2011-01-10 05:04:38New Monckton Piece
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
Over at WUWT they are celebrating the following:

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/2010_warmest_on_record.pdf

I was thinking perhaps it would be very easy to make a document which addresses his arguments distinctly. Anyone game to join in?

I can see pretty clearly the first flaws i.e.
<> The rates of warming in the past are not the same
<> 2010 IS the warmest on record for GLOBAL analysis datasets
<> 1998 is NOT the warmest on record
<> This year's el nino was NOT a substantial event
<> This year's el nino ended early with a very strong La Nina yet temperatures "stubbornly" refused to drop
<> Tropospheric hot spot HAS been observed
<> He states that greenhouse gases (all of them) have not increased by 27% since 1990 (i'm not sure if they have but he only includes CO2 changes in his rebuttal)
<> Global snow cover IS decreasing
<> The Holocene Climatic Optimum did not have global temperature 3 degrees above present

Not to mention about 50 others... any thoughts? Some can literally be statistically dealt with pretty easily like the rates of warming and such.
2011-01-10 06:06:43
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.42.219

Monckton makes me sick. Good luck with that, Robert.

What would be really useful would be for someone to do a reverse "climategate": Get a hacker to get into the funding folder of the George C. Marshall Institute and reveal their payment discussions to the Moncktons, Singers, Baliunas' of the world. 

2011-01-10 06:13:07I'm in
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.140.0.210
Monckton lists 24 points in response to some article in some paper.  Maybe we could split them up among a few people and the combine them into one rebuttal document.  Some of them are really easy to refute and will just take a couple of sentences.  Many we already have relevant rebuttals that we can link to.  Even if we only get 3 people on board, it's just 8 points to rebut apiece.  If we can get 6, just 4 apiece.
2011-01-10 08:42:04Slight digression
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.100.112
Went over to WUWT to have a look and noticed another post on sea level rise where they cite SkS:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/08/putting-the-brakes-on-acceleration/

Note they cite SkS without linking to the page cited, which must be official policy over there.

UPDATE: Comment from author of that sea level piece, Willis Eschenback, kind of confirms my suspicions:

"it will be a cold day in the place of eternal perdition before I send any traffic his way"
2011-01-10 09:35:34I'm Game
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
Well i'm certainly game for a few of the rebuttals certainly. I wouldn't mind comparing the rates of warming plus dealing with 2010 and 1998 cooling talk. I could also throw in the El Nino stuff showing its magnitude and so on. Any ideas which ones you would be interested in Dana? Any other takers?
2011-01-10 12:59:31Strategies on tackling Monckton
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.100.112

Is it worth discussing the strategy in how to respond to Monckton? Monckton is famous for his Gish gallops - rattling off a long line of objections which take pages to address. Hence any response has to be a long essay and lacks effectiveness - the whole point of the gallop. Here's a suggested alternative - just thinking out aloud so welcome alternative views. What if rather than writing one long essay responding to his 24 points, we instead do a series of blog posts where each post looks at a single point and turns it into a teachable moment, explaining how Monckton attempted to mislead people as a way of exposing the tactics of skeptics plus educate the reader about the science.

I think it might also be useful to try to make Monckton the "face of global warming skepticism". The man is an obvious crank and loony (I know one cognitive scientist who suspects he may be mentally ill). So if skeptics want to celebrate him, let's embrace that. It might be worth starting the series emphasising that Monckton is celebrated among the global warming skeptic community, regularly featured on WUWT where they reproduced his entire essay in full in a blog post - and is adored by the online skeptic community (eg - "The Lord has done well, he’s a hero in my books"). The fawning on WUWT is sickening but if we can get past the gagging reflex, it might be worth shining a light on it.

Lastly, I'm not sure we need to respond to all 24 points. Remember that effective debating tactic - pick just their worst points and highlight the error to show them for what they are.

2011-01-10 13:23:26
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.213.216

I must admit I have never read Monckton's crap, however John has outlined the way to approach it. Be nice to highlight inconsistencies with other prominent skeptics such as Lindzen & Christy too.  

We're going to have to recruit a whole lot more authors and climate warriors this year to accomplish our goals though. 

2011-01-10 14:27:00Interesting Idea
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
Hey John, I think it's an interesting idea and perhaps could be useful to do it in that way. My thinking on the topic is that doing blog posts might be a good way to approach it but I don't feel that creating a document in the background would be a bad choice either. I know people will hate me for it but perhaps both? I mean, once we had the document in place it could easily be transformed into a series of blog posts afterall.. just a thought.
2011-01-10 16:06:49A few thoughts for anyone who wants to tackle this
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.166.150

Point 2: Monckton has a point that individual years are not particularly important, but a) a record warm year contradicts the contrarian claim that the world is cooling rapidly, and b) the last decade is also the warmest on record.

Point 4: 2010 is probably the warmest year (certainly in the top three), but even if it’s 1998 it doesn’t really matter what the single warmest year is, as Monckton himself points out in point 2!

Point 5: Ten-year periods tell you nothing about the long-term trend. You can find other ten-year trends in the last 40 years which were close to zero or double the long-term rate.

Point 6: Lindzen is only one scientist whose estimate of climate sensitivity is well outside the consensus range. It makes more sense to tentatively accept the consensus range than to hope this one guy has it right.

Point 7: Monckton seems to be arguing that less than 2degC is not considered dangerous (though he mischaracterizes the thinking on this anyway) so 2-3degC mustn’t be bad.

Point 8: The 27% rise is evidently a mistake on Mike Steketee’s part. Steketee probably confused CO2 emissions with CO2 levels – because CO2 emissions did increase by about 27% between 1990 and 2009 (that number includes land use – fossil fuel emissions rose by 41%).

Point 9: The Antarctic trend is miniscule compared to the Arctic one. Arctic sea ice volume has continued to decline since 2007, reaching another record low in 2010.

Point 11: It is not physically impossible for SLR to occur faster than present. In Meltwater Pulse 1A during the last deglaciation, sea level rose by several metres per century.

Points 13-15: If I recall correctly, a record number of countries set warm temperature records in 2010. That’s not cherry-picking.

Point 18: Although it is difficult to attribute individual events to climate change, what we do know is that climate change is loading the dice in the “warm” direction, and we observe the dice being loaded as predicted.

Point 19: Again, it is difficult to attribute individual events but we know global warming should cause more droughts in subtropical regions.

Point 20: Ditto. Hot and dry weather contributes to worse bushfires.

Point 21: Monckton completely ignores the question of what caused the heatwaves and tries to pretend they’re better than cold weather. It wasn’t 3degC warmer in the Holocene Optimum – maybe he’s getting this number from Greenland?

Point 22: Monckton is being inconsistent – he will admit that heatwaves have increased yet does not see any connection to the worse heatwaves.

Point 24: The projections of the IPCC are not “extreme” but middle-of-the-road estimates. If anything the IPCC process promotes conservative conclusions. Many impacts, eg. Arctic sea ice melt, is occurring faster than the IPCC predicted.

2011-01-10 17:43:48Quick addendum to Point 6
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.100.112

Monckton raves about Lindzen's sensitivity analysis like it's the only one that is based on observations. But a key point to make about this is that there have been a number of analyses using satellite data to estimate climate sensitivity, similarly to Lindzen. The one difference - Lindzen uses tropical data, the others use near-global data (well, there are other differences like Lindzen's shonky methodology). The result - ALL THE OTHER ANALYSES find positive feedback. So observations - the full set of observations - finds positive feedback. I'd then go onto say many other observations find positive feedback.

In fact, we've done all this in our Lindzen debunk - the info just needs to be repackaged to address Monckton directly. We need to directly address his conceit that he's the only one adhering to observations. In fact, he is ignoring a whole host of observations, cherry picking just the one observation that fits his agenda. I would suggest making this the take-home point.

2011-01-10 21:49:40A couple thoughts
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
First of all, I think with what we have here in the authors forum we could rapidly debunk monckton (honestly!)
That is what is so amazing about this whole process, we have developed an author group that has the potential to rapidly step in and within a week respond to a skeptic document like this!

Now on to some science

Regarding his 1998 claim i'm just going to say that truly GLOBAL datasets show that 2010 or 2005 is the warmest on record (NASA will be 2010 and NCEP Reanalysis has 2005 I think with 2010 2nd and European Reanalysis has 2005 as warmest with 2006 second and 2010 not finished for a long time (5 months behind!)). Note that 1998 is 3rd amongst all three truly GLOBAL datasets. So all I really have to say is that if you want a global picture you will find that 1998 is the 3rd warmest year but if you want to exclude the fastest warming places on earth then you get your 1998 on top. Plus when you consider the enormous El Nino that year it is pretty extraordinary that in a moderate year like this year we are greater.

Another interesting thing is that this year will be categorized as a strong La Nina year with a moderate to weak El nino which ended between april and may... not exactly dominating the whole year like Monckton claims...

I think this might be fun if we can get a few people to put it together!
 
2011-01-10 22:23:56Monckton Myths
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.100.112
What about this approach. We have a blog series, something like "Monckton Myths". Then each day, we have a new blog post. Eg - "Monckton Myth #1: warmest year on record", "Monckton Myth #2: Climate Sensitivity". So over the next day or two, we get the first few rebuttals written so we have a few days worth ready in the holster. Then we have a steady stream of posts for a few weeks. At the end, we compile them into a PDF document. I can even get Wendy to design a snazzy design to give it a professional look.

The goal is not just to rebut his false arguments but also to expose the rhetorical methods. And if we can also emphasize how he's the poster boy of skepticism, celebrated at sites like WUWT, all the better.

The more of us that get involved in this, I think the better. If we all just write just a few rebuttals, all sorted! I bags the climate sensitivity post :-)

Does this sound like an effective strategy? Are there any better ideas for the series title?

2011-01-10 22:54:39
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.94.80

What about "The Monckton Mash"?. Oh, and I got dibs on No.11. Nils Axel-Morner? - riiiiiiight!. And rather than calling it the Gish Gallop, we should all refer to the technique as the Monckton Mash. I mean seriously, he has inherited the throne.

2011-01-11 00:52:06
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.62.235

I am all in favor of giving Monckton his due.

However, he has a history of suing people (or threatening to sue them) for libel. Under UK laws, this is a big problem: the penalties are big, and it is up to the accused to prove himself/herself innocent.

Therefore: Phrase your arguments in such a way as to clearly attack his argument, and not him. Don't say, "M. makes a dumb argument," but rather something like, "We fail to follow M.'s argument, because...". Don't give him any excuses. 

And on the question of legal standing: I believe that if a UK resident can read it, the "victim" can sue in a UK court.

 

2011-01-11 00:56:53Monckton's other writings
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.166.150

If we're going to do a series on "The Monckton Mash", should we keep an eye out for more of these SPPI "papers" (read: un-peer-reviewed lunatic rants) by Monckton? He churns out a fair amount of nonsense; his previous effort was a 38-page "SPPI Monthly CO2 Report: November 2010", the very first words of which were:

"Global government is here. It will not go away easily. The authoritative Monthly CO2 Report for November 2010 explains what the Cancun climate summit really achieved: the establishment of hundreds of interlocking bureaucracies, directed by a single shadowy Secretariat that bids fair to become the unelected government of the world."

And that's just the contents page.

If Monckton were just another guy on the internet I would say he isn't worth responding to. But since a lot of contrarians seem to look up to him, I think it might be a good idea to expose just how crazy he is. There is a fine line between that and ad hominem - the fact that Monckton believes a shadowy world government is controlling the world doesn't logically imply that he's wrong about, say, climate sensitivity, but it does undermine his credibility, especially when he's at odds with the consensus of experts!

2011-01-11 01:03:03Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
I guess I better get cracking on number 1 then. It is a pity that GISS doesn't have its data out for the month yet... someones gonna complain about using an 11month avg instead of 12 methinks...
2011-01-11 02:13:16
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
134.225.187.80

Be careful getting into a catfight over which is the warmest year. There's a chance 1998 was warmer. NASA has some slight problems with its interpolation, RSS says it was cooler and UAH says statistically identical, but satellites don't include the poles, so...

 

However, we did record the highest sea level I believe, which is worth checking since except for groundwater's potential 0.8 mm/yr it's all warming temperature or melting-ice related.

2011-01-11 02:26:51Mike Steketee replies to Monckton
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.154.29

I just happened upon the reporter's reply to Monckton which might help
Mike Steketee's response to Christopher Monckton

Cheers
Baerbel

2011-01-11 04:48:44good ideas
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

I like the idea of doing a series of rebuttal blog posts and then combining them into a document.  I think a lot of Monckton's points can be combined into single rebuttals, like all the ones talking about the record temperature and 1998 and the hottest decade could probably be combined.

I would also suggest we wait a few days on the temperatures, since GISS usually comes out around the 15th, and NOAA right around that timeframe as well.  Once we have NOAA, GISS, RSS, UAH, and HadCRUT, we can take the average and evaluate which year takes the record.

There's also a whole bunch about individual extreme weather events that we could group together, and discuss how global warming is "loading the dice" and making these events more likely.

You want to take the sensitivity one John?  I was thinking about taking that one, but you can have it since you called it first :-)

I'll certainly take #24 where Monckton makes an absolute bullshit statement about "Every serious economic analysis" (of course he doesn't name a single one) concluding that the costs of adaptation are cheaper than carbon pricing.  That goes along nicely with my current cost-benefit analysis post.  In fact, since it hasn't been published yet, I could even modify my current post into a response to Monckton's #24 quite easily.  It's already basically a direct rebuttal of #24, so I just need to add an intro quoting Monckton.

There are a couple of points where Monckton appears to be correct, like #8 and 23.

I would suggest that when responding to any of Monckton's points, looking through the list and seeing if your response applies to any of the other points. 

*update* I updated my cost-benefit blog post so that now it's a rebuttal to Monckton #24.  I think the only issue is that Monckton specifically criticized the Stern Review in #24, and I included the Stern Review in my blog post (and haven't addressed Monckton's complaints about it).  So I might have to add something about that.

2011-01-11 07:54:18comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.207.106
Hey all,
I could wait until the 15th for the temperature datasets to be updated which would give me a good idea.

MarkR, I understand people have issues with the interpolation of NASA but I think it is worth noting that the only 3 global analysis do not show 1998 as the warmest. European Reanalysis shows 2005 1st, 2006 2nd and 1998 3rd (2010 is not done yet), Ncep Reanalysis shows 2005 warmest, 2010 2nd and 1998 3rd, GISS will show 2010 warmest, 2005 2nd and 1998 tied for 3rd or 4th.

So my point will simply be that if one includes the high arctic, we find that 1998 is not the warmest year on record in any of the 3 datasets.

NOAA is also on pace for 2010 to be the warmest with 2005 2nd and 1998 3rd. So 4 out of 7 records will show that 1998 is not the warmest on record.

I've actually looked at his warming rate argument, and there is no true to it what so ever. Only one dataset shows a warming rate in any of the other records that is even close (HadCrutV3) but even that is quite a bit off.

I agree with you Dana, we should definitely group all the similar ones into single rebuttals but if we do decide to do a final document we should consider having it ready for point by point analysis.


Anyone know much about the Douglas paper?

I'm not sure he is right on #23 because he assumes all warming to this point is CO2 induced. The 2 degrees number is of course wrong, but his assumptions make his number fictitious too I believe.
2011-01-11 08:32:32Two issues
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.100.112
Firstly, I agree with Neal's idea of avoiding ad hominem attacks. I hadn't even thought of the legal side but that is certainly a good reason. Particularly as I'm the one who would get sued if it came to that! And as I don't have the resources at all to withstand a legal attack, that would be a concern. But I wonder if Monckton has ever actually gone through with any real legal action. When he threatened John Abraham, John's college lawyers came back saying "you continue to insult our college or our head, we'll sue you back to the stone ages" (I paraphrase). This was after Monckton accused the head of the catholic college of child molesting (he's catholic, see?). After that, there wasn't a peep from Monckton about legal action. And the whole incident really shone a light on the class of Monckton. As they say, the best disinfectant is daylight.

So I think we should take the high road. Not a hint of ad hominem. No mention of his fake Lordship. No slurs about the pink portcullises. Harshly moderate comments that personally attack him. Make it clear we're about the science. Our goal is by repeated, sustained posts, to make an impact. If and only if the impact is strong enough (eg - our series spreads through the blogosphere), then Monckton will respond. He'll either threaten me with legal action and/or post an online rebuttal. Probably on WUWT (hmm, wonder if they'll finally link to us :-)

If Monckton does respond, you can be sure he will adhere to past form. He will post a long Gish gallop (aka Monckton mash). He will personally attack all of us, probably focussing on me (I'm guessing he'll have a crack at my Christianity). Then he'll follow it with a long laundry list of disinformation that would take weeks to respond to. We can probably use his response as another teachable moment, pointing out the Monckton M.O. - ad hominem, gallops, more misinformation.

Secondly, do people prefer Monckton Myths or Monckton Mash (which I believe originated in a deltoid thread - google it). Mash is kind of clever once you get it (Monster Mash) but Myth is clearer. Do we go for clarity or funny?

2011-01-11 09:47:50Another issue
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.100.112
I'll start a new thread with a schedule of who's doing what, so we can get organized. Before I do, another question. Do we attack his 24 points? Or just pick out points we want to debunk. I advocate the latter as we may combine a few points or may split up a single point into several rebuttals. Thoughts?
2011-01-11 10:04:10
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

I certainly agree about sticking to the science and not attacking Monckton personally in any way.  The worst I said in the cost-benefit rebuttal was that one of his comments was nonsensical.

I prefer Monckton Myths, personally.  If we call it Monckton Mash, Monckton will probably accuse us of calling him a monster.

I think we can debunk all the points (except the few where he's actually correct), but do so in a reasonable number of rebuttals by grouping them together.  Then we can put together a response document listing the numbered points which each section is debunking.  For example, have a section called 'Local Weather Records' and reference whichever points are applicable.  Fortunately he numbered them for our convenience.

2011-01-11 10:28:18
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.62.235

Hey guys,

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but I wouldn't use "Myths" or "Mash", but instead, "Monckton's examples."

Play the whole thing super-straight, so he has NO EXCUSE to take offense. 

I know it's fun to make fun, but getting sued can put a serious dent in your year. The difference between you guys and some college is that they have attorneys on-staff or on retainer; so when they say they'll counter-sue, he knows they will. If you say you'll counter-sue, he knows it'll cost you.

Keep it serious.

Seriously.

 

 

2011-01-11 16:47:44response grouping
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.140.0.210

Here's how I grouped the Monckton comment categories, with people who have claimed them in bold.

1) Ocean heat content and the recent Douglass paper looking at just ARGO data for just 2003-2008.  Ignores deeper oceans and all data outside that timeframe to falsely claim that ocean heat content did not rise for a couple years.

2, 3, 4) Focus on the hottest year and temperature trends.  Easy to rebut by looking at the average of all data sets to find the actual hottest year, then looking at long-term trends.  Robert Way's got these.

5) Here Monckton claims that global warming will be linear even if CO2 increases exponentially.  Clearly he's referring to the logarithmic forcing, but it's a pretty glaring omission that he doesn't say what the exponent would be for a linear warming.  Basically he says the rate of warming won't increase because of the log relationship.  I might take a stab at this one.

6) Climate sensitivity and Lindzen&Choi.  John called this one.

7) Talks about what amount of warming is dangerous.  Monckton attempts to refute the statement that 2-3°C of warming is dangerous by saying that less than 2°C of warming isn't dangerous.  We need to focus on this total failure to address the actual statement in the original article, which is correct.  There's a need to discuss why 2°C is established as the 'danger limit' for this one.  I can probably take this if nobody else wants it.

8 , 23) These are mostly correct.  Monckton makes a few false statements toward the end of #23, but we might just want to let it slide since the point is mainly correct.

9, 10) Sea ice and snow.  Monckton claims global sea ice has remained steady, which is very very easy to refute.  He makes a claim about snow cover which can be examined with Rutgers snow cover data.

11) Sea level rise.  Monckton attempts to refute the claim that sea level is rising by saying that sea level is rising linearly.  Totally stupid.  Then he references Morner claiming that sea level physically can't rise faster than it is currently.  Totally stupid again.  I'd reference the Rahmstorf study on kinematics of sea level rise to refute that one.  Rob P's got dibs.

12-22) These are all about extreme weather to some degree or another.  We could break it up into 2 or 3 posts since there are so many points to address, but several can be grouped together pretty easily by discussing how global warming 'loads the dice' for more extreme weather.

24) Cost-benefit analyses.  I've got this one drafted up already.

Overall I think we're looking at a series of about 10 posts.  What do you guys think about this grouping?  Anyone want to claim some?

2011-01-11 18:05:54I call ocean heat
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.100.112

Would like to whip this one up over the next day - perhaps that can be our lead in. Then one from Robert, one from Dana then so on and so forth, one per day.

BTW, always be on the lookout to use these blog posts as rebuttals to arguments we've yet to rebut - or to include the info in existing rebuttals. I think my 'cooling oceans' rebuttal could do with a revamp so will probably update the existing rebuttal with new blog post content.

Neal, I agree with playing it straight but the title "Monckton's examples" is a bit wishy washy. If we want to be PC, we could always go with "Monckton's Mistakes". But I don't know if "Monckton's Myths" is libel, is it? We really should get a lawyer into our inner sanctum :-)

2011-01-11 18:20:47
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.196.30

Monckton's examples is totally lame, flag that. I think Monckton's Mistakes is much better and to the point without poking fun (drat!).

 

 

2011-01-11 22:47:32
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.41.7

I would avoid capitalizing "Mistakes": He can claim that you're demonizing him. Don't give him that ammunition.

Also, since dana says that points #8 and #23 are mostly correct, I think it would be useful to acknowledge him for actually getting something right. It makes us look more fair, and more focused on the science; rather than being unremittingly negative on Monckton. We just want to be negative when he deserves it (admittedly, that's nearly all the time). It's a good management practice (catch him doing something right), and I think it can be adapted to be a good rhetorical practice as well.

 

2011-01-12 03:43:45#8 and #23
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

I agree it's worth mentioning that #8 is right, to emphasize that we're looking at the science and not just trying to attack Monckton.  I need to look at #23 a little more carefully.  Monckton is certainly right that the Australian article is wrong on this point, but Monckton's figures may also be wrong.  So it may be worth writing something up for that one too.

Personally I think capitalizing "Monckton's Mistakes" should be fine - you're supposed to capitalize a title.  I like that as a title too, because it's not too aggressive, but it's got a nice alliteration and it's a good description.

2011-01-12 08:20:03
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
134.225.187.80

Covering the ones where he's right is worthwhile too, and putting them in context.

 

Robert: what extra observational temperature data to the reanalyses assimilate in? If there's not much more than GISTemp then that is a reasonable point. It's possible that the atmosphere was warmer in 1998 than in 2010, although it seems pretty unlikely. Still, I personally don't feel particularly confident about that so I would emphasise the way we've found the data and say we think 2010 was globally warmer, but sure, we're not confident yet. But isn't it remarkable that 2010 had a higher ocean heat content and highest sea level recorded? Absolutely magical and completely unexplainable in Moncktonworld, but thankfully we have real science to work with.

2011-01-12 11:14:03
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.198.226
One thought. Why do you suppose Monckton reacted so strongly to Steketee?. These real world extreme weather events really get the "skeptics" riled up don't they?. Pretty damned hard to ignore when global warming comes knocking.
2011-01-12 12:15:31Response to MarkR
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
Hey Mark,

Both European and NCEP reanalysis data incorporate climate models, satellite data, radiosondes, weather balloons and aircraft temperature measurements.

I think that GISS, ECMWF, NCEP and NOAA have it right and RSS, UAH and HADLEY have it wrong. Personally I think the reason that the satellites have it wrong is because during strong el ninos you get a lot of evaporation in the tropics which leads to more water vapor in the lower atmosphere. Since RSS and UAH measure the radiance emitted by oxygen isotopes in the lower atmosphere it is possible that they exaggerate these events. That's a pet theory of mine, not exactly "tested". Nevertheless it has been shown by ECMWF that hadley undersamples the warming (something shown numerous times on this website) so the datasets that agree well with an undersampling to me are suspect. Just a personal opinion of course.

Regarding the ocean heat content, where did you find this? I think I could probably find similar results for humidity too if I looked hard enough.

Update
http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/romans-temperature-reconstruction-higher-trends-than-hadcrut/

Another thing to note regarding hadley (PS Romans method is the best method out of any, even GISS)
2011-01-12 14:13:15Extreme weather
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.166.150
I've just noticed we don't even have a proper rebuttal for "Extreme weather isn't caused by global warming."
2011-01-12 15:22:25Update on Monckton piece
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.100.112

Had a quick chat with one of my "sources" who knows Mike Steketee and gave me some background on this whole incident. The Australian newspaper is a conservative rag known for publishing skeptic viewpoints. When it got criticised for this, it published a few pro-science articles (a cynical person might say they did this just to say they were balanced even while their editorial team pursued a skeptic agenda).

So Steketee wrote his article, submitted it to the Australian who sat on it for the better part of the week. When they published it, Monckton's very long, detailed rebuttal came very quickly afterwards. And then the Australian linked to Monckton's rebuttal from Steketee's article. So the implications are obvious. The Australian gave Monckton a preview copy of the article, allowing him to write his rebuttal and publish it as soon as the original article was published. Ambush tactics from the conservative newspaper.

So that gives you some perspective on why Monckton did what he did. Not so much a knee jerk reaction to an article about extreme events. More a strategic response in collusion with the conservative Australian magazine. Skeptics across the world are talking to each other, coordinating their responses for maximum effect. They're not going to give in to the inevitable, inexorable weight of evidence without a fight.

Knowing this doesn't affect our approach in anyway, other than to give me a little more fire in the belly :-)

2011-01-12 15:23:51Extreme weather
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.100.112

Good point, we need to do a rebuttal of this argument. I touched on this in a blog post on snowfall - if anyone wants to handle this rebuttal, feel free to grab any of my content:

 As climate warms, evaporation from the ocean increases. This results in more water vapour in the air. Globally, atmospheric water vapour has increased by about 5% over the 20th century. Most of the increase has occurred since 1970 (IPCC AR4 3.4.2.1). This is confirmed by satellites that find the total atmospheric moisture content has been increasing since measurements began in 1988 (Santer 2007).

Change in water vapor % over global ocean
Figure 2: Change in water vapor percentage relative to the 1988 to 2004 period over the global ocean plus linear trend, measured by satellite (
IPCC AR4 3.4.2.1).

The extra moisture in the air is expected to produce more precipitation, including more extreme precipitation events. Observations bear this out. A study of precipitation trends over the United States found that heavy precipitation events (over 50mm in a day) have increased 20% over the 20th Century (Groisman 2004). Most of this increase occured after 1970. Various  analyses of precipitation over the globe have similarly found a widespread increase in heavy precipitation days since 1950 (Alexander 2006, Groisman 2006).


Figure 3: Global number of days per year when precipitation was greater than 10mm per day, expressed as an anomaly from the 1961 tp 1990 reference period (Alexander 2006).

2011-01-12 17:07:00
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.252.118

Just a contrivance eh John?. Typical. I thought Monckton just re-used his long list of Monckton Mash smoke-bombs.

Extreme weather is something we really need to to hammer home (with the obvious caveats), it's only going to get worse over time, and we need to make the connection clear with every single reader who comes upon Sks. The mainstream media appears to be taking the "Voldemort" approach to the issue, but we can't them let get away with it.

Maybe climate science needs a Doomsday clock, I mean barometer?.  

2011-01-13 03:47:02
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
192.171.166.144
Also, 'Monckton Mash' makes me think of the 'Horizontal Monster Mash', a phrase used by a friend of mine and which makes me uncomfortable in reference to Monckton...
2011-01-13 08:42:26NOAA: 2010 tied hottest year on record
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.100.112

http://theprojectonclimatescience.org/press-room/noaa-2010-tied-for-hottest-year-on-record/

Today’s announcement by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record comes as no surprise to climate scientists.   In fact, nine of the Earth’s 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001.  This comes on the heels of the warmest decade on record (2000-2009).  NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies predicted earlier in the year that “a new record 12-month global temperature will be set in 2010.”


 

2011-01-13 09:31:49NOAA
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

Yes NOAA has the 2010 (and 2005) land-ocean anomaly at 0.62°C.

2011-01-13 10:32:39
PeteM
Pete Murphy
pete_murphy65c@btinternet...
86.173.34.207

 

Not a scietific rebuttal  , but (as a UK citizen) ,  Monkton is not really view as any sort of authority  ( say compared to the Royal Society) over here.  He's  generally classed as part of the vociforous  unrepresentitive minority   who will never wield  significant political power ( eg like UKIP  ) .  It's unlikely his  particualr fan club will ever be  other than delialist but outside of that  clique  , he is not thought of as a serious player  -  The few times he has been on UK BBC radio 4  or  TV  he really comes across as an out of touch  aristrocrat.

2011-01-13 12:54:05Point #23
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.154.212

Tim Lambert points out that Monckton is attacking a straw man in point #23. Steketee actually said that if CO2 was stabilized at 450 ppm we’d still get 2degC warming. Admittedly it would only be 1.3degC additional warming. However, Steketee did not claim that 390 ppm would mean 2degC warming, which is what Monckton made it sound like.