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Nature abandons science and embraces uniformitarian totalitarianism

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By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Nature [2020 (586), 335] has now openly and finally abandoned any attempt at either scientific or political objectivity. In a scientifically semi-literate editorial, it writes: “Joe Biden’s trust in truth, evidence, science and democracy make him the only choice in the US election.” Pass the chunder-bucket, Alice!

Ignoring the steaming piles of highly-politicized yah-boo with which the article is soggily laden, Nature’s criticism of President Trump concentrates chiefly on his removal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement and from the World Death Organization.

So let us look at the Paris accord today, and the Chinese virus on another day. What difference has Paris made? What difference have decades of intergovernmental hand-wringing and trillions upon trillions of taxpayers’ money made? The blunt answer is “Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Bupkis.” Or (sin of cultural appropriation) “Unh-unh!”

Let us suppose that the totalitarian politicians who are the chief worshipers at the altar of Thermageddon were really serious about making the planet colder. They would first and foremost ensure that the contributions of coal, oil and gas to total global energy consumption would fall sharply and continuously. But here is what actually happened in the quarter-century of hot air at global gabfests from 1993 to 2018. Coal, oil and gas accounted for 88% of total energy consumption in 1993 and – wait for it – 87% in 2018. Progress, Comrades!

World leaders would also have reduced total energy consumption – after all, we’re told we face certain extinction otherwise. Yet, as BP’s chart shows, total energy consumption rose by two-thirds in just that quarter century, notwithstanding five IPCC reports and endless me-too political statements from scientific institutions and once-respected journals such as Nature about turning off the wee standby lights on our TVs.

But surely world leaders have at least ensured that most new energy consumption is subject to the restrictions in the Paris climate agreement? Er, no.

Some 90% of new contributions to energy growth in 2018 were in nations exempt from the Paris agreement (or in the US, which is rightly leaving).

And those leaders would surely have sought to verify whether the IPCC’s originally-projected anthropogenic global warming rate, equivalent to a third of a degree per decade, confidently advanced in its 1990 First Assessment Report, has actually come to pass. But no.

The up-in-the-air half of the graph above shows that, assuming that Wu et al. (2019) were right to find that about 70% of recent global warming was anthropogenic, the true anthropogenic contribution to the 1.63 degrees/century equivalent global warming from August 1990 to July 2020 was just 1.15 degrees/century equivalent, or little more than one-third of the 3.4 degrees/century equivalent rate that IPCC had predicted.

The all-at-sea half of the graph shows that, notwithstanding this threefold overstatement of medium-term warming compared with mere observation and measurement, currently-projected equilibrium climate sensitivity is actually greater than the earlier projections. As Nature would know if it still had any connection with science, if one’s original predictions have proven in the real world to be a threefold exaggeration one does not double down by making still more exaggerated predictions.

The bottom left of the all-at-sea part of the graph shows how much equilibrium climate sensitivity should actually have been predicted, in order to be consistent with observationally-derived sensitivity. The true equilibrium sensitivity turns out to be about 1.25 degrees, not the 3.7-3.9 degrees predicted in the current (CMIP6) general-circulation models. And 1.25 degrees is not enough to be net-harmful.

Curiosity lies at the heart of true science. The genuine scientist does not say, “I believe!”, as Nature does. He says, “I wonder!” and then, “I wonder?” For he is in awe of the universe. He is fascinated by it. He is full of wonder. But then he observes or measures something that he cannot at first explain. Then the exclamation mark becomes a question mark. Why were the original medium-term warming predictions proven by mere real-world observation to have been such an enormous exaggeration? Why were the later predictions of equilibrium sensitivity not divided by three to bring them into line with observed medium-term warming? Why were they instead perversely increased?

The objective scientist, whose allegiance is solely to the truth, would not concern himself for a single instant with what Mr Trump or Mr Biden or some schoolchild or a jailhouse lineup of agitprop scientific associations thought about global warming. He would wonder whether, perhaps, climatology had made a systemic error serious enough to lead to these over-predictions. He would do a little historical digging and a little theoretical reading, and this is what he would find.

He would discover that in 1896 Svante Arrhenius (not a meteorologist but a chemist) had estimated in Table VII of his paper on global warming that doubling the CO2 concentration in the air would cause 5-6 degrees of warming, a prediction bracketing the current models’ high-end predictions.

However, on digging a little further he would find that ten years later, in 1906, Arrhenius, who, not being a climatologist, was able to change his mind when faced with evidence, had published a second paper on the subject, this time in German, in which he revised his estimate thus:

Which, being translated, sayeth –

“Likewise, I calculate that a halving or doubling of the CO2 concentration would be equivalent to changes of temperature of –1.5 Cº or +1.6 Cº respectively.”

That revised prediction is very much within shouting range of the 1.25 C° observationally-derived equilibrium climate sensitivity to doubled CO2 that my team has found.

The enquiring scientist (but not the true-believing Nature) would dig a little further. He would find that in 1938 Guy Stewart Callendar (not a meteorologist but a steam engineer) had written a paper making his own predictions, which are encapsulated in this graph:

In 1938, CO2 concentration was about 300 parts per million by volume, shown as 3 parts per 10,000 in Callendar’s graph. Today, concentration is 415 parts per million by volume. On Callendar’s graph, that reads across as about 0.8 K warming.

The true scientist would be curious about how much warming had actually occurred since Callendar’s 1938 paper. He would find that, on the HadCRUT4 dataset, there had been 0.78 degrees’ warming from August 1938 to July 2020: i.e., very nicely in line with Callendar’s prediction.

The scientist (but not Nature, of course) would then ask how much global warming Callendar would predict if the CO2 concentration were to double compared with the 300 ppmv in 1938. The figure can be read off from the graph: it is 1.5 degrees, very much in line not only with Arrhenius’ revised calculation but also in line with what we should today expect on the basis of observed warming and officially-estimated radiative forcing and measured Earth energy imbalance from 1850-2020. But 1.5 degrees is a long way shy of climatology’s 4 degrees.

The scientist would read Callendar’s conclusion with amazement and delight:

“In conclusion it may be said that the combustion of fossil fuel, whether it be peat from the surface or oil from 10,000 feet below, is likely to prove beneficial to mankind in several ways, besides the provision of heat and power. For instance, the above-mentioned small increases of mean temperature would be important at the northern margin of cultivation, and the growth of favourably situated plants is directly proportional to the carbon dioxide pressure Brown and Escombe, 1905). In any case the return of the deadly glaciers should be delayed indefinitely.”

The questioning scientist would by now begin to wonder at how it came to be that today’s climatologists are not only predicting thrice as much warming as Arrhenius and Callendar but are also saying that the modest increase of 0.8 degrees in global temperature that Callendar had correctly predicted had proven to be a bad thing rather than the good thing Callendar thought it would be. He would wonder why non-climatologists such as Arrhenius and Callendar were so much better at climatology than climatologists. He would begin to read the more recent climate literature, this time with amazement and distaste.

The scientist (but not Nature) would notice that in 1984 – an appropriate year – James Hansen had written a paper predicting 4 degrees’ warming, almost thrice Callendar’s or Arrhenius’ 1.5 degrees, in response to doubled CO2 in the air. He would soon find the reason why Hansen’s prediction was almost thrice that of his two distinguished predecessors.

Hansen had borrowed the mathematics of temperature feedback from control theory, a now-mature branch of engineering physics that was not yet developed when Arrhenius wrote and was in its infancy when Callendar’s 1938 paper was published. Hansen had concluded that, chiefly thanks to more water vapor in warmer air, feedback would double or triple the small direct warming from doubled CO2 concentration.

One of the earliest papers to provide a formalization of feedback theory had been written in 1934 by the formidable Harold S. Black of Bell Labs, then in New York. The notion of negative feedback, for instance, had come upon Black one morning when he was on the Lackawanna Ferry going into the labs to work. He jotted down the equations on his copy of the New York Times, then a newspaper, and Bell Labs retain that copy on display to this day.

The diligent scientist (but not Nature) would read Black’s paper, and would come across the first figure in that paper.

The scientist (but not Nature) would think a little. He would realize that e at top left is marked as the “Signal input voltage”), that the triangular object is the signal amplifier, that there is then a loop in the circuit, the feedback loop, which modifies the signal via the feedback circuit and then passes the amplified and then feedback-moderated input signal to the output node (amusingly marked E+N+D”) at the right:

Then the true scientist would go back to Hansen’s paper of 1984. Therein, he would find a long discussion of feedback. He would find all the terms unfamiliar, because Hansen understood feedback theory so little that he muddled the terms. The scientist would do a little homework and would find that Stephens (2015) had estimated that with no greenhouse gases there would be no water vapor and hence no clouds, so that far less of the Sun’s irradiance would be reflected harmlessly back to space than today, where the cloud tops are the chief mirror for that irradiance. Just look at the image through half-closed lashes and you will see Stephens’ point at once:

There! You have conducted an Experiment. That is more than most climatologists ever do.

The scientist would do a calculation to discover what the emission temperature would be at the Earth’s surface without all those greenhouse gases and clouds. He would find that it was about 267.6 degrees absolute. He would see that the formidable Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT had written a paper as far back as 1994 saying that emission temperature might even be as much as 274 degrees absolute. But let us be nice, and work with the lesser figure.

The scientist would then look up the global temperature in 1850, and would find that it was 287.6 degrees absolute. He would thus deduce that the natural greenhouse effect – the difference between the 267.6 degrees’ emission temperature without greenhouse gases and the 287.6 degrees’ measured temperature in 1850, was 20 degrees.

The scientist (but not Nature) would note that Hansen estimates the emission temperature as only 255 degrees absolute, implying a 32-degree natural greenhouse effect. He would realize at once that Hansen, like countless others writing in climate journals, had assumed today’s albedo of about 0.294 would prevail in the absence of greenhouse gases, whereas according to Stephens it would be half that. Therefore, Hansen had estimated the natural greenhouse effect as 32 degrees, an error which in itself overstates the natural greenhouse effect, and hence by implication the warming effect of greenhouse gases generally, by 60%. But that is by no means the most serious error in that and countless subsequent climatological papers.

The true scientist, having established that the emission temperature was large enough to be only 20 degrees shy of the temperature in 1850, would wonder how much feedback response Hansen had attributed to emission temperature. The scientist (but not Nature) would look and look to find any quantification – or even mention – of the feedback response to the input signal. In the climate, the input signal, e in Black’s diagram, is emission temperature. And emission temperature, at 267.6 degrees, is getting on for 50 times bigger than the directly-forced warming from the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases.

The scientist (but not Nature) would be horrified to find that Hansen had not accorded any feedback response at all to the substantial emission temperature, but had assumed that all the feedback response component in the natural greenhouse effect was attributable solely to the 50-times-smaller direct warming from the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases. He would wonder whether Hansen’s extraordinary error had been replicated throughout climatology. And he would find that it had.

The scientist would discover, for instance, that Lacis et al. (2010), in an influential but fatally misguided paper, had copied Hansen in imagining that the difference between surface temperatures with and without greenhouse gases in 1850, the natural greenhouse effect, was 32 degrees. Lacis said that 8 of the 32 degrees was direct warming by preindustrial greenhouse gases and 24 degrees was natural feedback response, mostly from more water vapor in warmer air. Thus, Lacis thought the unit feedback response – the extra warming for every degree of direct warming by greenhouse gases – was 24 ÷ 8, i.e., 3. That is why, given 1 degree of direct warming by doubled CO2 today, climate models still predict, just as Hansen and later Lacis and many others did, that there would be as much as 4 degrees’ final warmingor equilibrium climate sensitivity. They naively assume that feedback response is linear with temperature.

The scientist (but certainly not Nature) would work out the true position. He would discover that of the 19.9 degrees’ true natural greenhouse effect, 6.1 degrees was direct warming by preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases, driving a feedback response of only 0.7 degrees. The 24 degrees imagined by Lacis and countless others was 33 times too large. That is two orders of magnitude. It is a gross error.

The remaining 13.1 degrees of the 19.9 degrees’ true natural greenhouse effect was the feedback response to emission temperature that climatologists had neglected. Climate scientists, at this vital point in their calculations, had forgotten the Sun was shining. They had mistakenly added the large feedback response to the Sun’s heat to, and miscounted it as though it stood part of, the actually very small natural feedback response to direct preindustrial greenhouse-gas warming. And that is how they came to predict large, fast, dangerous warming today rather than small, slow, harmless, net-beneficial warming.

The true preindustrial unit feedback response per degree of directly-forced warming from the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases was 0.7 ÷ 6.1, or just 0.12. Climatologists’ imagined unit feedback response of 3 was 25 times too large, or 15 timestoday’s unit feedback response, which we reckon is about 0.19. So, given 1.06 degrees’ direct warming by doubled CO2, there will be 1.06 (1 + 0.19) or 1.25 degrees’ equilibrium sensitivity. That is only a third of climatologists’ 4 degrees. And that is the end of their “emergency”. For, as we have seen, real-world, observed manmade warming since 1990 has turned out to be just a third of what they had predicted that year. After correcting their error, there will be far too little global warming to do net harm. Climate concern arose solely from an error of physics.

Let us have a diagrammatic look at climatology’s clusterfork – an error so titanginormous that it has been hidden in plain sight all along. The upper panel, (a), shows climatology’s apportionment of its overstated natural greenhouse effect between just two components: 8 degrees’ direct warming by the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases and the absurdly large imagined 24 degrees’ feedback response thereto.

The lower panel, (b), shows the corrected apportionment of the true 19.9 degrees’ natural greenhouse effect between not two but three components, starting with the largest: the 13.1 degrees’ feedback response to emission temperature that climatologists had overlooked. See how small the feedback response to the direct warming driven by the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases becomes.

We were able to calculate that feedback response numerically, having first prescribed the three nonlinearities in the curve of feedback response with temperature. Those nonlinearities are caused by the Clausius-Claperon-mandated increase in specific humidity with atmospheric temperature (in the atmospheric window only), and below the mid-troposphere, at which altitude, contrary to all the models’ predictions, no such increase has occurred); the increase in the Planck sensitivity parameter with temperature; and the rectangular-hyperbolic response of the system-gain factor (the ratio of equilibrium sensitivity to the directly-forced warming that had triggered the feedback response) and hence of all equilibrium climate sensitivities to the feedback fraction (i.e., to the fraction of equilibrium sensitivity represented by feedback response).

Having thus derived the feedback responses to emission temperature and to the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases, we were able to calculate forward, bearing in mind the pre-established growth curve of feedback response with temperature, and so to derive the true equilibrium climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentration compared with today. It is 1.25 [1.05, 1.5] degrees. But, if one were to assume that anthropogenic aerosol forcing were to continue to be negative in the same ratio to greenhouse-gas forcing as at present, the effective equilibrium climate sensitivity, the amount of global warming that would actually occur, would be only 1.05 [0.9, 1.2] degrees.

Now, Mr Trump (but not Nature)knows all this, because I sent a note to him to explain it. One week later, he took the United States out of the pointless but cripplingly expensive Paris climate agreement. He was right to do so. He had been elected to put America first. That is what he has done. He has, in fact, shown a commitment to democracy far in excess of anything offered by the now-totalitarian “Democrats”. On issue after issue, he has actually done what he said he would do. He has brokered a sounder, solider peace between Israel and some of her Arab neighbours than 20 years of the vapid Tony Blair swanning about in an agreeable palace in the region had achieved. He has pulled out U.S. troops from various pointless wars in far-flung places. He has held China and others to account for asymmetric trade deals disadvantaging the rust-belt workers who had turned to him in droves in 2016.

Climatology itself is also gradually becoming aware of its monstrous error – the error that has led to such prodigious and costly over-prediction of past as well as future global warming. For my team have been submitting a paper about it to learned journals. Neither of the two journals to which the current paper was submitted was able to state that our central point was incorrect: namely, that, since there is in reality a large feedback response (and one that we can now respectably quantify) to emission temperature, the previously-imagined large feedback response to the preindustrial noncondensing greenhouse gases must become commensurately smaller. And so on up to the present and beyond. Feedback response, and hence greenhouse warming, is a whole lot smaller than climatology had invited us to imagine.

The reviewers had failed to land a blow on our paper. They nevertheless rejected it, not because it was wrong but because it was right. On the second occasion, I asked the editor to read the reviewers’ comments and our responses and to tell us if in any material respect we had failed to answer the reviewers’ inconsequential and largely unsubstantiated criticisms.

The editor replied that we had fully satisfied him on all points, but that his fellow-editors were not prepared to allow any such paper to appear under any circumstances.

I had already consulted a senior police contact after our previous and similarly baseless rejection. He had advised us to submit the paper thrice and get rejected thrice on the basis of reviews that were plainly dishonest. He would then get the fraud squad in so that I could brief them. We are now polishing the final version of what has now become a substantial and solid paper, and, if it is treated cavalierly, we shall put the entire bulging file in front of Mr Plod, who in my experience is a whole lot smarter than your average academic scamster thinks.

I wrote to the editor to ask his permission to forward the correspondence to the fraud police and to Interpol in due course. He agreed with alacrity, saying that it was high time the fraudulent aspects of climate science were scrutinized. Interestingly, Interpol already has a climate-change fraud division – and it is not investigating skeptics.

Once we were ready with our paper, I wrote to Nature’s editors to make a pre-submission enquiry. My letter said no more than that my team had been working for some years on a large error that had led to a considerable overstatement of projected equilibrium climate sensitivity, and that in view of the importance of the result we wondered whether Nature would be interested. The editor wrote back promptly to say Nature would not be in the least interested. That response will in due course go to the fraud police.

Meanwhile, Nature cares no more for democracy, or for peace in the Middle East, or for bringing brave soldiers home from Obama’s vanity wars, or for making sure that America’s workers have a fair chance to work, or for climate science, than Joe Biden does. The world has been lucky to have Mr Trump over the past four years. Let us hope that it will be even luckier to have him for another four years, tormenting the Communist Press and entertaining the rest of us while keeping America great and the world free. Nature will hate that. Good.

And so to the Chinese virus. But not today. I shall return to that in a few days’ time. For I have had the virus, which is why I have been out of action in recent months. And what I have discovered is fascinating, and will allow the pandemic to cease to have any more harmful effect than the annual flu within a month, if the various profiteering vested interests maintaining the current increasingly absurd global response can be neutralized so as to allow a couple of simple and inexpensive steps to be taken. Watch this space. It will be worth it.

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