Search: Monckton

Christopher Monckton of Brenchley yesterday posted an excellent commentary about the warming “pause” on Watts Up With That. In previous posts on this topic, Monckton has tracked the pause in the Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSS) satellite dataset. For example, in June, he reported that the global warming trend of the previous 17 years 9 months — September 1996 through May 2014 — was “zero.”

Monckton No Warming 17 Years 9 Months

In yesterday’s post, Monckton plots the average of five datasets: the RSS and UAH (University of Alabama in Huntsville) satellite datasets and the GISS (NASA), HadCRUT4 (UK Climate Research Unit), and NCDC (NOAA) surface station datasets. The averaged datasets show a period of 13 years 4 months with no net warming.

Monckton No Warming in Combined Datasets 13 Years 4 Months

This all flies in the face of the ‘worse than we thought’ school. Nearly a quarter of all fossil-fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions since the dawn of the industrial revolution occurred during 2001-2010 (see chart below). Yet in the past 13-plus years, not only has there been no acceleration in warming, there has been no warming trend.


Source: Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center

Now to the heart of the matter. Monckton compares the observed warming in the five datasets with the projected warming in IPCC reports. [click to continue…]

Post image for Climate Change Hearing: Lessons from Data vs. Dogma

I finally got around to watching the Dec. 8 Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing “Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth’s Climate.” Chairman Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spoke with clarity and rigor. Mark Steyn was spellbinding. John Christy’s data were awesome. Nonetheless, as an effort to reframe the public conversation on climate change, the hearing was, all in all, disappointing.

One problem is there were four majority witnesses (John Christy, Judith Curry, Will Happer, Mark Steyn) and only one minority witness (David Titley). You might suppose that would give the Republicans an advantage. Not so.

Coordinating questions and answers in advance with one witness is easier than with four witnesses. In addition, one witness can more easily reiterate a simple set of talking points.

Limiting the expert panel to just one majority and one minority witness would have facilitated genuine debate and non-evadable scrutiny of competing assumptions and data. When former Senator Jim Talent (R-Mo.) was chairman of the House Small Business Committee, he held a pair of hearings during the 105th and 106th Congresses that had only one and two witnesses, respectively. In each hearing he was able to pursue a single line of inquiry from start to finish. The results were spectacular. He thoroughly discredited the Clinton administration’s Kyoto Protocol economic analysis.

Another problem hindering Chairman Cruz at the “Data or Dogma” hearing is that all the other Republican senators left after the first round of questions. Result: Titley got more questions than all the majority witnesses combined. He alone had enough time to make, defend, and embellish his case. He also had more opportunities to rebut the other witnesses than they had to rebut him.

That allowed Titley to pull some fast ones. [click to continue…]

Post image for What Has the Pause Done to the Warming Rate?

Christopher Monckton of Brenchley has a must-read post today on Watts Up With That. “The long and model-unpredicted Great Pause of 18 years 8 months in global mean lower-troposphere temperature as recorded in the RSS satellite monthly dataset is inexorably driving down the longer-run warming rate, when the IPCC’s predictions would have led us to expect an acceleration,” he reports.

Monckton Pause RSS 18 Years 8 Months (Sep 8 2015)




The bright blue line shows the 440-month lower-troposphere temperature trend in the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) record. The green line shows the zero degree warming trend during the 224-month “pause” since December 1997, which, as Monckton notes, is “more than half the entire 440-month record.”

Here’s the cool thing (literally). Thanks to the pause, the trend during the full satellite record works out to just 1.21ºC per century. That is substantially below the IPCC’s central estimate in 1990, which (along with NASA scientist Jim Hansen’s overheated prediction in 1988), put global warming on the political map.

Monckton comments:

In 1990, the IPCC had predicted near-straight-line warming of 1 K to 2025, equivalent to almost 2.8 K/century. Of this warming, more than 0.7 K should have happened by now, but only 0.26 K has actually occurred. The IPCC’s central estimate in 1990, though made on the basis of “substantial confidence” that the models on which it relied had captured all the essential features of the climate system, has proven – thus far, at any rate – to be a near-threefold exaggeration.  

The IPCC knows its models are predicting too much warming. In the graph below, Monckton enlarges the right-hand corner of Figure 10.1(a) from the IPCC’s 2013 Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). CMIP3 is the ensemble of models used in the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), CMIP5 is the ensemble used in AR5. Although CMIP5 predicts less warming than CMIP3, it still increasingly diverges from reality.

Monckton IPCC 10.1(a) Enlarged Sep 8 2015







Note also that a 21st century warming of 1.21ºC is well within the bounds (0.3ºC-1.7ºC) of the IPCC’s lowest projection (RCP2.6), which assumes a 70% reduction in cumulative greenhouse gas emissions from 2010 to 2100 compared to baseline projections. In short, the RSS data show about the same warming rate that climate campaigners urge policymakers to achieve via draconian restrictions on carbon-based energy.

What is to be done?

[click to continue…]

Post image for OMB Acknowledges (Most) of Our Comments on the Social Cost of Carbon, Engages None



Why does any sensible person even bother submitting comment letters to the Obama administration about any matter relating to climate change? I find myself asking that question again and again, because the only ‘error’ the administration will ever admit is that climate change is ‘worse than we thought’ — an implicit boast that ‘we were more right than we knew.’

The administration has a party line and no agency is allowed to deviate from it on any matter of climate science, economics, or policy, no matter how speculative or minor the point at issue.

Nonetheless, I continue to submit comments — as other skeptics and free marketers do — just to ensure that the administration’s groupthink does not go unchallenged on the record.

What brings such thoughts to mind is the Office of Management and Budget’s response to comments, posted just before the July 4th weekend, on the Interagency Working Group’s May 2013 Technical Support Document (TSD) on the social cost of carbon. The social cost of carbon (SCC) is the cumulative damage to society allegedly inflicted by an incremental ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over an immense span of time (typically out to the year 2300).

Obama officials routinely use SCC estimates to calculate the putative benefits of CO2-reducing regulations. The higher the estimated SCC, the bigger the projected value of CO2 reductions becomes. For example, the 2013 TSD increased the SCC values of an earlier 2010 TSD by roughly 60%. So in just four short years, while climate models increasingly overshot observed global temperatures, climate change somehow got 60% worse and climate regulations 60% more valuable. Your government at work!

OMB reports it received 39,000 form letters and about 150 “substantive comments” on the 2013 TSD. The latter pile includes the comment letter I submitted on behalf of eleven pro-market organizations.

Along with its response to comments, OMB has also posted a revised TSD. True to form, the revised document does not accept any of the “substantive comments.” The only changes are minor technical corrections in how agencies are to run the integrated assessment models (IAMs) they use to estimate carbon’s social cost.

As explained in a recent post and accompanying Power Point, SCC analysis is computer-aided sophistry, an attempt by would-be central planners to hide raw political preferences behind a pretense of knowledge and precision.

Today’s post will briefly identify weaknesses in OMB’s response to our comments.

[click to continue…]

Post image for Independent Satellite Records Agree: Little to No Global Warming over Past 18 Years


Roy Spencer, John Christy, and William Braswell of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Earth System Science Center recently released Version 6 (V.6) of their global satellite temperature dataset. The scientists describe the upgrade, which took three years to complete, as “by far the most extensive revision of the procedures and computer code we have ever produced in over 25 years of global temperature monitoring.”

Compared to the previous UAH dataset (V5.6), the most important change is a reduction in the global average lower-troposphere temperature trend from +0.140°C/decade to +0.114°C/decade over the past 36 years (Dec. ’78 through Mar. ’15).

Christy V6-vs-v5_6-LT-1979-Mar2015









Figure explanation: Monthly global-average temperature anomalies for the lower troposphere from Jan. 1979 through March, 2015 for both the old and new versions of LT (top), and their difference (bottom).

The revision is noteworthy in several respects. First, as the scientists point out, the UAH dataset more closely matches the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) dataset, a separate satellite monitoring program, which shows no net warming since Dec. 1996. In the RSS record, the length of the warming pause is now 18 years five months.

Monckton No Warming 18 years five months






[click to continue…]

Post image for Social Cost of Carbon: GAO Report Ignores Pro-Regulation Bias

An eight-month investigation conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds no flaws in the Obama administration’s interagency process for developing social cost of carbon (SCC) estimates. Remarkably, GAO has “no recommendations” to improve the process.

GAO did not attempt to evaluate the “quality” of the administration’s SCC estimates. Even so, it’s unusual for GAO to review an agency, program, or policy and find no room for improvement.

Not that anyone should expect GAO to confront the inherent flaws of SCC analysis. As previously argued on this blog, carbon’s social cost is an unknown quantity, discernible in neither meteorological nor economic data. SCC estimates are perforce spun out of non-validated climate parameters and made-up social damage functions. Armed with such sophistry, climate campaigners can make renewable energy look like a bargain at any price and fossil fuels look unaffordable no matter how cheap.

But even taking SCC analysis at face value, the administration’s process is biased, and the evidence is right there in GAO’s report.

Before getting down to particulars, let’s recall why this topic matters. The SCC is an estimate of the dollar value of damages allegedly caused by an incremental ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted in a given year. The higher the SCC estimate, the more plausible the claims of Obama administration officials and their allies that the benefits of CO2-reduction policies justify the costs.

The administration’s SCC interagency working group (IWG) has published two reports called technical support documents. SCC estimates in the 2013 TSD are roughly 50% higher than in the 2010 TSD. In just three years, CO2 reductions became 50% more valuable. Amazing!

Social Cost of Carbon 2010 and 2013 Central Estimates Compared, GAO August 2014

EPA, the Department of Energy, and/or the Department of Transportation have used SCC estimates in 68 rulemakings since May 2008, according to GAO (Appendix I). Fossil fuel foes now use SCC analysis to sell everything from carbon taxes to renewable energy mandates to regional cap-and-trade programs to EPA greenhouse gas regulations.

GAO says everything is hunky-dory because the administration “used consensus-based decision making” (several agencies participated), “relied on existing academic literature and models,” and “took steps to disclose limitations and incorporate new information.” Well, of course they did. These folks are professionals; they know how to check the requisite boxes.

Nonetheless, the administration’s process is biased in four ways. In both the 2010 and 2013 TSDs, the IWG:

  1. Inflated the perceived benefit of CO2 reductions to the U.S. economy by providing only higher global SCC values, not lower domestic SCC values, as required by OMB Circular A-4.
  2. Inflated the estimated benefit of CO2 reductions by using only low discount rates (2.5%, 3%, 5%) to estimate the present value of future CO2-related damages, not a 7% discount rate, as also required by OMB Circular A-4.
  3. Inflated the estimated benefit of CO2 reductions by including ‘worse than we thought’ climate impact projections but not ‘better than we feared’ projections.
  4. Inflated the estimated benefit of CO2 reductions by uncritically accepting the IPCC’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) climate sensitivity estimates despite growing evidence that IPCC models are tuned ‘too hot.’

[click to continue…]

Post image for Can Natural Variability Save Climate Models?

Climate scientists Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger have a blockbuster post on the Cato Institute blog. They claim to have uncovered a “clear example of IPCC ideology trumping fact.”

As is widely known, global mean surface temperature (GMST) has not increased over the past 13-plus years, contributing to a growing divergence between global warming predictions and observations.

Christy McKnider data v models

Figure source: John Christy and Robert McKnider

While acknowledging there are “differences” between modeled and observed temperatures for “periods as short as 10 to 15 years,” the IPCC’s 2013 Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) claims models and observations “agree” over the 62-year period from 1951 to 2012 (Summary for Policymakers, p. 15). Moreover, the IPCC has “very high confidence” the models’ long-term GMST trends are “consistent with observations” (Chapter 9, p. 769). The chart below illustrates “model response error” during two 15-year periods and the longer 62-year period.

Models vs Observations IPCC AR5 Box 9.2

In each panel, red hatching shows observed temperatures as compiled by the UK Hadley Center; the gray bars show GMST trend distribution from 114 climate models. IPCC AR5, Chapter 9, Box 9.2.

Panel (c) appears to depict a close match between simulations and observations. But when Michaels and Knappenberger unpack the information incorporated in the graphic, they find that 90 out of 108 models hind-cast more warming than actually occurred.

IPCC Model Simulated and Observed Temperatures 1951-2012 Disaggregated by Michaels and Knappenberger

Okay, that makes IPCC’s “very high confidence” seem misplaced, but why is Michaels and Knappenberger’s column a blockbuster? Because of what they show next.  [click to continue…]

Consensus Shmensus

by Marlo Lewis on September 5, 2013

in Blog, Features

Post image for Consensus Shmensus

Months ago, indefatigable watchdog Anthony Watts called out Organizing for Action (OFA) for declaring, in a Tweet issued in President Obama’s name, that “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: Climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”

OFA was invoking a study in Environmental Research Letters by John Cook and colleagues, who supposedly found that 97% of climate scientists accept the “consensus” position on climate change. Cook manages Skeptical Science, a Web site dedicated to debunking climate “skeptics.”

As Watts and others, such as Andrew Montford of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, point out, Cook et al. did not attempt to estimate the number or percentage of climate scientists who agree or disagree that climate change is “dangerous.”*

But what about Cook et al.’s widely reported finding that 97% of climate scientists believe most of the 0.7°C warming since 1950 is due to the buildup of anthropogenic greenhouse gases? Does the Cook team actually demonstrate overwhelming agreement with that core “consensus” position of the International Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)?

Not by a long shot, argue University of Delaware climatologist David Legates and three colleagues in Climate “Consensus” and Misinformation. In fact, less than 1% of the 11,944 science papers (actually, just the abstracts) surveyed by the Cook researchers express agreement with the so-called consensus. [click to continue…]

At his BBC blog Andrew Neil lays out the itemized fraud from the 2007 UN IPCC report that has been rolling out in recent days, previously reported by the BBC and other formerly mainstream media as “sound” and “consensus” science. So many “Gates,” and so many discredited reporters:

But the flood gates really opened after the IPCC had to withdraw its claim that the Himalayan glaciers would likely all have melted by 2035, maybe even sooner.

This turned out to have no basis in scientific fact, even though everything the IPCC produces is meant to be rigorously peer-reviewed, but simply an error recycled by the [World Wildlife Fund], which the IPCC swallowed whole….

Then at the weekend another howler was exposed. The IPCC 2007 report claimed that global warming was leading to an increase in extreme weather, such as hurricanes and floods. Like its claims about the glaciers, this was also based on an unpublished report which had not been subject to scientific scrutiny — indeed several experts warned the IPCC not to rely on it.

Now after Climate-gate, Glacier-gate and Hurricane-gate — how many “gates” can one report contain? — comes Amazon-gate. The IPCC claimed that up to 40 percent of the Amazonian forests were risk from global warming and would likely be replaced by “tropical savannas” if temperatures continued to rise.

This claim is backed up by a scientific-looking reference but on closer investigation turns out to be yet another non-peer reviewed piece of work from the WWF. Indeed the two authors are not even scientists or specialists on the Amazon: one is an Australian policy analyst, the other a freelance journalist for the Guardian and a green activist.

Yep, this is the “scientific consensus” that Al Gore based his post-VP life upon; the imagined groundswell that so many politicians used to justify government growth; the nonexistent evidence that journalists cited to justify their alarmism activism. It’s the two words that every global warmist (whether lying or deceived themselves) threw in the face of skeptics in an attempt to intimidate. Didn’t work!

No wonder why hardly any of them wanted to debate and those who did got slaughtered. We tried to explain that the “consensus” was an illusion. You — yes, I’m talking about you, Society of Environmental Journalists — would have none of it.

Now you’re stuck in the shoes of the environmental equivalent of Jayson Blair as your newspapers and television stations fall apart, and while what’s left of your audience doesn’t care about the issue you hold so precious. But it’s your good fortune that you still qualify for the do-nothing flack positions that are plentiful in both government and nonprofit arms of the environoia industry.

CEI has a gift for Al Gore, arriving just in time for the holidays.  You may recall that CEI last month rushed to the cause of Lord Christopher Monckton, in his public challenge to Al Gore to debate global warming.  Inspired by Saturday Night Live’s famous effort to entice a Beatles reunion for only $3000, CEI settled on this considerably less improbable goal.  In CEI’s original YouTube video-message, we offered Mr. Gore a check for $500, plus proceeds from a pledge-a-dollar-to-debate campaign, plus the “street cred” earned by such a fearless debate.  Surely, it’s a win-win proposition for Gore.
Alas, in the wake of the burgeoning Climategate email scandal that called into question the work of the ”leading scientists” sounding the global warming alarm, Mr. Gore failed to respond to our lucrative debate challenge.  So, today, CEI has again sweetened the pot – we are now offering, not just the $500 check plus the extra donations ($200, so far), but also a $25 pre-paid gas card! (Especially in these difficult economic times, who would want to pass up over $700 in extra pocket change – and just in time for the holidays!)
Now that we’ve upped the ante, how much longer can Al Gore resist?  What do you think?