Towards a theory of climate

Towards a theory of climate (2013-11-10). Why on earth does Anthony Watts cling to that fog horn Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley? It’s like watching a drowning man clutch an anchor.

Monckton is an utter loon who clearly takes absolute delight in his own rabid, meandering self-reverential declarations. Would any intelligent person read past this tripe?

I have just had the honor of listening to Professor Murry Salby giving a lecture on climate. He had addressed the Numptorium in Holyrood earlier in the day, to the bafflement of the fourteenth-raters who populate Edinburgh’s daft wee parliament. In the evening, among friends, he gave one of the most outstanding talks I have heard.

Professor Salby has also addressed the Parliament of Eunuchs in Westminster. Unfortunately he did not get the opportunity to talk to our real masters, the unelected Kommissars of the European tyranny-by-clerk.

 Monckton’s head is so far up his own ass that he’s actually seeing daylight again.

The message from on high that Monckton is attempting to deliver is that Dr. Murry Salby, the fired Professor, has reached the “explosive conclusion that temperature change drives CO2 concentration change and not the other way about”.

Therefore Global Warming is a communist lie.

So Monckton and Salby have discovered that real, long-term, natural, climate changes will affect our atmosphere’s chemical composition. Wow. Only one of them can be hailed as the new Galileo, which one will it be? Surely we can split all the Nobel Prizes between them though.

So where’s the huge, near-instantaneous, temperature spike 800 years ago that naturally produced the skyrocketing CO2 concentrations we’ve seen in the last century? Oops.

But we’re still being repressed by the “climate communists”, right?

8 thoughts on “Towards a theory of climate

  1. My take on this is that the records show that CO2 concentration in the past lagged temperature. Thus those records do not provide evidence that increased CO2 caused increased temperature. Those data say nothing about that situation and do not prove that CO2 can never drive temperature.

    They do provide evidence for temperature as a driver of CO2 over long timescales. This does not mean that CO2 cannot also be a driver of temperature, just that in those records the regime was such that the INDEPENDENT VARIABLE was temperature and the DEPENDENT VARIABLE was CO2 and when the temperature increased, the CO2 was observed to increase a few hundred years later.

    That was due to some mechanism which is not the same mechanism which we call commonly Global Warming/Green House Effect/Climate Disruption/. [So you’ve abandoned decades of denialist posturing over temperature leading CO2 in the past as PROOF that the modern temperature record can’t be driven by rising CO2? Monckton doesn’t seem to have put it on the back burner, CO2 is still “the New Superstition” to him. He wants to convince us that it’s really… the sun! – Ben]

    It does not tell us much about what will happen when CO2 is the INDEPENDENT VARIABLE and temperature is the DEPENDENT VARIABLE. The theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that due to the Green House Effect, this will cause an increase in temperature. There has been a rise in temperature at the same time that CO2 levels have been externally increased (empirical evidence) and there is a reasonable theory concerning that.

    NOBODY SERIOUSLY DISPUTES THAT AS FAR AS I CAN TELL, INCLUDING WUWT. [No, Anthony still happily publishes such posts. Monckton’s little self-delighted rant here is just the most recent instance. – Ben]

    The arguments and disputes surround the Climate Sensitivity. The argument is about how much the temperature will rise in response to CO2 rising compared to other processes. Some people claim [I think the word you’re looking for here is “assert”. – Ben] it is very low. Some people claim it is very high.

    All of the empirical evidence so far suggests that it is low. For example the current so-called “Global Warming Pause” which is occurring despite continually increasing CO2 levels suggests strongly that other processes dominate the Green House Effect and thus the Climate Sensitivity is low. [I’d love to see your links to this “empirical evidence”. I think you’ll find the opposite of your claim. – Ben]

    • Oh my… neither CO2 nor temperature are “independent” or “dependent” variables. They influence EACH OTHER! If you increase temperature, you increase CO2 e.g. by outgassing from the oceans. The increased CO2 leads to a higher temperature, which leads to… If you start with increasing CO2, that leads to higher temperature, which leads to higher CO2, which leads to… etc.

      And last: Neither CO2 nor temperature just starts changing on its own. The temperature does not get miraculously warmer just by itself, nor does CO2 miraculously get higher by itself. The starting point is always an external force. In your examples from past climate, e.g. the ice ages, that external forcing was mainly the orbital cycles of the sun. But in our current warming trend, this is mainly not the case, because orbital cycles do not change that fast and the sun’s energy output hasn’t changed as much either nor did it increase at all since the 1950s. The main cause for our current warming must therefore be something else. Not what could that be, that either might change the amount of GHG in the atmosphere or the solar input? Perhaps you can think of something?

      [Is it people? Just like Soylent Green? Thanks for the breath of rationality!- Ben]

  2. [So you’ve abandoned decades of denialist posturing over temperature leading CO2 in the past as PROOF that the modern temperature record can’t be driven by rising CO2? Monckton doesn’t seem to have put it on the back burner, CO2 is still “the New Superstition” to him. He wants to convince us that it’s really… the sun! – Ben]

    That temperature leads CO2 in the past is not proof that CO2 cannot cause an increase in temperature. [Except to denialists. – Ben] It is evidence that there is a long term mechanism whereby CO2 is increased by temperature. The fact is that the effect that CO2 is having on temperature is tiny. It is so tiny that it is completely swamped by other factors despite the ever increasing concentration of CO2 – hence why there is talk of a “pause”.

    [I’d love to see your links to this “empirical evidence”. I think you’ll find the opposite of your claim. – Ben]
    The empirical evidence is in every recent global temperature data set including the SAT data which you referred to on another thread. Why you insist that the global temperature has been rising recently is a mystery. There are many “mainstream” references to the “pause”.

    e.g. The new IPCC climate report [The post that says “It is now considered even more certain (> 95%) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”? – Ben]

    Is Real Climate mainstream enough for you?

    Now, they want to claim that the pause is just “random noise”. Okay, that is fine. Let’s call it “random noise”. BUT WHATEVER YOU CALL IT, IT DOES EXIST. RECENTLY THE TEMPERATURE HAS NOT BEEN RISING. Even they are referring to it and calling it a “pause”.

    If you say that CO2 is causing the temperature to rise, but some other “random process” is disguising that rise, then fine, I am happy with that. But you have to also accept that it means that the Climate Sensitivity is low, given that mere “Random Noise” which they cannot model, after all of the investment and all of these decades and advances in computing power, has washed out the greenhouse effect on the temperature despite huge increase in CO2. [This is just wishful thinking on your part. – Ben]

    [Since you mention RealClimate, I wonder why this post slipped past you: Global Warming Since 1997 Underestimated by Half. – Ben]

    • Ben, the statement:

      “It is now considered even more certain (> 95%) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”

      is talking about the period from about 1950 to 2013. As you know, the temperature increased until about 1995 and then plateaued. This is the pause about which real climate is posting and which we are discussing. [Wrong. We’re discussing Monckton’s careening vitriolic post “Towards a theory of climate”. You’re trying to change the topic. – Ben] Why you are discussing from 1950 onwards when we are specifically discussing from 1995 onwards is a mystery. [Credible scientists have evidence-based explanations for the recent temperature trends. You don’t. Until you do you’re just posturing. – Ben]

      The plateau is what we are discussing, i.e. the past c20 years, not the period from 1950 onwards. Also, the 95% figure is a subjective figure. It is unscientific. It is arrived out after considering subjective inclusions and exclusions. It is not helpful. [Not helpful to your argument doesn’t mean it’s not reasonable or useful. – Ben]

      [Since you mention RealClimate, I wonder why this post slipped past you: Global Warming Since 1997 Underestimated by Half. – Ben]

      It is certainly interesting that when temperatures were rising Alarmists were happy enough with the datasets and woe betide anybody who wrote about the poor quality of weather stations. But now that the temperature is not rising, suddenly there is a problem with the data! How utterly predictable. [Dishonest straw man argument. Climatologists have always sought to improve their data and their analysis. Denialists have, predictably, tried to turn every improvement into a flaw. – Ben]

  3. Wood for trees I looked at your link to your website, it looks like the temps more than plateaued have actually decreased, always difficult to judge on these graphs.

    [All the determined squinting is going to give you a headache. – Ben]

  4. It’s strange as I have seen larger graphs and of course the temp line looks like a straight line, depends on what size you like your graph to look more dramatic.

    Funny how before digital temp gauges were plus , minus 1 degree in accuracy , guess any warming we have seen would have been been seen as , well within error.

    Amazing to think that back in the 1820s, not sure which actual year it was, in austrAlia the thermometers were exploding from the heat.

    [You really need to learn how measuring temperature works before you wave it all away so glibly. – Ben]

  5. The way one might detect a pause or an acceleration in air temperature would be run a linear regression and test for a long term change in the trend. Simply looking at the annual extremes is not the way to go. If you run two regressions, it’s cherry picking to select a record high or low as the starting point.

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