Monday, July 12, 2010

This is where Eli came in

Viscount Monckton is busy jumping the shark, having been bitten by John Abraham, so Eli thought he would go over and have a look. Since Chris is a backwards lad, Eli started at the end, and after passing over a few odd bleats he came to

455: Since you are apparently so concerned about even small changes in temperature, and about minute variations in the peaks and troughs of the global temperature curve from one graph to another, are you not truly astonished to find that in the Central England Temperature Record, compiled since 1659 and, because of its latitude and other regional characteristics, a reasonable proxy for global temperature anomalies, shows that in the 40 years 1695-1735, before the Industrial Revolution even began, Central England temperature rose by 4 F°, a rate eight or nine times greater than the warming of the 20th century?
This brought back all sorts of fond memories.

Leaving aside the issue of whether the CET is representative of global temperatures there is the amusing fact that in the 1707 to 1722 period it went tramping to Utrecht and got fouled. Whatta you expect when you play the Dutch. But there is more. . .

The Central England historical record, was originally published by Manley.

The data base is maintained by the Hadley center and the series runs from 1659 to the present.

Our friend Nigel Persaud got his knickers into a twist because Mann, Bradley and Hughes only used the record from 1730 on. Much of this comes from that audit of the auditor. The CET is set forth in

Manley, G., 1953: The mean temperature of Central England, 1698 to 1952. Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc, 79, 242-261.

Manley, G. 1974: Central England Temperatures: monthly means 1659 to 1973. Quart J Roy Meteorolol Soc, 100, 389-405.

Parker, D. E., T. P. Legg, and C. K. Folland, 1992: A new daily Central England Temperature Series, 1772-1991. Int J Climatol, 12, 317-342.

Bunnies can find links and a nice graph at the Wikipedia where interested lagomorphs might note that the CET temperatures "FELL" between 1659 and 1695, by about the same amount they "rose" between 1695, and 1735. 1998 and all that.

At the time Eli went and got the last two papers, and read them. The reason that MBH98 does not use the data before 1730 is clearly explained in the first paragraph of the 1992 Parker, Legg and Folland paper:
"Manley1953) published a time series of monthly mean temperatures representative of central England for 1698-1952, followed (Manley 1974) by an extended and revised series for 1659-1973. Up to 1814 his data are based mainly on overlapping sequences of observations from a variety of carefully chosen and documented locations. Up to 1722, available instrumental records fail to overlap and Manley needs to use non-instrumental series for Utrecht compiled by Labrijn (1945), in order to mate the monthly central England temperature (CET) series complete. Between 1723 and the 1760s there are no gaps in the composite instrumental record, but the observations generally were taken in unheated rooms rather than with a truly outdoor exposure...."
Which means that the Manley reconstruction is only continuous from 1722 on, but the information upon which it relies from 1723-28 has further difficulties, essentially absolute values were not reliable, and the series was constructed by taking the difference between measurements made by those thermometers and ones thought to be more reliable after 1727, and then repeatedly differenced to get values before 1727.

In the light of this, it is perfectly reasonable to truncate the CET series at 1730 although Parker chose to start in 1772 when reliable thermometer records are available from Hoy in London, not trusting the data before 1770.

On balance this illustrates the principal of RTFR (Read the effing references) and the danger of someone unfamiliar with an area trying to do an "audit". The CET before 1730 is certainly not reliable, even Scrotum knows that, but whether he has passed the word onto Mycroft Monckton is uncertain.

So, since things have been dull at Rabett Run, Eli invites all to answer any of his Lordshifts questions, which will be dully featured.



carrot eater said...

"dully" I can't tell if that's wordplay, or typo. I'll go with dull, because I'm inclined to ignore this little tantrum from Monckton.

I'm guessing Eli couldn't easily get the oldest paper online, so being a lazy bunny, RTFR doesn't count for that one?

Anyway, if anybody really wants to become expert in CET and its foibles, there's a connection here to everybody's (especially Stoat's) favorite figure from the IPCC FAR, with the temperature reconstruction so qualitative that looks like it was drawn on a dinner napkin. That came, somehow or other, from Lamb, who used Manley as a source, though yet another paper is cited there, MANLEY, G., 1958. Temperature trends in England, 1698-1957. Arch. MeteoroL, Geophys. Bioclimatol., Ser. B., 9: 413-433.

EliRabett said...

Could not even get it on dead trees at the U Md and was too lazy to go to the library of congress.

carrot eater said...

Never send a rabbit to do a gopher's job.

Arthur said...

Whether or not it's much of a "proxy" for global temperatures, as one regional record it's bound to have much higher variability, even over several decades. Which is the sort of thing Monckton claims to understand but either abuses or completely misrepresents most of the time - anyway, one record vs. at least hundreds of independent sites should have something like 10 times the variability... any better quantification of what that ought to imply?

carrot eater said...

what, just based on S/N varying as the square root of the sample size?

I'm not convinced that's exactly what we want here, or rather it's a simplification too far. It needs some measure of how much area those 100 thermometers are covering - are they all in the same region, or not.

EliRabett said...

The problem with the variability argument here is that the variability varies crazily over the first part of the record as it shifts from one way of measuring to another. Things improve after ~ 1820, but there are still shifts

EliRabett said...

Hey youngsters, stop playing and get busy answering the good Lord's questions.

Gareth said...

Scrotum tells me that Mycroft is currently dating Nigella Lawson, which might explain why her father's cooking the books... (Issue 25, here.

Gareth said...

Poking around in the Moncktonian pdf, I discover that the author is given as "Sheridan Stewart" in the "properties". Monckton has an interesting scriptwriter it would appear. Or perhaps it is the work of Mycroft...

Nick Barnes said...

The fragrant Nigella Lawson, who can bake my cakes any time, is married to Charles Saatchi - who probably knows Monckton from the Thatcher days. The family connection of which I am aware is through the Discount Viscount's sister Rosa, who is married to Dominic Lawson, one of Nigel Lawson's other children.

Credentialism from Monckton is very, very, very funny. Abraham is, in fact, a professor. Monckton is not and never has been a member of the House of Lords (which he claimed in a letter to US senators). He is a clown. Demanding $100k with menaces, from a respected University which one has recently described as "a bible college", among other patronising abuse, is not going to end well for him. I predict a knock-out win for Abraham in the third.

John said...

Still no mention of the conclusions of "the third and most comprehensive review into the CRU issue"?

John Puma

Anonymous said...

Moncton has been quiet lately. Evidently it takes a month to assemble an infinite number of monkeys and an equally infinite number of typewriters.

I have the answers to the first 30 questions:

Yes: 1,3,7,8,11,13,25,26,28

No: 4,5,6,9,10,12,16,20,21,22,23,26,29

In public domAIN: 2,4,15,17,20,30

18 see 17

Drivel, have you stopped beating your wife, you mother weears army boots, irrelavent etc: most numbers.

Do I get a prize? How about $110,000?

John McManus

Phil Clarke said...

1 Are you familiar with the convention in the academic world that if one wishes to rebut the work of another he should notify that other in good time, so as to avoid errors in the rebuttal and to afford the other a
fair and contemporaneous opportunity to refute the rebuttal?

Did you contact Al Gore before issuing a criticism of 'Inconvenient Truth' or are you a hypocrite?

Phil Clarke said...

17 Please provide a full academic resume. Though you have described yourself as a “professor” (3, 62) more than once in this presentation, are you in fact an associate professor?

Though you have described yourself as a member of the House of Lords, is it not the case that you are not and never have been? That you stood for election and received zero votes?

Phil Clarke said...

27 Summarised: You said I said the world is not warming, but you're wrong because I said the world is cooling.

30 Summarised: You said I said that sea levels are not rising. But you're wrong because I said sea levels are not rising.

34 Summarised: You said I said the ice was not melting. But you're wrong because I said the ice is recovering.

Phil Clarke said...

127 Do you not understand that personal attacks of this kind are instances of the argumentum ad hominem, and are not fit to be deployed in academic or scientific discussion, and that if you wish to be regarded seriously as “a scientist” (2-3) then you must learn to be adult enough not to use such personal attacks in future?

Too many to choose from ...

Monckton on Monbiot: 'a scribbler for the British Marxist daily propaganda sheet, The Guardian. ... he’s a fourteenth-rate zoologist'

on Hansen: 'Hansen, whose 1984 paper Schmidt misstates in his second attempt to discredit me, is linked financially and politically to Al Gore through repeated donations of many thousands of dollars to Gore’s re-election campaigns and to those of John Kerry, whose wife recently gave Hansen at least
$250,000 from a charitable fund she administers.'

on the 'Hockey Stick' scientists : 'These evil pseudo-scientists, through the falsity of their statistical manipulations, have already killed far more people through starvation than “global warming” will ever kill. They should now be indicted and should stand trial alongside Radovan Karadzic for nothing less than high crimes against humanity: for, in their callous disregard for the fatal consequences of their corrupt falsification of science, they are no less guilty of genocide than he.'

He also likened Abrahams to an 'overcooked prawn', but that text has sensibly been removed, a blatent double standard being most unaristocratic ...

Phil Clarke said...

126 Since I gave advice on a wide range of scientific and technical matters to the British Prime Minister for four years, and ran a successful technical consultancy in the field of public administration for two decades, and have twice very profitably exploited a previously-unsuspected wrinkle in the laws of probabilistic combinatorics, and I have published what is on any view a heavily mathematical paper on the determination
of climate sensitivity in a reviewed journal, on what rational basis did you consider it appropriate publicly to
disseminate – without any qualification or verification – Dr. Keigwin’s unscientific guess that I had “no background in science”?


I spoke to Al Saperstein of Wayne State University in Michigan, one of two co-editors of Physics & Society, the offending newsletter.

He stressed that that the article was not sent to anyone for peer-reviewing. Saperstein himself edited it. "I'm a little ticked off that some people have claimed that this was peer-reviewed," he said. "It was not."

Since the newsletter's publication, the APS has added a note declaring that "Physics & Society is a non peer-reviewed newsletter"


Monckton telling porkies? Surely not.

Gareth said...


The rational basis, therefore, for the assumption that Christopher Monckton, Viscount Brenchley, has no scientific background is that the evidence shows he hasn’t got one. The very best that can be said for him is that he has a facility for maths, a wonderful line in pompous prose and a bee in his bonnet.

ChrisD said...

Uh-oh. Now M'lud is going to demand that you write a groveling lapine apology and pony up $10,000 to Haitian relief. And you'd better hop to it.

Horatio Algeranon said...

There once was a fellow called "Mocktman"
Who came across as a crocked man
He crowed, "I'm a Lord"
But was largely ignored
By the community of scientists (who mocked him).

Anonymous said...

184: Is it not clear to you that if the IPCC is projecting an exponential increase in CO2 concentration on the scenario that comes closest to today’s actual CO2 emissions, and is also projecting a corresponding logarithmic warming response, the combined result of these two predictions will be a straight line, exactly as shown on my graphs, giving warming at 3.9 C°/century, which, by no coincidence at all, is precisely the same as the warming rate of 0.39 C°/decade that is stated and displayed on my graphs?

185: Would it not have been fairer if you had admitted that you simply have no idea how the IPCC actually calculates its temperature projections, and that – as will be evident from the above questions – I know enough about it to produce accurate and reliable graphs?

186: Why did it not occur to you, as it did to me, that, since the IPCC’s projections of future exponential CO2 growth and logarithmic temperature response necessarily produce a straight line, the IPCC’s detuning of its own projections to reduce the projected temperature change to just 0.2 C°/decade over the first couple of decades of this century has no basis in scientific reality or method?

Did Monckton's brain leak out his ears as a small child or something? 184: Let me make up something about the IPCC's future projections. 185: Let me insult you about your understanding of the IPCC's future projections. 186: Let me claim that the _IPCC_ does not understand its own future projections. Because apparently complex computer models are less accurate than throwing a logarithm at an exponential and producing a straight line.

Excuse me while I go throw up the contents of my stomach, now...


Anonymous said...

Nice to have you back Eli, even as recently as yesterday I was unable to view your page using SAFARI 4.1.

Anyhow, just posted this at Deltoid and thought that bunnies here would be interested to read what Mr. Watts has been up to:

"And not to be outdone, Watts starts making veiled threats against someone challenging Munchkin whilst also trotting out another of his pet peeves, anonymous "warmers":

"REPLY:And I find it rich that somebody who’s at a university but doesn’t bring their name to the discussion can criticize a man who has the courage to put his name to his words. What’s your title at your university Phil? Careful, or I’ll put you back in the troll box. ;-) -A"

Nice work A....not. And Anthony, why don't anonymous deniers posting from work get threatened or snipped?

I hope that people who have made the effort to expose more of Monckotn's lies are also emailing the good Dr. Abraham with the relevant information."


Anonymous said...

Now I realise it makes wonderful material for bloggin' and commenting about about, but from the opening line ("Mr Abraham") it is clear that this material should simply have been ignored, until such time it was reprocessed for application to the anus. That said ...

4: Do you accept that your talk was calculated to do very great harm to my reputation?

Imagined reply: No, I think your reputation as an asinine nincompoopiana enunciator has been greatly enhanced by my video.

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

Is Dr. Abraham seriously going to waste his time answering Mr. Monckton's drivel? I get the feeling that Monckton is either trying to bait Abraham or snow him with GishGallop-- whatever Abraham includes in his response will be used against Abraham or distorted. IMHO, I think it is time to refer Mr. Monckton to the Uni's lawyers.

Then again, if Dr. Abraham does wish to answer Monckton's drivel, how about we all give him a helping hand? Not that he needs it mind you, but it will reduce the time he has to spend on this BS. Just a thought.


Anonymous said...

Once there was a Viscount of Brenchly
Who disputed his critics most contentiously
With a lawsuit in hand
And an imperious demand
No one doubted the defense of His Excellency

Noe one doubted that is save for Poe
Who's Law is unknown by most joes
Now seeing the crank
Raised to high rank
Its impossible to tell the man from the show


Horatio Algeranon said...

There once was a journalist named Chris
Who thought there was something amiss
With the physics of Newton
Said he 'You're darned tootin'
"I will get to the bottom of this."

There once was a man with Nobel
Pinned to his suit-coat lapel
"When you address me, bow low"
"I'm world famous, you know"
"And Lord of a big house as well."

Nick Barnes said...

Lucia contacted Abraham. He saw this a month ago and is standing firm, with his university apparently standing behind him. Maybe they didn't like being called "a Bible college".
Now I'm hoping for a law suit.

Anonymous said...

Dear Eli:

Thanks very much for bring the valuable work of John Abraham to the attention of your readers. Abraham administers a very thorough debunking of Christopher Monckton.

-John Farley
Professor of Physics, UNLV

Andy S said...

John Abraham once debunked an
Egregious talk by Chris Monckton
So the Lord tried to do
His own Peer review
Which he characteristically flunked on.

Anonymous said...

A Viscount worried about his reputation
Fired up by an internet disputation
With a bunch of new slides
Screwed up his hurt pride
And revealed a self-mocking refutation.

Gareth said...

Monckton of Brenchley
Had to eventually
Concede that his bluster
Never passed muster

(A Clerihew)

Gareth said...

There was a daft Viscount from Brenchley,
Whose shark jumping owed much to Benchley,
His downfall, they say,
Was caused by the way
His politics posed as reality

villabolo said...

Phil Clarke said...
13/7/10 4:58 AM

"on the 'Hockey Stick' scientists : 'These evil pseudo-scientists, through the falsity of their statistical manipulations, have already killed far more people through starvation than “global warming” will ever kill. They should now be indicted and should stand trial alongside Radovan Karadzic for nothing less than high crimes against humanity: . . ."

Phil, can you please post a reference for this one. I can sure use it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Here you go, Villabolo. The passage you seek is the final paragraph. Enjoy :)


Anonymous said...

Abraham should not spend hours plowing through Monckton's rubbish, he should respond like this:

"Dear Chris,
You have sent me a list of questions.
Question #1 asks a question based on a false premise concerning academic conventions.

Could you please re-send me your list of questions with this error corrected so I can resume addressing them."

I imagine this could go on for some years.....

Another Kiwi said...

Monkton is Sunk ton

Rattus Norvegicus said...

I'll take a stab at 101-136.

Discount Viscount:

You wanker! Take a look at the key figures from Mann et. al., Science 2009. This is the first attempt I am aware of to reconstruct the spatial pattern of temperatures in the MWP. It shows that although there are areas of the globe which approach, or even exceed, modern temperatures, the warmth was by no means global in extent. Because of this it is always possible to cherry pick proxies which show temperatures as warm or even slightly warmer than today without actually attacking the current understanding of the MWP.

It is also useful to know that the graph you credit to the IPCC FAR, was a schematic drawn from Lamb's work, but it appears to only represent the CET (you should be familiar with that one, eh?), so it clearly does not represent a global temperature. It was removed from the 1992 supplemental report. In other words, Chris, use of this figure as some sort of proof of the global nature of the MWP is a joke, just like you.

Now shut up and leave me alone.

TrueSceptic said...

422: Have you heard of Mr. Albert Arnold Gore’s astounding invention, the World Wide Web?

No. Perhaps you mean Mr. (now Sir) Timothy John Berners-Lee's invention, also called the World Wide Web?

Phil Clarke said...


Towards the end.