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Monckton responds: the economics, the creatures, the acidification!

Posted By Joanne Nova On November 18, 2013 @ 4:45 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

UPDATED with another reply (See below)

Across my desk came another one of Christopher Monckton’s many analytical entertaining parries, which I see SPPI has published already. Monckton and SPPI have supporting information in the documents linked from the images. – Jo

Dear Professor Bada,

You reply to my earlier email as follows (with some ad-hominem instances of the ignoratio elenchi fallacy removed):

“OK so you accept global warming but say from an economic standpoint we would destroy our societies by trying to mend our ways. What about all the other creatures on the Earth? Do they have any say in your economic based claims we should to do nothing? What about ocean acidification from increasing CO2 and its affects on photosynthetic organisms?”

Let me deal with your three points seriatim.

First, mitigation economics. You may like to look at the attached reviewed paper that was published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the World Federation of Scientists. The analysis is in line with the reviewed literature in concluding that attempted mitigation today would be 1-2 orders of magnitude costlier than adaptation the day after tomorrow. The calculation, which is simple and survived unchallenged after 90 minutes of vigorous debate at last year’s Federation meeting on planetary emergencies, at which I presented the paper, takes no account of the opportunity losses from diverting what is now $1 billion a day worldwide from where it could do some good to where it can do no good at all. Already there are more deaths among people who cannot afford to heat their homes because mad global-warming mitigation policies have doubled and tripled their electricity prices than among people damaged by global warming (which has not occurred for 17 years in any event). My calculations, for the first time, combined the IPCC’s principal climate-sensitivity equations and results with the standard techniques of intertemporal investment appraisal and, for the first time, revealed just how extravagantly cost-ineffective any attempted measure to mitigate global warming must be, even if the IPCC’s mad exaggerations of climate sensitivity were correct, and even if Stern’s mad exaggerations of the cost of adapting to the IPCC’s madly-exaggerated warming were correct.

Secondly, the other creatures on the Earth.

Well, 99.9% of them had become extinct before we came along. I cannot find, anywhere in the literature, any paper asserting, still less demonstrating, that 0.7 Celsius degrees of warming over a century has been anything other than beneficial. Indeed, even the mad IPCC has had to admit not only that there is no economic case for action to mitigate global warming (you will find this revealing admission in WG3 of the 2007 report) but also that warming of a further 1.4 Celsius compared with today would, in net terms, be beneficial. I have noticed that only 1% of the Earth’s species live at the Poles, and more than 90% in tropics, from which one may perhaps legitimately infer that warmer, wetter weather is better for life on Earth than colder, drier weather. Even the polar bears are thriving: there are 7 or 8 times as many of them as there were when I was born. Let us not, therefore, be too emotional. Warmer weather is a good thing, not a bad thing: and my analysis of climate sensitivity, also reviewed and published, was one of the first to state that global warming in response to a doubling of Co2 concentration would be likely to be less than 1 Celsius degree. That was the significance of my question to you about the singularity in the Bode feedback-amplification equation and the consequent necessity of a damping term if that equation is to be wrenched from electronic circuitry, where it belongs and has a physical meaning, and forced into the climate models, where it does not belong and has no physical meaning. Any reasonable damping term would divide officially-projected climate sensitivity by at least 4, so that the warming by the time all reserves of fossil fuels are exhausted would scarcely exceed the 1.4 K that the admittedly mad IPCC regards as net-beneficial.


Thirdly, you raise the specter of what you bizarrely call ocean “acidification”.

The last time I looked, the oceans were pronouncedly alkaline, and even the mad IPCC says the acid-base balance has been altered by only 0.1 acid/base units in the direction of slightly reduced alkalinity. However, that estimate, like much else in the IPCC’s mad gospels, is entirely guesswork, because there is no sufficiently well-resolved global measurement program for ocean pH. However, elementary theoretical considerations would lead us to expect homoeostasis in the acid/base balance of the oceans because the buffering influence of the rock basins in which they live and move and have their being is overwhelmingly powerful. Acid/base neutrality is at a pH of 7.0. The oceans are at about 7.8-8.2 (no one knows, so that the IPCC’s alleged dealkalinization of 0.1 acid/base units is well within the measurement error, so that we cannot actually be sure that it has occurred at all; and, on the elementary ground I have described, it is unlikely to have done so). Besides, there is about 50 times as much CO2 already dissolved in the oceans than there is in the atmosphere, so that even if all of the CO2 in the atmosphere were to make its way into the oceans the pH would scarcely change even in the absence of the overwhelming buffering effect of the rocks. As for calcifying organisms, they are thriving. The calcite corals first achieved algal symbiosis and came into being 550 million years ago (you are too young to remember) during the Cambrian era, when atmospheric CO2 concentration was 25 times what it is today. The more delicate aragonite corals came into being 175 million years ago, during the Jurassic, when CO2 concentration was still 15 times today’s. “Ah,” you may say, “but it is the suddenness of the abrupt increase in CO2 concentration that the fragile corals will not be able to endure.” However, consider the great floods of the Brisbane River (eight of them from 1840-1900 and three of them since). The rainwater that pours into the ocean and meets the Great Barrier Reef is pronouncedly acid, at a pH of 5.4. Yet the corals do not curl up and die. “Ah,” you may say, “but what about the effect of sudden warming on the puir wee corals?” Well, the Great el Nino of 1997/8 gives us the answer to that one. Sudden increases in ocean temperature cause the corals to bleach. There have been two previous Great el Ninos in the past 300 years, and the corals bleached on both those occasions too. It is a natural defense mechanism against natural change. The corals continue to thrive. My brother and his three sport-mad boys dive on the reef every year and, like many others from whom I have heard, find the corals thriving except where the Crown of Thorns infestation has damaged small parts of the reef. Oh, and the Great Barrier Reef Authority, which has been moaning about the effects of rising sea temperatures on the corals, publish a dataset that shows zero increase in sea temperature in the region of the reef throughout the entire period of record. Don’t hold your breath worrying about ocean “acidification”: it can’t happen, even if all the CO2 in the air goes into the ocean.

Let me conclude by reviewing the principal scientific and economic reasons why, in my submission, we should do nothing at all about global warming.

First, one has only to take a cursory glance at the exponential decay curve of 14CO2 following the last atmospheric bomb tests in 1963, 50 years ago, to realize that very nearly all of the CO2 that we add to the atmosphere will have left it within half a century. The curve provides direct and unchallengeable empirical evidence of the rate of uptake of additional CO2 by terrestrial and oceanic sinks. I have recently taken the CDIAC’s reconstructions of anthropogenic fossil-fuel emissions since 1751 and distributed the annual residual atmospheric fractions in accordance with the bomb-test curve. The result shows that the concentration of CO2 today – in the absence of any natural contribution – would have been just 324 ppmv (not the measured 394) in 2010, compared with 278 ppmv in 1750. Allowing for land use changes and taking some account of the warming caused by our small net addition to atmospheric CO2 concentration, one might imagine that about half of the 110 ppmv increase in CO2 concentration since 1750 is anthropogenic, and not all of it, as the mad IPCC would like to profit by having us believe. The first scandal of the IPCC’s mad science, then, is its attempt to pretend that the mean residence time of CO2 that we add to the atmosphere is 50-200 years, when in fact very nearly all of it will have left the atmosphere after 50 years. The implications of this for projections of future warming are self-evident: one must halve them on this ground alone.

Secondly, the mad IPCC has flagrantly exaggerated climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration, in the following respects. It has incorrectly understated the cooling influence of non-radiative transports such as evaporation, which increases three times faster with temperature than its models assume, giving us our first pointer to the fact that climate sensitivity has been very substantially exaggerated. Next, it imagines that temperature feedbacks (which, in its mad analysis, account for two-thirds of all the warming that arises from adding CO2 to the atmosphere) will triple the small direct warming from the extra CO2 itself. However, this mad exaggeration is insupportable. Absolute global temperature has fluctuated by little more than 1% either side of the long-run median throughout the past 420,000 years. What that record shows is that temperature feedbacks cannot really be net-positive at all. They are more likely to be net-negative, and that would drive climate sensitivity down below 1 Celsius degree per CO2 doubling. I have already mentioned the significance of the fact that the singularity in the feedback-amplification equation has no physical meaning in the climate. It is the wrong equation. Yet it is upon that wrong equation that the mad IPCC relies in multiplying by 3 the direct warming from CO2 which is itself already overstated because the IPCC takes insufficient account of non-radiative transports. The IPCC’s implicit evolutionary curve for the climate-sensitivity parameter is tuned to suggest that the overwhelming preponderance of the effect of feedbacks will occur in the first century or two after the warming that triggered the feedbacks. However, that is contrary to common sense: the major feedbacks take a long time to occur. The key feedback – the water vapor feedback – shows no sign of occurring at all at present: at all altitudes, and particularly at the vital 300 mB pressure altitude, water vapor has if anything declined somewhat throughout the period of record. No surprise, then, that according to the RSS satellite record there has been no global warming at all for a full 204 months – i.e., 17 years. Not one of the mad models predicted that.

Thirdly, as I have shown, there is no economic case for action even if everything I have said about the science is incorrect and everything the IPCC says about the science is correct. I do understand that – for some reason – the Party Line among the hard Left in academe is that we must shut down the West for the sake of Saving The Planet. Well, The Planet was triumphantly Saved 2000 years ago and, on the scientific and economic evidence, it does not need to be Saved again.

Monckton of Brenchley


Post Note: Professor Bada is a Prof of Marine Chemistry at Scripps who publishes on the origins of life and the evolution of Biospheres. He is most welcome to reply here if he would like to. – Jo

Other posts by or about Christopher Monckton


Christopher Monckton informs me that Prof Bada has already responded, and Monckton has responded to him. What is most striking is that Professor Bada, an eminent expert on marine chemistry at Scripps holds such a strong position on climate science, yet seemingly even resorts to ad hominem attacks to back them up (in the PDF Monckton sets him straight on the House of Lords again, did Bada really resort to such a trashy argument?). If the evidence is so strong, so overwhelming, those who believe the theory ought have no trouble sticking to the science.

From Monckton:

“Godbold and Calosi, the first of the papers you have attached, deal with the extent of ocean “acidification” only in the introduction to their paper, which – like so many on climate-related subjects – prefers to take the supposed problem as a given and then expatiate on its consequences, rather than to check whether there is a problem.

 They begin by asserting that “further increases” in Co2 concentration “(700-1000 ppm)” are “anticipated by the end of the twenty-first century”. However, analysis of Fig. 10.26 on page 803 of IPCC (2007), where the underlying data are not available but I superimposed a fine grid on each graph to reconstruct the original data, shows that 700 μatm (not “ppm”, which, by omitting the necessary reference to volume, is misleading, as well as not being a Systeme Internationale unit) is the IPCC’s central estimate of CO2 concentration by 2100, not its lower bound.

Next, the two propagandists say, “Over the past three decades, changes in [CO2] have increased global average temperatures (approx. 0.2 C decade), …”. Well, I beg leave to modify their aetiology and also their quantity. First, the aetiology. As best I can make it out on the basis of analyzing the bomb-test curve, almost 40% of the increase in CO2 over the past three decades was not attributable to Man.

Large-scale atmospheric nuclear testing ceased in 1963. The testing approximately doubled the previously-stable baseline atmospheric concentration of 14C, which rapidly reverted towards the baseline over 50 years, after which time less than 5% of the excess remained in the atmosphere. Observations of Δ14C, expressed as the remaining airborne fraction of the excess, are at Fig. 1.

Figure 1. The decay curve of atmospheric 14C following the ending of nuclear bomb tests in 1963, assembled from European records by Gösta Pettersson. 

This is just the beginning.

Read the full 11 page response in this PDF document.

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