    I got carried away with this one. Monckton cites something by himself. My apologies.

  228. Jan,
    There’s nothing new in the formula. The way it’s introduced does actually imply that the formula is common knowledge. Referring to some source would have been useful by making it easier to understand the model, but it’s not necessary as an attribution of credit. As you also noted, the history goes so far back that this is not a valid requirement. (Even Roe didn’t do that, but gave references for other reasons in the spirit of a review paper.)

    The hyperbola that you have bolded is just funny, and tells, how badly their paper is out of touch with reality.

  229. matt says:

    Willie Soon tries economics at a tea-party. Goes down well. (1:53-2:22)

  230. The press release by Monckton et al. is also filled with nonsense. They obviously (to me) don’t know much about how complex climate models (i.e., Earth system models with mutually coupled components and numerical integration of the dynamics) work as their press release reveals:

    For instance they claim:

    “The Bode system-gain equation models mutual amplification of feedbacks in electronic circuits, but, when complex models erroneously apply it to the climate on the IPCC’s false assumption of strongly net amplifying feedbacks, it greatly over-predicts global warming. It is the wrong equation.”

    It’s news to me that feedbacks are simulated in the Earth system models (e.g., in the model applied at the institute where I work) by using the Bode-system gain equation, where assumption of the IPCC were used how strong the feedbacks should be and what sign they should have.

    This is just utter rubbish by Monckton et al.

  231. Jan,

    This is just utter rubbish by Monckton et al.

    Yes, complete and utter rubbish.

  232. “As for “Intelligent Design”. David Legates is one of the signers” of “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming” by the Cornwall Alliance.”

    Along with Soon’s evangelizing the Teapartistas, there is the matter of Science Bulletin reviving teleology as framed b – The Cosmological Anthropic Principle by John D. Barrow, Frank J. Tipler, John A. Wheeler. in the same issue as Monckton’s ersatz model, : Heres the abstract:

    Anthropic considerations in nuclear physics
    Ulf-G. Meißner

    Abstract
    In this short review, I discuss the sensitivity of the generation of the light and the life-relevant elements such as carbon and oxygen under changes of the parameters of the Standard Model pertinent to nuclear physics. Chiral effective field theory allows for a systematic and precise description of the forces between two, three and four nucleons. In this framework, variations under the light quark masses and the electromagnetic fine-structure constant can also be consistently calculated. Combining chiral nuclear effective field theory with Monte Carlo simulations allows to further calculate the properties of nuclei, in particular of the Hoyle state in carbon, that plays a crucial role in the generation of the life-relevant elements in hot, old stars. The dependence of the triple-alpha process on the fundamental constants of nature is calculated, and some implications for our anthropic view of the Universe are discussed.

    This review was invited by Professor Zhi-zhong Xing.

    Xing is one of S. Fred Singers’ old conferenc circuite friends from Erice, dating back to the Singer’s glory days as chief science editor of the Reverend Moon’s stable of publications.

  233. Steven Mosher says:

    “Steven Mosher said “If you have a problem with Monkton’s paper. Go publish a peer reviewed rebuttle.” That sounds reasonable to me (and I’ve said similar things on other blogs before)”

    sorry i wasnt being serious. I was making point. guess I failed

  234. Steven,

    sorry i wasnt being serious. I was making point. guess I failed

    I kind of got that you weren’t actually saying that one should only criticise peer-reviewed studies in the peer-reviewed literature, but I’m not sure I quite got the point you were trying to make. Be more generous to Tol?

  235. Joshua says:

    Steven –

    ==> “So perhaps being a bit more generous with Tol than you guys are I get the point of his observation.”

    The point of the observation was to mischaracterize other people’s arguments.

    ==> “if we believe some of the regulars here, some stuff cannot be criticized because it was published in a peer-reviewed journal… ”

    I don’t think that anyone here is implying such an argument. I don’t think that anyone here feels that simply because an article is peer-reviewed, it “cannot” let alone “shouldn’t” be criticized.

    In fact, I would expect that pretty much every one of the “regulars here” spends a fair amount of their time criticizing peer-reviewed articles, and regularly, rather unproblematically, engages in discussions with people who are criticizing peer-reviewed articles (perhaps, often, even their own). I also find it hart do believe that when you tell people to publish, you are implying that they “can’t” or “shouldn’t” criticize peer-reviewed articles except through peer-reviewed channels or until after they have had peer-reviewed rebuttals published.

  236. Brandon Gates says:

    ATTP,

    I mixed up my variables.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who does that … 🙂 I read the corrected version, plus the addendum, and find that it makes more sense.

    It’s now my understanding that the Monckton et al. (2015) model is essentially standard physics and not really novel. A major problem with the paper being that the conclusion g <= 0.1 is not defensible and is based not on physical theory but parameter tuning over narrowly (read purposefully) selected short-term satellite data.

    Thanks working through my rather basic questions with me, you have helped me better understand the general principles behind more rigorous modeling works as well.

  237. Brandon,

    It’s now my understanding that the Monckton et al. (2015) model is essentially standard physics and not really novel. A major problem with the paper being that the conclusion g <= 0.1 is not defensible and is based not on physical theory but parameter tuning over narrowly (read purposefully) selected short-term satellite data.

    Yes, essentially. Plus, they justify their low g value by appealing to process engineering and by suggesting that past climate variations are small relative to the background, rather than recognising (as Jan points out above) that the variations are driven by relatively small changes in external forcings (Sun, for example).

  238. Lars Karlsson says:

    I certainly have no problem with people criticizing scientific papers in blogs and elsewhere, as long as they have made a serious effort to understand its contents and to represent it fairly, and they are aware of their own limitations. After all, having a paper passing peer-review and being published is just the first step of it’s scrutiny. If there are interesting and important errors, it can be motivated to publish a critique in a peer-reviewed journal, but otherwise more informal responses should suffice. Of course, many scientific papers do not receive much attention, are quickly forgotten and don’t leave any impression. And the same thing applies to critiques of scientific papers.

    On the other hand, if you want to claim to have overthrown scientific results that have been reproduced and confirmed by multiple researchers or groups and thus stood the test of time, then I think one should set the bar higher. Then it is important to show that your argument can pass the scrutiny of experts in the field, if it is to be taken seriously.

  239. Rob Nicholls says:

    Pekka, thanks for your response re the IPCC’s process. I’d be interested to know whether you think WG1 have done a reasonable job of summarising the evidence, or whether there’s much that they’ve missed?

    Steven Mosher – “sorry i wasnt being serious. I was making point. guess I failed”; apologies I missed the point.

  240. Steve Bloom says:

    Rob, having read (since I’ve mentioned it here several times) that higher ups in the IPCC lopped 12 meters off the Miller et al. (2012) Pliocene SLR consensus range, apparently in order to make model results (DeConto and Pollard 2009) that at the the time were already abandoned not seem too unreasonable, I’m surprised to hear you putting that in the form of a question.

  241. Rob Nicholls says:

    Steve Bloom – “higher ups in the IPCC lopped 12 meters off the Miller et al. (2012) Pliocene SLR consensus range”. Sorry, I have missed that, I should pay more attention.

  242. Rob,
    As I understand it, sea level is one of the areas where some experts think that AR5 didn’t communicate the uncertainties well.

  243. Eli Rabett says:

    There is a (perhaps) useful alternative which is a short note in arXiv.

  244. Rob,
    I’m not a climate scientist. Thus I don’t have such own expertize on any of the chapters of the WG1 report that would allow for making an independent judgment on the success of the IPCC work. I know some places, where I’m not entirely happy on the the information is summarized, but in general I do think that the WG1 report is about as good as it can be given the specifications.

    My main problem with the report comes from the practical limitations of page number in combination with the specifications. The report is expected to summarize new publications since the previous report. Doing even that in the allocated space leads to extremely concise description of the content and makes it impossible to describe fully the context that may in part be found in earlier reports. One additional factor that adds to these problems is the requirement of describing uncertainties following practices that are not always most applicable to each particular case.

    The report is not supposed to be written for the specialists only, but non-specialists may in many cases have difficulties in understanding from the report properly what the present science really tells. The report is a compromise that’s not ideal for anybody, IMO. I do think that the same effort could produce something better with a different approach.

  245. BBD says:

    It’s hard to imagine that the future of the human species will not be derailed by several thousand years of unending and often rapid sea level rise. It’s equally difficult to deny that the evidence suggests that we are well on the way to making this inevitable. Humanity probably won’t go extinct, but cornutopian dreams of bright lights and big cities and mining asteroids will drown along with much else. Incredibly, at 400ppm CO2 already, these are the dice we are rolling today.

  246. Tom Curtis says:

    Pekka:

    “I do think that the same effort could produce something better with a different approach.”

    Probably true, but do you think the various parties could be brought to agree on a better process? Personally I don’t think so, and I think the effort is more likely to leave us with something worse than the IPCC, or with the IPCC crippled by unrealistic constraints.

  247. Tom,
    You are right that making major changes in the IPCC procedures is very difficult, but to me it does not make sense that similar reports will be produced forever every 5-7 years. In spite of the huge number of new papers the main conclusions of science changed very little from AR4 to AR5 and the next step is likely to be as small. At the same time getting answers through IPCC to some specific questions that come out takes far too long.

    The kind of assessment of new scientific results that the IPCC reports present could be done as a continuous updating process in the net, while books could be written to be more readable reviews of the state of science, where present understanding would be presented including with equal weight older knowledge that remains valid and new confirmed findings. How tightly such books need to be linked to IPCC is another question, but IPCC could in some way assure that they get written as high quality monographs.

  248. Eli,

    There is a (perhaps) useful alternative which is a short note in arXiv.

    Are you interested?

  249. Rob Nicholls says:

    BBD – “It’s hard to imagine that the future of the human species will not be derailed by several thousand years of unending and often rapid sea level rise…Incredibly, at 400ppm CO2 already, these are the dice we are rolling today.” This is easy to lose sight of in discussions about more short term projections.

    ATTP, Thanks for the link about AR5 and the plausible upper bound for sea level rise by 2100, this is helpful, I don’t think I’ve seen detailed quantification of this before. I remember Stefan Rahmstorf talking about the IPCC projections, and the potential for incorporating semi-emprical models of SLR, in relation to AR4 and AR5, at Realclimate, e.g. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/10/sea-level-in-the-5th-ipcc-report/ . I’ve just noticed in the above link Rahmstorf says “Efforts to model sea-level changes in Earth history tend to show an underestimation of past sea-level changes. E.g., the sea-level high stand in the Pliocene is not captured by current ice sheet models. Evidence shows that even the East Antarctic Ice Sheet – which is very stable in models – lost significant amounts of ice in the Pliocene.” I guess this possibly ties in with Steve Bloom’s comment earlier. I really should get around to reading about palaeoclimate and then maybe some of these things would start sticking in my head.

    Pekka, many thanks for your comments about IPCC WG1 and the IPCC’s overall approach (I think you mentioned some suggestions for improvements to the IPCC’s approach a few months back.)

  250. Genghis says:

    ATTP – “the feedback factor is not constrained to be small.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more. The negative feedback of evaporation is huge, easily overpowering any forcing.

  251. Genghis,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. The negative feedback of evaporation is huge, easily overpowering any forcing.

    No, that is almost certainly not correct. Evaporation clearly plays a role in transferring energy from the surface to the atmosphere, but the effect is not sufficient to make the net feedback negative (or even all that small).

  252. Genghis says:

    ATTP – “No, that is almost certainly not correct. Evaporation clearly plays a role in transferring energy from the surface to the atmosphere, but the effect is not sufficient to make the net feedback negative (or even all that small).”

    Evaporation cools the atmosphere just like a swamp cooler cools the house, by expanding the atmosphere. That is the definition of Adiabatic.

    Of course it does transfer energy to the higher latitudes where it is radiated away, but over 70% of the energy flux is in the Tropics and Subtropics where Evaporation is the dominant factor.


  253. I couldn’t agree with you more. The negative feedback of evaporation is huge, easily overpowering any forcing.

    As has been known since the earliest findings of Manabe in 1967, the lapse rate feedback is indeed negative. If it was the case that the lapse rate feedback did not follow, the current temperature elevation above that of snowball earth would have been perhaps >+60C instead of the +33C it is right now due to the CO2 control knob

    Genghis should read this:
    http://www.clidyn.ethz.ch/ese101/Papers/manabe67.pdf

  254. Genghis says:

    Webby – As has been known since the earliest findings of Manabe in 1967, the lapse rate feedback is indeed negative.

    I agree and will check out the pdf, but I am not talking about the lapse rate I am talking about Boyles Law. Opening a can of pressurized gas cools the can and especially the surrounding area. Evaporation does the same thing.

  255. Genghis,

    I agree and will check out the pdf, but I am not talking about the lapse rate I am talking about Boyles Law. Opening a can of pressurized gas cools the can and especially the surrounding area. Evaporation does the same thing.

    Yes, evaporation does remove energy from the surface and the surface would indeed be warmer if this process did not operate (i.e., if all the energy had to be removed via radiation, rather than via evaporation). However, this is not sufficient to effectively produce a net negative feedback. A number of things to consider. Firstly, the this energy has to be deposited into the atmosphere since the only way we can lose energy to space is via radiation. So, evaporation takes water, turns it into water vapour and puts this into the atmosphere. Water vapour clearly is a positive feedback. However, as WHT points out, where the water vapour condenses and releases this energy tends to be more at higher altitudes than at lower and this produces a negative lapse rate feedback.

    So, yes, it does have an effect but its not sufficient to produce a net negative feedback.

  256. Yes indeed, the evaporation process is part of the lapse rate effect.

    What’s with these handles such as Ghengis, catweazle666, Shub Niggurath, chulthu, etc? Are you trying to frighten us with your mock vengeance? That’s the bigger question, as you certainly don’t have physics knowledge on your side.

  257. BBD says:

    Web

    Ever heard the expression ‘[politically] to the right of Ghengis Khan’?

  258. jsam says:

    What’s with these handles such as Ghengis, catweazle666, Shub Niggurath, chulthu, etc?

    They are all names of different shapes of turd.

  259. BBD says:

    Eh, genghis. That Web’s got me doing it now. And it’s Cthulhu godammit! See jsam above for pronunciation guide.

  260. Genghis says:

    Webby, “What’s with these handles such as Ghengis, catweazle666, Shub Niggurath, chulthu, etc? Are you trying to frighten us with your mock vengeance? That’s the bigger question, as you certainly don’t have physics knowledge on your side.”

    Sorry to disillusion you Webby but I am just Genghis the Sailor, sailing and swimming in warm tropical water.

    BBD, “Ever heard the expression ‘[politically] to the right of Ghengis Khan’?

    Yes, that is why I picked the moniker many years ago. I am also, primarily, a Gamer too.

  261. Genghis says:

    ATTP, “Firstly, the this energy has to be deposited into the atmosphere since the only way we can lose energy to space is via radiation. So, evaporation takes water, turns it into water vapour and puts this into the atmosphere.”

    That is just half of the process, cooling the ocean.

    The majority of the energy goes into expanding the atmosphere, which cools the atmosphere, Boyles Law. Moist air is less dense. Look at the IR images of the tops of hurricanes you will notice that they are extremely cold, relatively speaking and very high. Also look at the height of the troposphere at the equator vs the height at the poles. At the poles the atmosphere is compressing and warming (latent to sensible), that is where the energy from the tropics is being radiated into space.

    Basically what you are seeing is a heat pump in action, exactly the same way an air conditioner works. The solar insolation comes in at the tropics and is expelled at the poles.

  262. BBD says:

    Genghis

    Thanks for confirming that!

    I don’t think your namesake went in for games, much. I doubt he had time, what with all the galloping around, slaughtering and distributing his DNA.

  263. Sir Harry Flashman says:

    As a non-scientist who lurks and occasionally trolls at WUWT (I’m not proud of the latter, but man those self-congratulatory jackasses drive me nuts), I wonder if this paper can or will be debunked by real scientists in some convincing fashion. If Monckton inexplicably got it right, that would be great since we could all focus on more pressing concerns. If he’s wrong however, then a peer-reviewed paper suggesting everything’s just fine will make it easier for the ideological deniers (i.e. all of them) to influence public policy in a disastrous direction.

  264. Pingback: Was China 6-8 K warmer in winter 6000 years ago? | Musings on Quantitative Palaeoecology

  265. Genghis,

    The majority of the energy goes into expanding the atmosphere, which cools the atmosphere, Boyles Law. Moist air is less dense. Look at the IR images of the tops of hurricanes you will notice that they are extremely cold, relatively speaking and very high. Also look at the height of the troposphere at the equator vs the height at the poles. At the poles the atmosphere is compressing and warming (latent to sensible), that is where the energy from the tropics is being radiated into space.

    Sorry, but that’s just silly. We have multiple energy fluxes. Energy in from the Sun, some directly to the surface, some into the atmosphere. Energy from the surface via evaporation, conduction/convection, radiation. Energy into the atmosphere from the surface, and energy out back into space from the surface and the atmosphere. The system will tend to a state in which all the fluxes balance so that everything is in equilibrium. If we change something, either the temperature goes up to compensate, or it goes down.

    To be honest, I’m not even quite sure what you’re getting at and I’m not terribly interested in finding out as it is almost certainly wrong and I don’t think you’re genuinely interested in finding out why.

  266. Harry,
    Yes, I noticed you mentioned this post over at WUWT 🙂

    I wonder if this paper can or will be debunked by real scientists in some convincing fashion.

    In practice there’s not much point as no serious scientists would really bother. The paper is clearly wrong and it’s not hard to work out why. If it did become something taken seriously be policy makers, then maybe there would be some point, but even then it’s not obvious since it’s largely inconsistent with the majority of published work and so it would be rather strange if a single paper that disagrees with the majority of the evidence were to suddenly become influential. I would like to think that even our policy makers are not quite that silly. In a sense, if they were silly enough to take Monckton’s paper seriously, they’d probably find some reason to ignore a rebuttal.

  267. Everett F Sargent says:

    Harry,

    Can the Monkeytown, et. al. model explain this …

    Their model has the equivalency of Pharmer Physicks (see Genghis comments for examples of Pharmer Physicks).

  268. BBD says:

    If Genghis is implying that negative feedback dominates the climate system and so AGW isn’t a problem, he needs to consider events like the PETM and deglaciation under orbital forcing. If negative feedback is dominant, then the climate system would be incapable of these behaviours.

  269. Genghis says:

    ATTP, “To be honest, I’m not even quite sure what you’re getting at and I’m not terribly interested in finding out as it is almost certainly wrong and I don’t think you’re genuinely interested in finding out why.”

    Actually I am genuinely interested in how it works and honestly love discovering things I thought were true, but aren’t. I have done that a lot in my life.

    ATTP, “Sorry, but that’s just silly. We have multiple energy fluxes. Energy in from the Sun, some directly to the surface, some into the atmosphere. Energy from the surface via evaporation, conduction/convection, radiation. Energy into the atmosphere from the surface, and energy out back into space from the surface and the atmosphere. The system will tend to a state in which ll the fluxes balance so that everything is in equilibrium. If we change something, either the temperature goes up to compensate, or it goes down.”

    I agree with what you wrote completely (except for the silly part). Could you please indulge me one more time?

    First to confirm my warmest credentials, without an ocean, clouds and water vapor, adding CO2 to the atmosphere would dramatically increase the temperature of the land and the atmosphere, possibly very dramatically. Theoretically if the atmosphere was completely transparent to SW radiation from the sun and completely opaque to LW radiation from the surface, it wouldn’t take too long before the surface temperature came close to equalling the temperature of the Sun.

    But here is the thing, The ocean absorbs SW radiation, but only the surface of the ocean evaporates and radiates LW radiation. In the Tropics and Subtropics (61% of the earths surface), the ocean primarily cools by evaporation. Evaporation lowers the temperature of the Atmosphere (via expansion) decreasing the atmospheres radiation to the surface and space.

    That is why, in the tropical ocean, during the day or night, under a cloudy sky the temperature doesn’t rise. Any increase in downwelling long wave radiation is instantaneously met with increased evaporation.

    I have made hundreds of measurements to that effect.

  270. Genghis,

    First to confirm my warmest credentials, without an ocean, clouds and water vapor, adding CO2 to the atmosphere would dramatically increase the temperature of the land and the atmosphere, possibly very dramatically. Theoretically if the atmosphere was completely transparent to SW radiation from the sun and completely opaque to LW radiation from the surface, it wouldn’t take too long before the surface temperature came close to equalling the temperature of the Sun.

    Well, yes, but of course, we aren’t completely opaque to LW radiation from the surface. The surface temperature will tend towards a value at which the amount of energy escaping back into space matches the amount being absorbed by the surface.

    But here is the thing, The ocean absorbs SW radiation, but only the surface of the ocean evaporates and radiates LW radiation.

    Okay, this sounds about right.

    In the Tropics and Subtropics (61% of the earths surface), the ocean primarily cools by evaporation.

    Evaporation is important, but you can’t ignore that a surface at temperature T also radiates an amount of energy roughly equal to \sigma T^4. Radiation from the surface is also important.

    Evaporation lowers the temperature of the Atmosphere (via expansion) decreasing the atmospheres radiation to the surface and space.

    No, this isn’t right. Evaporation simply removes some energy from the surface and places it in water vapour that rises through the atmosphere. The energy is deposited in the atmosphere when the water vapour condenses.

    That is why, in the tropical ocean, during the day or night, under a cloudy sky the temperature doesn’t rise. Any increase in downwelling long wave radiation is instantaneously met with increased evaporation.

    I don’t quite follow this, but it can’t just be evaporation because unless the temperature goes up (or the relative humidity goes down – I think) the evaporation rate stays the same. Therefore, you can’t ignore that increased evaporation is probably also associated with increased temperatures.

    I have made hundreds of measurements to that effect.

    I think you have to really consider that you’re either mis-interpreting your measurements or they’re too localised to have any real global significance.

  271. Genghis says:

    BBD, “If Genghis is implying that negative feedback dominates the climate system and so AGW isn’t a problem, he needs to consider events like the PETM and deglaciation under orbital forcing. If negative feedback is dominant, then the climate system would be incapable of these behaviours.”

    What I am saying is that evaporation is a negative feedback in the Tropics and a positive feedback/forcing in the Polar regions, Zonal climates basically. It is entirely possible to have glaciation/deglaciation with warmer/cooler oceans, they aren’t necessarily coupled.

  272. Genghis,

    What I am saying is that evaporation is a negative feedback in the Tropics and a positive feedback/forcing in the Polar regions,

    I don’t really think this makes much sense. If the temperatures goes up, then that increases both the amount of energy being removed from the surface via radiation and evaporation (as long as there is water). However, evaporation can’t be a strong negative feedback because if it were too strong, the temperature wouldn’t rise and neither would the evaporation rate. Therefore, if the evaporation rate rises, the temperature has to rise (assuming a fixed relative humidity) and so does the amount of energy being lost via radiation. So, I don’t think it’s correct to regard evaporation as a negative feedback. It is true, however, that some of the energy is being removed via evaporation and so the temperature rise is lower than it would be in its absence.

    I don’t understand how it can be a positive feedback in the polar regions, though.

  273. Everett F Sargent says:

    “the ocean primarily cools by evaporation”

    Are you absolutely certain in your 1D (vertically only and only above the oceans surface) view of oceans, that the above is a true statement and not a “pants on fire” statement?

    Because, I’ve got one killer of a counter argument!

  274. Genghis says:

    ATTP, “Evaporation is important, but you can’t ignore that a surface at temperature T also radiates an amount of energy roughly equal to \sigma T^4. Radiation from the surface is also important.”

    Yes, but under a cloudy sky the net radiation is typically zero. The cloud temperature is always within a degree or two of the surface temperature. Ocean surface radiation into a clear sky is typically 100 to 140 watts. (this is what I do with my IR gun when I am really bored).

    ATTP, “No, this isn’t right. Evaporation simply removes some energy from the surface and places it in water vapour that rises through the atmosphere. The energy is deposited in the atmosphere when the water vapour condenses.”

    If you take a sealed container of air and expand it, the temperature of the gas in the container drops. Evaporation, adding moisture to the air, makes the air less dense, it expands and cools it. It does work on it. That is how an evaporative cooler can lower the air temperature below the water temperature.

    ATTP, “I don’t quite follow this, but it can’t just be evaporation because unless the temperature goes up (or the relative humidity goes down – I think) the evaporation rate stays the same. Therefore, you can’t ignore that increased evaporation is probably also associated with increased temperatures.”

    That was exactly what I expected to observe when I started measuring the ocean surface and atmospheric (and clouds) temperatures from the side of my sail boat.

    Let me give you an example. At anchorage in Hog Cay (near Duncan Town, Bahamas) I would often observe 28˚C (466 watts) ocean surface temperatures, 26˚C (454 watts) cloud temperatures, and 4˚C (334 watts) clear sky temperatures. The ocean surface temperature would often stay within a tenth of a degree for days and nights at a time, it didn’t matter what whether it was day or night, clear or cloudy (rain and wind would cool the surface). What doesn’t change the surface temperature of the ocean is changes in downwelling long wave radiation.

    Hence my conclusion that increased long wave radiation which is absorbed in the first couple of microns of the oceans surface, must simply lead to more evaporation. It does not warm the surface like I expected.

  275. Genghis says:

    Everett,

    “the ocean primarily cools by evaporation”

    Are you absolutely certain in your 1D (vertically only and only above the oceans surface) view of oceans, that the above is a true statement and not a “pants on fire” statement?

    Because, I’ve got one killer of a counter argument!”

    *******

    In the Tropics yes, and I would love to hear your counter argument : )

  276. Genghis,

    If you take a sealed container of air and expand it, the temperature of the gas in the container drops. Evaporation, adding moisture to the air, makes the air less dense, it expands and cools it. It does work on it. That is how an evaporative cooler can lower the air temperature below the water temperature.

    No, this is wrong. Evaporation takes energy in the surface and produces water vapour. This will rise adiabatically via convection and will deposit the energy back into the atmosphere when it condenses. You can’t compare the atmosphere to a sealed container.

    Hence my conclusion that increased long wave radiation which is absorbed in the first couple of microns of the oceans surface, must simply lead to more evaporation. It does not warm the surface like I expected.

    This doesn’t make sense. I suspect your measurements aren’t showing what you think they are. Evaporation can’t go up unless the temperature rises, or the relative humidity goes down. Absorbing IR can’t simply lead to more evaporation.

    Look we’ve had a long chat here, but we can’t keep going around in circles.

  277. BBD says:

    Genghis

    Hence my conclusion that increased long wave radiation which is absorbed in the first couple of microns of the oceans surface, must simply lead to more evaporation. It does not warm the surface like I expected.

    Aze et al. (2014):

    ‘Extreme warming of tropical waters during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum’

    Abstract

    The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), ca. 56 Ma, was a major global environmental perturbation attributed to a rapid rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Geochemical records of tropical sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) from the PETM are rare and are typically affected by post-depositional diagenesis. To circumvent this issue, we have analyzed oxygen isotope ratios (δ18O) of single specimens of exceptionally well-preserved planktonic foraminifera from the PETM in Tanzania (∼19°S paleolatitude), which yield extremely low δ18O, down to <–5‰. After accounting for changes in seawater chemistry and pH, we estimate from the foraminifer δ18O that tropical SSTs rose by >3 °C during the PETM and may have exceeded 40 °C. Calcareous plankton are absent from a large part of the Tanzania PETM record; extreme environmental change may have temporarily caused foraminiferal exclusion.

    How do you account for this tropical ocean warming during a GHG-forced hyperthermal?

  278. Genghis says:

    ATTP, “I don’t really think this makes much sense. If the temperatures goes up, then that increases both the amount of energy being removed from the surface via radiation and evaporation (as long as there is water). However, evaporation can’t be a strong negative feedback because if it were too strong, the temperature wouldn’t rise and neither would the evaporation rate. Therefore, if the evaporation rate rises, the temperature has to rise (assuming a fixed relative humidity) and so does the amount of energy being lost via radiation.”

    That is it precisely, the temperature doesn’t rise and the net radiation falls, therefore the only explanation that I can think of is evaporation.

    ATTP, “I don’t understand how it can be a positive feedback in the polar regions, though.”

    That has more to do with Geometry and the direction of the energy flow. The Poles get very little solar insolation simply because of their position on the globe and because of the transport of energy via the atmosphere and ocean are net emitters of radiation, where the Tropics are net absorbers.

    At the Poles the atmosphere cools and contracts, effectively warming the atmosphere above what it would be without the contraction, Boyles law again. This is how evaporation in the Tropics warms the Poles.

    Also clear sky temperatures at higher latitudes are much colder -60˚C (117 watts) (I think) so the radiation loss rate is much higher. Also Clouds at the higher latitudes reflect sunlight from underneath the clouds, much like the practice of installing solar panels upside down. And finally at freezing temperatures there is almost no evaporation rather it is sublimation which transfers heat from the ocean to the atmosphere, different physics than with water vapor.

  279. Genghis,

    That is it precisely, the temperature doesn’t rise and the net radiation falls, therefore the only explanation that I can think of is evaporation.

    Or, you’re misinterpreting your measurements or your measurements are in error. You’re arguing for a fundamental change in basic physics. Extra-ordinary claims need extra-ordinary evidence.

    At the Poles the atmosphere cools and contracts, effectively warming the atmosphere above what it would be without the contraction, Boyles law again. This is how evaporation in the Tropics warms the Poles.

    No, the atmosphere doesn’t expand and contract.

    I think we’re going to have to call this quits since what you’re saying is completely wrong and I don’t really want incorrect scientific ideas to be promoted here too often or for too long.

  280. Genghis says:

    BBD, “How do you account for this tropical ocean warming during a GHG-forced hyper thermal?”

    The Tropical ocean basically (exclusively?) warms via SW radiation from the Sun. All it would take to warm the Tropical ocean would be less clouds.

    Which is the Question I asked ATTP a month ago, but he didn’t have the answer to (no one does that I know of), do increased levels of GHG’s increase or decrease cloud coverage.

  281. Genghis,

    Which is the Question I asked ATTP a month ago, but he didn’t have the answer to (no one does that I know of), do increased levels of GHG’s increase or decrease cloud coverage.

    I don’t remember this, but often when people claim this, what they really mean is “didn’t have an answer I agreed with/was convincing/was complete/….”.

    Clouds are the great uncertainty, but the best estimates at the moment is that clouds produce a small positive feedback. Try Figure 1 from this paper.

  282. Everett F Sargent says:

    It goes something like this …

    There are these things, most people call these things currents and winds and waves and mixing.

    Have you have heard of such things? Most people I know live in 3D, but YMMV.

    http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/radiationbalance.htm

    “The ocean evaporates, losing latent heat. On average, two meters of water is evaporated from the tropical ocean each year. … On average 78 W/m2 is lost by evaporation. All latent heat is released in the atmosphere when the evaporated water condenses as water in clouds and rain. This warms the atmosphere.”

    So two meters per year * surface area of the tropical oceans (I used the total oceans surface area) = cubic meters per year = 7.2E14 correct?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_Stream

    OK, so the Gulf Stream is only one ocean current, but who cares (of course continuity requires (and mixing produces a much cooler) return flow at the surface into the tropics + flow losses due to downwelling (AMOC)).

    “It transports water at a rate of 30 million cubic meters per second (30 sverdrups) through the Florida Straits. As it passes south of Newfoundland, this rate increases to 150 million cubic metres per second.

    So 3E7 * 365.25 * 24 * 60 * 60 = 6.5E15 cubic meters per year correct?

    Finally, 65 divided by 7.2 ~ O(10).

    In other words, convective ocean transport is the primary heat transport mechanism, tropical ocean evaporation not so much.

  283. This provides quite a nice explanation for the various energy fluxes. The 78Wm-2 mentioned by Everett above sounds about right, as something like 21% of the energy from the surface is lost by evaporation, about 4% by conduction/convection and the rest via radiation. Of course, in balance the surface gains the same amount of energy either directly from incoming solar radiation of from back-radiation from the atmosphere.

  284. BBD says:

    Genghis

    Which is the Question I asked ATTP a month ago, but he didn’t have the answer to (no one does that I know of), do increased levels of GHG’s increase or decrease cloud coverage.

    Well, whatever they do to cloud coverage, it does not prevent the climate system from warming up. See eg. the PETM.

    I’m not sure what your point is, really.

  285. Everett F Sargent says:

    Oops,

    Math error, 6.5E15 should be 8.4E14 and 8.4 divided by 7.2 ~ O(1).

    But, the basic argument still holds that, in total, convective ocean transport >> tropical ocean evaporation.

  286. Genghis says:

    ATTP, “No, the atmosphere doesn’t expand and contract.”

    I think you may find it instructive to view Hurricanes and Hadley cells. I guess I will have to figure out what else is happening next time I go up in my GROB.

    ATTP, “I think we’re going to have to call this quits since what you’re saying is completely wrong and I don’t really want incorrect scientific ideas to be promoted here too often or for too long.”

    Thank you for indulging me with my science fiction.

  287. Genghis,

    I think you may find it instructive to view Hurricanes and Hadley cells. I guess I will have to figure out what else is happening next time I go up in my GROB.

    I think you’re confusing the convective transport of energy within our atmosphere, in which warm parcels of air rise, expand, and cool; while cool parcels of air, drop, contract, and warm. That’s not the same as the expansion and contraction of the atmosphere. Also, this convective transport is not specifically related to evaporation at the surface. It happens if the atmosphere is convectively unstable and will typically cause the temperature in the troposphere to tend towards the adiabatic lapse rate (wet).

  288. Genghis says:

    Everett, “In other words, convective ocean transport is the primary heat transport mechanism, tropical ocean evaporation not so much.”

    Actually I agree with you. I should add that the ocean, tropics to the higher latitudes in the summer, absorb about 35 to 40 MegaJoules a day. and radiate less than 10 MegaJoules.

  289. Eli Rabett says:

    Like a long time ago, Eli organized a formal reply to a bit of nonsense. It was useful and a bit of work. If there was any real criticism it would be that the reply was a bit wordy as it had to include a number of POVs and Eli did not know Rachel.

  290. For the GHE it’s not essential that the surface emits LW anywhere. A hypothetical planet with a surface that absorbs most of SW but emits nothing, and an atmosphere with properties similar with that of the Earth would have a rather similar GHE. That’s the case both assuming that the water vapor is permanently in the atmosphere and assuming that there’s as much evaporation as there is on the Earth.

    The atmosphere of that hypothetical planet is warmed by the surface either by convection alone (some conduction near the surface is needed as well) or with a combination of latent heat transfer and convection.

    Boyle’s law is not a natural thing to consider although it’s surely part of the equation of state if ideal gases and thus also important in explaining adiabatic and near adiabatic expansion.

  291. Nathan says:

    Ghengis

    Go and read Science of Doom’s six part series on the Greenhouse Effect.

    Very clearly written and with mathematics (as a bonus 🙂 )

  292. Eli Rabett says:

    Yes, but under a cloudy sky the net radiation is typically zero. The cloud temperature is always within a degree or two of the surface temperature.

    No. Depends on the dew point.

  293. Genghis says:

    BBD, “Well, whatever they do to cloud coverage, it does not prevent the climate system from warming up. See eg. the PETM.

    I’m not sure what your point is, really.”

    Hmm, the ocean absorbs about 35 megajoules per day, per meter squared, in the tropics and up to 60 degrees latitude in their respective summer.

    If you have solid cloud coverage that amount will drop to nothing while at the same time the surface cooling will increase, ultimately freezing the oceans.

    Alternatively if the cloud coverage decreases, the oceans will warm at a greater rate, I have no idea of the upper limit (provided the SW insolation continues to be absorbed.)

  294. Genghis says:

    Pekka Pirilä says: “For the GHE it’s not essential that the surface emits LW anywhere.

    The atmosphere of that hypothetical planet is warmed by the surface either by convection alone (some conduction near the surface is needed as well) or with a combination of latent heat transfer and convection.”

    Yes, and that is what my measurements in the cloud covered situation indicate, no net radiation.

  295. Genghis says:

    Eli Rabett says:

    “Yes, but under a cloudy sky the net radiation is typically zero. The cloud temperature is always within a degree or two of the surface temperature.

    No. Depends on the dew point.”

    Take an IR gun and point it at a cloud in the sky Eli. Granted it isn’t reading the temperature of the cloud, but it is giving me very good proxy for the downwelling radiation which is what I am really looking for.

  296. Genghis says:

    ATTP, “I think you’re confusing the convective transport of energy within our atmosphere, in which warm parcels of air rise, expand, and cool; while cool parcels of air, drop, contract, and warm. That’s not the same as the expansion and contraction of the atmosphere. Also, this convective transport is not specifically related to evaporation at the surface. It happens if the atmosphere is convectively unstable and will typically cause the temperature in the troposphere to tend towards the adiabatic lapse rate (wet).”

    The expansion and contraction of the atmosphere is all of that and more, Chinooks are fun too. Primarily though look at the height of the tropopause over the equator compared to the poles. It is easy to see where the expansion and compression is taking place.

    As the cold air flows from the equator to the poles it it is compressed and warmed. One of the keys to compressing the air is to eliminate the water vapor in it, then let gravity do its job.

    This is THE process that drives the Climate, Weather, etc.

  297. .Poor Shub, unable to control ATTP to his liking

    And the WUWTers inadvertently (?) turn on Shub:

    ” Rather its that the hive-bozos are becoming more and more like those cytoplasmic “things” with tentacles and eye-stalks and bad-breath that H. P. Lovecraft used to write about. I mean, like, what a bunch of creep-outs!!!”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shub-Niggurath

    look at the caption: artistic portrayal of Shub-Niggurath, along with her “Thousand Young”.

    I don’t create these metaphors, they are projected to me on a silver platter.

  298. Nick says:

    Good to see that Monckton et al has given ‘the ice age is coming’ alarmists a cold bath.

  299. Genghis,

    Yes, and that is what my measurements in the cloud covered situation indicate, no net radiation.

    Yes, but Pekka’s point is that this doesn’t mean that there is no atmospheric green house effect and that this isn’t because of radiatively active gases in the atmosphere.

  300. The discussion with Genghis has reminded me that I don’t know any single presentation that would describe the main features of the Earth GHE clearly and concisely without unphysical simplifications. SoD is good in many ways, but not as concise as I have in mind. Many other sites make unphysical simplifications that may as well be confusing as helpful. There must be some place that satisfies better my expectations, but I’m unaware of such.

  301. izen says:

    I think I can discern in the ideas put forward by Genghis, the shadows of an old zombie argument from the past.

    If there was only a GHE and no waster then the equator would be much hotter than the poles.
    Water acts as a very efficient transport system via phase changes to move energy from the equator to the poles. Evaporation in the tropics, condensation in the mid-latitudes and freezing at the poles.

    Therefore the water liquid to water vapour transition in the tropics is a negative feedback on the warming that would otherwise be caused by the GHE.
    And a positive feedback at the poles where it adds energy.

    As Everett F Sargent posted earlier, the heavy lifting for energy transfer is actually done by the thermohaline currents, but the transport of energy by the atmosphere with water as the carrier is a significant part.

    However it is all the resultant of the prevailing energy flows, not a forcing. It affects the distribution of the energy, not the totals so affects local weather rather than climate. Science of Doom is as always a good place to get into the detail!

    Perhaps those like Genghis who suspect some major error in our understanding of the climate should reflect that climate models, whatever else their failings, produce an accurate facsimile of the real general circulation of the energy in the climate reproducing the Hadley cells and climate zones using the basic physics that is supposedly call into question by these observations on the role of water vapour in energy transport.`

    Worth a reminder of what climate modelling can be rather than irreducibly wrong.

  302. izen says:

    @- Pekka Pirilä
    “I don’t know any single presentation that would describe the main features of the Earth GHE clearly and concisely without unphysical simplifications. ”

    I suspect the problem is that a concise narrative is not possible without unphysical simplification.

    Perhaps the climate system is ireducably complex! (grin)

    More prosaicly it has many different levels of physical description, from the global energy flows to chemical influences on cloud nucleation rates. There is no one unified common description that would be encompass all aspects, even eliminating factors with small or shorterm influences would not trim the size of the subject much, and would leave it open to accusations of ommission.

    That is before the difficult issue of what level of pre-existing knowledge, or misinformation, the recipient of the clear concise decription of GHE without unphysical simplification has. Bluntly, what context that presentation is entering.

    I dont mean to be too negative about the idea of a good physically accurate presentation of the GHE. While I think the information deficit theory has… deficits, it isn’t JUST the lack of good information that limits a persons understanding, I do think it would be an advantage if better, clearer and accurate even if simplified presentations of the basic idea were available. How to explain complex dynamic processes however to those not habitually exposed to the science of such things can be frustratingly difficult however.

    If anybody does have a favourite form of presentation that they think is good it might be interesting to compare and see what common themes, or mistakes emerge.

  303. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Please help our research by taking this survey
    [Mod : removed link to survey that apparently does not have proper ethics approval.]

  304. jsam says:

    I started the survey and then stopped early. I’d expected to see a description of who was running the survey, what it’s intention was, etc. I answered the “je ne regrette rien” questions and then stopped at the lottery section.

  305. I was thinking about Genghis’s evaporation arguments last night while trying to fall asleep (the things I ponder while trying to get to sleep???). If we consider this in terms of forcings and feedbacks, then a radiative forcing is something that changes the outgoing flux. Let’s assume that the atmosphere primarily radiates from some height h and that this matches the energy we receive from the Sun. Imagine there is an increase in forcing of 3.7Wm-2 (such as due to a doubling of CO2), how much would the temperature at this height h have to increase by to increase the outgoing flux to once again match the incoming flux? You can determine this by solving for dT in the equation below (with T = 255K)

    dF = 3.7 = 4 \sigma T^3 dT.

    What you should get is that dT = 1K, as expected. Since we’re doing this at the effective radiative height in the atmosphere, evaporation does not play a role and we can consider only radiation. Now, the dominant energy transport mechanism in the atmosphere is convection which sets the lapse rate (temperature gradient). If the lapse rate is unchanged, then an increase of 1K at h increases the temperature by 1K everywhere in the lower parts of the atmosphere and on the surface.

    Okay, but a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapour (which produces a positive feedback and amplifies the warming) and a warmer surface can increase the evaporation rate. At this stage, however, the increased evaporation doesn’t influence the surface temperature. Where it can play a role (as mentioned above) is that the energy used to evaporate the water has to be deposited back into the atmosphere, which happens when the water vapour condenses. Typically, this doesn’t happen equally at all altitudes, it condenses more higher in the troposphere, than lower, which means it heats the higher regions of the troposphere more than the lower. This changes the lapse rate and reduces the temperature gradient. Consequently it reduces the difference between the temperature at height h in the atmosphere and the surface and is therefore a negative feedback. However, it is smaller – in magnitude – than the positive water vapour feedback.

    So, as far as I can see, evaporation itself is not a feedback. It plays a role in producing the water vapour feedback (positive) and lapse rate feedback (negative), but is not itself a feedback. Of course, if there was no water and no evporation, the lapse rate would be large than it is now, and the surface would be warmer, but I still don’t think that that makes evaporation itself a feedback.

    I, however, agree with Pekka, that there are virtually no explanations of the greenhouse effect that don’t rely on some kind of simplifications and so could be regarded as – in some sense – wrong. I may just have illustrated that above 🙂

  306. Richard,
    Have you run your survey past the arbiter of all that is good and right in science? I’d hate you to suddenly be accused of fraud and misconduct.

  307. izen,
    There are limits in what can be described both concisely and clearly, but I’m pretty sure that better presentation is possible than what I have seen.

    What must be included is:

    1) The fundamental idea that the surface temperature is determined by the strength of absorption of SW and the full set of processes that allow heat from surface to get radiated to space. When there are obstacles of any type for the latter, the surface temperature rises.

    2) The radiative heat transfer basis of GHE given the composition and profile of the atmosphere
    — Here the main point is that the point of emission of radiation that escapes the troposphere is the most important factor

    3) Explanation of the profile of the atmosphere (close to adiabatic vertical convection).

    Based on the three above points, the clear sky case can be presented fairly well. On the net the best approach is probably to make the root presentation extremely concise and to support that by links to progressively more detailed description of each aspect.

    That can be continued to explain what additional CO2 leads to:
    – radiative forcing
    – no-feedback sensitivity
    – water vapor feedback
    – lapse rate feedback.

    Then we get to the more complex issues of
    – clouds
    – environmental lapse rate (rather than dry or moist adiabatic)
    – etc.

    All that could be presented in a easy-to-use net environment. The best approach, IMO, is that used by help systems like this, i.e. expandable contents on the left and lot of links between chapters.

  308. Everett F Sargent says:

    It seems that meridional transport (latitudinal transport) and partitioning into latent, sensible and ocean heat transport components (or just atmospheric and ocean components) is being discussed (in perhaps (/) somewhat greater detail) in the recent peer reviewed literature (post CMIP5).

    I’m sort of learning just how much I don’t know about the atmosphere/ocean system.

  309. Everett,

    I’m sort of learning just how much I don’t know about the atmosphere/ocean system.

    Likewise. I don’t think it is particularly simple.

  310. Joshua says:

    I won’t consider taking that survey unless I know whether it will be used as evidence in a peer-reviewed article. If it will be used for a peer-reviewed article, and its use can therefore can be criticized, I’ll consider taking it. Otherwise, because its use can’t be criticized, I won’t consider taking it.

  311. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    @Joshua
    This survey will be used in papers.

  312. Joshua,
    Didn’t you have that the wrong way around “if peer-reviewed it can’t be criticised” 🙂

    Richard,
    I think some were looking for some more information than that. The link takes people to a survey and doesn’t explain what the motivation is, who will use it, or anything else really.

  313. Andrew Dodds says:

    @Tol

    The Guardian or the Daily Mail? This is important.

    More seriously, this isn’t twitter, you are not limited to 140 characters. You want people to give up their time and effort to fill in the survey, so you may wish to give people some background on the survey, a general outline of possible use (not specific because this could prejudice the answers), and an idea of the size of the survey. Oh, and a statement on data protection may help.

    (Hell, you teach a social science, this should be bread and butter stuff)

    The other interesting thing is that it blocks IPs if accessing a second time, which is a bit of a problem if someone has had a look, but wants to fill it in later.

  314. Genghis says:

    ATTP, “Yes, but Pekka’s point is that this doesn’t mean that there is no atmospheric green house effect and that this isn’t because of radiatively active gases in the atmosphere.”

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough, any gas will produce a green house effect. Except maybe helium, but I am assuming some sort of atmosphere.

    I am not in anyway, shape or form arguing that there is no GHE with or without radiative gases. I have an IR Gun and I can point it at the sky and prove it any time my little heart desires.

  315. Genghis says:

    If I don’t see the replies ‘awaiting moderation’ anymore and they aren’t posted, does that mean they vanished into the ether?

  316. The response rate to an AAAS meeting audience questionaire seeking information about where attendees got their information on the topic discussed at the session — peer reviewed journals versus the popular media, was ~8%

    I suspect it would have doubled if we gave away pens, which leads to the parallel question of whether instead of complaining about lack of peer review, we should support it by volunteering to spend more time as reviewers– some have even, gasp, proposed in Nature that reviewers be paid $50 an hour for their labor i, instead of subsidizing for profit journals like, well, Springer ‘s .

    Faced with semantic agresssion right and left by the polemic writing classes abroad , the Chinese Editors of Science Bulletin might well benefit from an injection of English as a First Language reviewers, voluntary or mercenary.

  317. Genghis,

    I am not in anyway, shape or form arguing that there is no GHE with or without radiative gases. I have an IR Gun and I can point it at the sky and prove it any time my little heart desires.

    Then I’m not entirely sure what you’re suggesting. Evaporation clearly plays a role in setting the surface temperature but through lapse rate feedback, not because it is a feedback in its own right.

    If I don’t see the replies ‘awaiting moderation’ anymore and they aren’t posted, does that mean they vanished into the ether?

    I found it.

    As the cold air flows from the equator to the poles it it is compressed and warmed. One of the keys to compressing the air is to eliminate the water vapor in it, then let gravity do its job.

    This is THE process that drives the Climate, Weather, etc.

    Yes, but this is the compression and expansion of parcels of air, not compression and expansion of the entire atmosphere (which is what is seemed that you were suggesting). Clearly convection plays a very important role in transporting energy through the atmosphere, but this energy is not lost until it is radiated away.

  318. Joseph says:

    You would think Richard would have made some kind of formal introduction. You know like “some colleagues of mine are conducting a study and would appreciate your participation. The survey is related to ‘blah blah blah’ and should take approximately blah blah minutes to complete. If you start the survey, you must complete it without leaving the page. You will be unable to return to retake the test” Or something like that.. I wonder what how the procedure for conducting this survey will be described in the methods section of the paper.

  319. BBD says:

    Genghis

    What is your point wrt AGW?

  320. izen says:

    @-“This survey will be used in papers.”

    Just seven words to ensure Harmony and resonance….

    http://www.pitt.edu/~peterb/papers/JER0402_05.pdf

    “The Internet research ethics literature provides basic starting points for methodological
    and ethical considerations:
    [Y]ou should collect data for one specific and legitimate purpose and . . . [it] should be guarded against any form of misuse, loss, disclosure, unauthorized access, and similar risks. People should know about which personal data are stored and used and should have access to them. . . . Anonymity of the participants should be guaranteed and maintained during the research and in using the material. People should know that a researcher records their chats. This also means that simply lurking (reading and copying chatroom exchanges) is not legitimate. There are several forms of “netiquettes” for the different areas of Internet research, and researchers should know them and act according to them.
    (Flick, 2009, p. 279)
    Knowing the etiquette of a specific Internet locale and the norms and philosophies of the specific Internet community, along with the requisite human subjects principles, moves researchers and HRECs to what Ess (2007), among others, has called “good Samaritan ethics,” or the response to go above and beyond the letter of the law, representing a push towards “harmony and resonance”.”

  321. izen says:

    Well it is true.
    The link to the survey that Richard S J Tol asked people to take is configured as a once only portal.

    There is a very brief page that says little more than Tol above, -‘to help research at the University of Sussex identify how people get information about climate and policy, – is additional information.
    And a perfunctory -information is confidential – From whom one wonders?

    Click next and it is straight into personal questions about age etc.
    Click back… and thats it. you are locked out of the whole survey and the entry page with a simple – sorry one entry per computer message.

    Now this could be a result of using some rather simplistic commercial software that appears to be more suited for commercial and business surveys than academic work. There is certainly no mention of their academic credentials on the website of the company –
    http://www.surveygizmo.com/company/about/
    Although apparently they wear capes.

    However if the intention was to make an appeal to take a survey in a venue that was likely to have a high ratio of a target group of science educated people; and manipulate them into being suspicious and NOT taking the survey, or blocking themselves by not opting out part way; success?

    No, far too conspiratorial, and easier to explain by bad software and inherent bad manners.

  322. numerobis says:

    Surveygizmo is pretty commonly used. But they are a mere platform; no matter their own competence, you need good survey design.

  323. Steven Mosher says:

    @ Richard Tol

    ok, you score bonus points for excellent taste in music

    Fun survey. hater’s gotta hate.

  324. @Steve
    Thanks.

    Not sure I understand the sentiments above. What’s the worst that can happen to you when you complete a questionnaire? I find it is the only way to understand the results.

  325. Richard,

    Not sure I understand the sentiments above. What’s the worst that can happen to you when you complete a questionnaire? I find it is the only way to understand the results.

    I don’t know, normally it’s nice to know why someone is conducting the survey, how the data’s going to be used,…… Isn’t that pretty standard?

  326. numerobis says:

    Given the faux naïveté and the lack of any explanatory links on the survey, I’m assuming no IRB was actually filed, which means no reputable journal will publish the results.

  327. It’s just seems to be another Tol Poll.

  328. verytallguy says:

    Izen,

    However if the intention was to make an appeal to take a survey in a venue that was likely to have a high ratio of a target group of science educated people; and manipulate them into being suspicious and NOT taking the survey, or blocking themselves by not opting out part way; success?

    Wow, that’s quite some double bluff conspiracy thong you’ve got there.

    Mind you,  just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean the bastards aren’t out to get you…

  329. verytallguy says:

    Conspiracy thing obviously. ..

    I dread to think what I’d learn if I googled “conspiracy thong”…

  330. verytallguy says:

    Izen

    easier to explain by bad software and inherent bad manners.

    Don’t  know if you’re familiar with”The Last Leg” but you made me think of this advice for Richard Tol and the rest of us.   Would make an excellent comment policy too…

    “Be nice. But if you can’t be nice, don’t be a dick” #soundadvice

    https://mobile.twitter.com/TheLastLeg/status/556215849011671040

  331. BBD says:

    I dread to think what I’d learn if I googled “conspiracy thong”…

    We have to get to the bottom of this…

  332. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    ==> “Joshua,
    Didn’t you have that the wrong way around “if peer-reviewed it can’t be criticised” :-)”

    Ha. Yes,, you’re right. Once again proof that I don’t know what I believe unless I have someone like Richard to tell me what I think.

    As an aside – Mosher is particularly good at telling me what I think. I think even better than Richard. Mosher has informed me that has a “window into [my] soul.” I kid you not.

  333. verytallguy says:

    BBD,

    now you’re just being silly.

    And thus the circle is completed…

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/the-designers-of-our-climate/#comment-43572

  334. Joshua says:

    Richard –

    ==> “@Joshua
    This survey will be used in papers.”

    Not good enough. I need to know if they’re papers that will be published in peer-reviewed journals. Without that information, I won’t know whether the usage of the data can be criticized.

  335. Steven Mosher says:

    Richard

    “Not sure I understand the sentiments above. What’s the worst that can happen to you when you complete a questionnaire? I find it is the only way to understand the results.”

    some of the arguments against taking polls are just conspiratorial nuttery, like I want to know how the data is going to be used. next they’ll want a contract.. you can’t use the data for this purpose
    or for that purpose.

    I took the survey just cause I want to see what kind of questions you find interesting and how you get at certain issues with questions. I’m more curious than distrustful. I suppose some would rather be safe than sorry.

    I gave my best effort.. hmm on the lottery questions.. I decided not to do calculations.. but did a gut feel approach. not sure if that was what you were after.. same with the net present value questions..

  336. Steven,
    Let’s replace “Richard Tol” with “Stephan Lewandowsky” and imagine that this was happening on Climate Etc or Bishop Hill.

  337. Mike Pollard says:

    There are (at last viewing) over 3300 views of the Abstract and over 1850 views of the article PDF – many times more than any other article in the issue that the Monckton, Soon, Legates, and Briggs paper appears. Its pretty easy to build those views, just a page click registers as a view, you don’t need to read or download anything. I can imagine the authors and the WUWT crowd furiously tapping their enter keys so that they can proclaim the paper the most popular in all of science. However science is not a popularity contest, not that they would know that.

  338. Steven Mosher says:

    hehe

    joshua needs to pull his blinds down or his pants up

  339. Joshua says:

    More fantasizing, eh Mosher? Why do you fantasize about me so much?

  340. Steven and Joshua,
    Okay, I was joking about pretending that this was Climate Etc. Let’s realise that it’s not.

  341. verytallguy says:

    …imagine that this was happening on Climate Etc or Bishop Hill.

    Noooooooooooo!!!!

  342. I checked the poll, but didn’t submit mainly because some of the questions were specific to UK.

    I would certainly have liked to have more information on the front page, but even the very short comments of Richard on this site told enough about the poll taking into account the nature of the questions presented.

    I don’t expect that it’s possible to get to this kind of internet poll answers that can be judged as representative of any specified group of people (except the group defined by the fact that they submit their answers), but otherwise one must be really paranoid to have serious problems with this poll, IMO.

  343. izen says:

    @-verytallguy
    “Wow, that’s quite some double bluff conspiracy thong you’ve got there.”

    -GRIN-

    @-“Mind you, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean the bastards aren’t out to get you…”

    I think that is rarely a primary intent, more usually it is an unintended consequence…

    Its a matter of manners, I have recieved cold calls offering me the chance to answer a survey about home improvements as a means of marketing double glazing that were more politely framed than Tol’s invitation.

    I agree with Steve Mosher –
    @-“I took the survey just cause I want to see what kind of questions you find interesting and how you get at certain issues with questions.”

    That is a good reason to take a survey, to gain some insight into the way a subject is framed and the questions are structured by those setting the survey. Humans, lab mice and galactic hitch hikers come to mind…

    @-” I’m more curious than distrustful. I suppose some would rather be safe than sorry.”

    I am not particularly distrustful, or paranoid. I am afraid it is more a matter of selfishness, unless there is some payoff for doing the work of answering questions, either in an insight into the research, or some analysis and feedbackt of my answers, or …. money? – I am selfish enough to ignore unexplained requests to answer questions.
    And if on occasions I HAVE to fill in such a survey were I have no interest in the results, I might well use dice.

  344. izen says:

    @-Pekka Pirilä
    “What must be included is:
    1) The fundamental idea that the surface temperature is determined by the strength of absorption of SW and the full set of processes that allow heat from surface to get radiated to space. When there are obstacles of any type for the latter, the surface temperature rises.
    2) The radiative heat transfer basis of GHE”…”

    Interesting list, I have saved it for further thought, including how aspects could be depicted graphically.
    I doubt it can be done in anything LESS than textbook length with a lot of text and more maths than 80% of the general population are comfortable with at that detail however.

    Unlike C++ there are also problems in how the subject, the levels of description are parsed. What criteria are used to arrange the hierarchy of important factors.

    A close approach to the hyperlink structure you suggest in the climate field is probably the Spencer Weart climate history site. That has the advantage of a timeline to order the information, and is one that I would nominate, and sometimes recommend to those who might be open to the idea of the historical evolution of the science.

  345. tlsmith says:

    I tried and basically failed to read all the way through the paper. However my take on it, is that the graph is saying that for gain factors bigger than whatever (0.1) the system would be unstable and liable to show oscillatory behaviour, whereas they claim that for the last 810,000 years the Earth’s climate has been pretty stable with a fairly narrow range of temperature variation +/- 3 deg or so.

    Assuming the system is stable then it implies the gain factor is small, and wouldn’t it be nice to think that.

  346. tlsmith,

    whereas they claim that for the last 810,000 years the Earth’s climate has been pretty stable with a fairly narrow range of temperature variation +/- 3 deg or so.

    It’s probably more like +/- 5K. The problem with this argument is that this variability is driven by small changes in external forcing. Arguing that it is small relative to the background, therefore the gain is small, is wrong.

    Assuming the system is stable then it implies the gain factor is small, and wouldn’t it be nice to think that.

    It would be nice, but it’s almost certainly wrong.

  347. Eli Rabett says:

    Please help our research by taking this survey

    Now some, not Eli to be sure, but your average libertoonian economist, might ask what’s in it for me.

  348. Eli Rabett says:

    Richard darling, do you have IRM approval for this survey, and if so where is the link to it. FOIA, FOIA, FOIA in the morning. . . . . .

  349. izen
    What I had in mind are the basics, not enough to argue on issues like dynamics of the oceans or the strength of the overall feedbacks. The basic that I have in mind is, however, enough to tell, which factors are most important for the basic GHE or the additional GHE from added CO2. It’s possible to justify that the no-feedback climate sensitivity is roughly 1 K, but it’s not possible to tell that value accurately, because that would require covering, how clouds affect the value even in absence of feedbacks, and that would require rather detailed knowledge about the state of the atmosphere.

    SoD has discussed largely all issues that could be covered, but his blog is not organized as an accessible net resource, and he has also covered issues that go beyond the core material of such an approach.

    It would be possible to expand the approach I proposed to any level of detail. That might even be a possible alternative approach for the present IPCC WG1 reports. When properly organized on the net the extent of the additional material does not make the core any less accessible, and at the same time the core would serve also as the core of index to full scientific knowledge on the field.

    I do believe that the three points I presented allow for a better explanation of the basics than most other approaches, as it is, indeed, possible to explain pretty well, how the upper troposphere is the key, and that the rest can be built on that key observation. (It’s perhaps paradoxical that Miskolczi has presented one graph in his 2010 paper that serves that purpose very well, but he has dismissed the clear evidence he has produced in the rest of that paper to reach conclusions that contradict the evidence of his own results.)

  350. Eli Rabett says:

    On the Ghengis matter, the answer is dead simple, the temperature difference between the surface and the bottom of clouds is small because cloud bottoms are pretty low, mostly less than a km from the surface and so the lapse rate difference is small. Pilots know all about this.

  351. Genghis says:

    BBD says:

    “Genghis

    What is your point wrt AGW?”

    It depends on where. I think there are three – four distinct climates. In the Tropics and subtropics I don’t think AGW has any affect at all. In the Temperate Zones AGW has a moderate warming affect and at the Poles I don’t think AGW has much of an effect because there is so little solar insolation.

    Where I am concerned about increased levels of CO2 is its affect on cloud formation. If increased levels of CO2 permanently decrease cloud coverage in the Tropics then we could see Dante’s Inferno or vice versa. There is some indication that there has been less cloud coverage in the last few 15 years or so which concerns me.

    I think all this paleontology, equilibrium temperature sensitivity, global temperatures, etc. are missing the point. It is all about what the surface of the ocean is doing.

  352. Genghis says:

    Eli Rabett says:

    “On the Ghengis matter, the answer is dead simple, the temperature difference between the surface and the bottom of clouds is small because cloud bottoms are pretty low, mostly less than a km from the surface and so the lapse rate difference is small. Pilots know all about this.”

    I am a pilot too, even got my Diamond sailplane rating when it was hard to do. But the temperature of the bottom of the clouds as measured from the ground is not dependent on the height, rather it is based on the clouds thickness (is opaqueness a word?).

    What really changes the most is clear sky readings, They go from 4 to 5˚C in the Tropics to -60 or so in high, dry latitudes.

  353. Eli Rabett says:

    This explanation might be simple enough for Pekka

  354. Everett F Sargent says:

    Well, I took the most recent Tol Poll talked about above, sort of.

    I guess you all could call me Skipper (as in the survey allows you to skip all questions).

    But, I’m more interested in where this survey has been advertised, in the form of a timeline, timing is everything.

    Finally, the gender (identity) question gives you, not two, but four choices, when I know there are actually five choices!

  355. adelady says:

    “Not sure I understand the sentiments above. What’s the worst that can happen to you when you complete a questionnaire? I find it is the only way to understand the results.”

    Well for starters, you might have mentioned that there are questions about the minutiae of UK taxes and policies, with no option for don’t know, not relevant, skip. Seeing as you’re doing this on an international platform you should make allowances for that.

    I don’t know whether the platform allows it but the front page identity questions could have included an item about country of residence. Even if that didn’t allow you to suppress those country specific questions during the process of completion, it would allow sorting of the responses by the people compiling the results.

    And that’s just for starters before I mention the multiplicity of ~other~ problems on the various pages. I did go all the way through, but I skipped the truly tedious ones. I _couldn’t_ skip the ones where my answers will be misleading because there was no way to indicate I wasn’t from the UK.

    A terrible survey in my view.

  356. BBD says:

    Genghis

    It depends on where. I think there are three – four distinct climates. In the Tropics and subtropics I don’t think AGW has any affect at all. In the Temperate Zones AGW has a moderate warming affect and at the Poles I don’t think AGW has much of an effect because there is so little solar insolation.

    I have already asked you how, if this were correct (it isn’t) you would account for the considerable warming of the tropical ocean during the PETM (you didn’t). See here.

    Arguments from personal incredulity don’t count.

  357. Genghis says:

    BBD says:

    Genghis

    It depends on where. I think there are three – four distinct climates. In the Tropics and subtropics I don’t think AGW has any affect at all. In the Temperate Zones AGW has a moderate warming affect and at the Poles I don’t think AGW has much of an effect because there is so little solar insolation.

    I have already asked you how, if this were correct (it isn’t) you would account for the considerable warming of the tropical ocean during the PETM (you didn’t). See here.

    Arguments from personal incredulity don’t count.”

    *************

    You neglected to mention the second part of my answer, where I specifically answered your question, Clouds. Fewer cloud and the ocean heats up, more clouds and the ocean cools. So I can conclude that there were fewer clouds for the PETM period.

    Here is the thing, increased atmospheric downwelling long wave radiation (CO2) increases the evaporation rate. That means there is more evaporation under clear sky conditions with elevated CO2 levels. Does that mean more clouds or less? Frankly, I don’t know. It stands to reason that more humidity means more clouds and that is readily observable, but it is fairly clear that there has been fewer clouds the last 15 or so years.

    I am puzzled.

  358. Christian Moe says:

    A model of irredeemable duplicity?

  359. Kevin O'Neill says:

    Genghis writes: “Fewer cloud and the ocean heats up, more clouds and the ocean cools. So I can conclude that there were fewer clouds for the PETM period.

    Is this supported by the data that we have for cloud coverage over the past 6 decades and the observed warming during that time?

    I don’t think so.

    I find Joel Norris’ work to be interesting and enlightening.

    Genghis may want to especially look at Clouds in the Climate System: Why is this such a difficult problem, and where do we go from here? and Observed Cloud Cover Trends and Global Climate Change

  360. Genghis says:

    Kevin

    Lots of material you referenced to : ) I will take my time and check them out. Thank you.

    But to comment on your comment, I disagree that the data doesn’t support the standard meteorologic model. That is all I am espousing anyway, meteorology 101, just what I was taught in flight school and navigation courses.

    There is nothing that hones ones meteorology skills, like a nervous wife asking if the weather will be okay for a passage.

  361. Everett F Sargent says:

    ASSESSMENT OF GLOBAL CLOUD DATASETS FROM SATELLITES
    http://modis-atmos.gsfc.nasa.gov/reference/docs/GEWEX-CA_bams2013.pdf
    http://www.wcrp-climate.org/documents/GEWEX_Cloud_Assessment_2012.pdf

    “ISCCP exhibits a slow variation over the time period (1984 to 2008) that is not reflected in any other data set (with coarser time sampling). However, detailed investigations (Annex 2) show that spurious changes in calibration and sampling do affect the magnitude but do not eliminate this slow variation. At present one can only conclude that global monthly mean cloud amount is constant over the last 25 years to within 2.5%, within the range of interannual variability.

    Since natural interannual variability increases when considering regions, one has to be careful to filter it out to identify possible climate changes in clouds.”

    Well, that settles that, sort of.

  362. Joseph says:

    Well for starters, you might have mentioned that there are questions about the minutiae of UK taxes and policies, with no option for don’t know, not relevant, skip. Seeing as you’re doing this on an international platform you should make allowances for that.

    Again I think this most scatterbrained attempt at doing a questionnaire based study I have ever seen. Tol(l) Pol indeed..

  363. Genghis says:

    Everett F Sargent, “At present one can only conclude that global monthly mean cloud amount is constant over the last 25 years to within 2.5%, within the range of interannual variability.

    Well, that settles that, sort of.”

    To put it in perspective, 2.5% of 35 MegaJoules equals 850,000 joules a day or 10 watts.

    That is plus or minus 2 to 3 times the 3.7 watt increase expected from doubling CO2.

  364. MikeH says:

    Monckton finds an appropriate place to discuss his paper. WIngNutDaily.
    http://www.wnd.com/2015/01/equation-spells-doom-for-climate-communists/

    If you think Monckton is [Mod: a bit disrespectful], you should try reading the comments.

    ** see http://www.wnd.com/author/cmonckton/

  365. Genghis,

    To put it in perspective, 2.5% of 35 MegaJoules equals 850,000 joules a day or 10 watts.

    That is plus or minus 2 to 3 times the 3.7 watt increase expected from doubling CO2.

    Firstly, changes in cloud cover are almost certainly a feedback, not a forcing. Secondly, change can be both positive or negative (albedo and blocking outgoing longwavelength radiation). Hence, the net effect of cloud cover changes is small.

  366. Pingback: How Climate Change Denial Still Gets Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals - Trendingnewsz.com

  367. Michael Lloyd says:

    @Richard SJ Tol, Professor of Economics, University of Sussex
    http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/289812

    Before I can decide whether or not to participate in your survey, I’d be grateful if you would inform me of the following:

    Study title
    What is the purpose of the survey?
    Will my information in this survey be kept confidential and will you describe how confidentiality, privacy and anonymity will be ensured in the collection, storage and publication of research material?
    What will happen to the results of the research survey?
    Who is organising and funding the research?
    Contact for Further Information
    Link to your survey

  368. jsam says:

    “Monckton acknowledges that there was a publication fee, as well as an open access fee, which was covered by the Heartland Institute”
    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/peer-reviewing-climate-denial

  369. John Hartz says:

    If you have not already done so, you will want to check out…

    How Climate Change Denial Still Gets Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals by Brian Merchant, Motherboard, Jan 21, 2015

  370. Pingback: “the Monckton et. al paper is complete trash” – Stoat

  371. Pingback: How Climate Change Denial Still Gets Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals | Motherboard | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  372. jsam says:

    You’ll enjoy Monckton’s hysterical reaction concluding with the usual expected denialist hyperbole.

    Conclusion: the climate fraud will not cease till someone is prosecuted
    In the corporate world, economies with the truth on the systematic and ruthless scale evident in the untruthful comments of the half-dozen “scientists” we have named and shamed here would be severely dealt with.
    The crafty misrepresentations, the outright falsehoods, the artful misquotations and deliberately incomplete quotations, the unproven assertions, the readiness to criticize a paper that several of these creatures can be proven not to have read, the claims to knowledge they do not possess: these and multiple other instances of gross misconduct would not be tolerated outside the ivy-covered walls of academe.
    These anti-scientists, these perpetrators who have gotten the facts so relentlessly and often deliberately wrong, must expect to raise a suspicion in some minds that they had misbehaved either for some political objective or for the sake of maintaining a profitable income-stream from the governments they have panicked, or both.
    The cost of the climate fraud to taxpayers runs to the tens of billions a year. It is the biggest fraud in history. So far, the fraudsters have proven untouchable. The public authorities, even when confronted with the plainest of evidence, have carefully looked the other way.
    It is not for us to say whether the “scientists” whose untruths we have exposed here were fools or knaves or both. We report: you decide. But allowing the UN to establish an unelected, unaccountable, all-powerful global climate tyranny at Paris this December on the basis of “science” as shoddy and unprincipled as this would be a costly and – as our peer-reviewed paper at http://www.scibull.com has definitively established – entirely unnecessary mistake.

    http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/01/25/monckton-fires-back-point-by-point-rebuttal-at-warmist-critics-of-new-peer-reviewed-study-shoddy-rent-a-quote-scientists/,

  373. jsam,
    Are you telling me that he learned nothing from the extensive discussion I had with him and – possibly – his Clerk (when His Lordship was otherwise engaged – or “on stool” as someone else put it), on Jan Perlwitz’s blog? I feel like I wasted all that effort 😉

  374. pbjamm says:

    ATTP : the ‘discussion’ you had with Monkton The Great and Powerful was something to behold. His ability to ignore contrary evidence and dismiss his detractors is breathtaking. I do so wish that I was a member of the upper crust so that I could stick my fingers in my ears and sling insults while simultaneously accusing the targets of said insults of acting childish. It must be one of those skills that is only taught in fancy boarding schools.

  375. pbjamm,

    I do so wish that I was a member of the upper crust so that I could stick my fingers in my ears and sling insults while simultaneously accusing the targets of said insults of acting childish.

    Yes, that was quite remarkable. Being insulting while complaining of others behaving badly is kind of a skill. He’s just pretty bad at it though. If these fancy boarding schools were any good, they’d teach to do it with much more subtlety. My recent encounters with Viscounts almost makes me want to become a Republican 🙂

  376. verytallguy says:

    My recent encounters with Viscounts almost makes me want to become a Republican

    Whereas my recent encounters with republicans makes me want to become a Viscount.

    Where do I apply?

  377. Eli Rabett says:

    [Mod: Probably not a good idea, sorry]

  378. Pingback: Patience, or lack thereof: an illustration | …and Then There's Physics

  379. Reblogged this on Hypergeometric and commented:
    So, conditional upon no feedbacks, ECS needs to be small.

    Oh. Why didn’t they say so in the first place?

  380. Pingback: Willie Soon Gate – Greg Laden's Blog

  381. Pingback: Willie Soon saga | …and Then There's Physics

  382. Pingback: Pause needed in global warming optimism, new research shows | Dana Nuccitelli | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  383. Pingback: Pause needed in global warming optimism, new research shows | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  384. Reblogged this on Schatzie's Earth Project and commented:
    nicely done…

  385. Pingback: Un-designing our climate | …and Then There's Physics

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