The designers of our climate

The blog … And Then There’s Physics wades deeply into the recent Monckton-Soon-Legates-Briggs paper. And, they conclude, what it is saying is that, conditional upon no feedbacks, equilibrium climate sensitivity (“ECS”) needs to be small. Except that they don’t say that explicitly, dressing it up (presumably to look important).

So why didn’t they say so in the first place?

Update, 3rd March 2015

Dr Wei-Hock Soon, co-author of the paper discussed here, defended his calculations and position, at an event sponsored by The Heartland Institute. Dr Soon’s official statement is available. I would much rather he respond in technical detail to the critique of those calculations, releasing that as well, whether in the original journal, or through

Heartland might want to portrary Dr Soon as a martyr, and, indeed, I’d prefer the discussion to be limited to the technical details. But the public does not understand technical details, and just pays attention to the cloud from a scientific dust-up. Various individuals accusing many scientists of ‘being climate alarmists’ have repeatedly done the same, trying to involve and tarnish as many scientists as they can. It may be true that Dr Soon’s case and publication is a “troll”, something which Greenpeace and others have been suckered into exploiting. After all, he has three other co-authors on the paper, fiction writer Monckton, the ever-religious Legates, and the ever-entertaining Briggs. Briggs, for example, claims he was “being groomed to take over a spot at Lawrence Livermore lab“, a prestigous national laboratory, and was rejected because of his stance on climate change.

...and Then There's Physics

Okay, I finally succumbed and actually waded through some of the new paper by Monckton, Soon, Legates & Briggs called Why models run hot: results from an irreducibly simple climate model. I did it, so you don’t have to (and believe me, it’s really not worth it). I’m not even sure I actually quite get it, since it is so chock full of stuff that doesn’t really make a great deal of sense.

I, however, think I’ve worked it out. According to their model, temperature $latex T_t$ at time $latex t$ after a change in forcing $latex Delta F_t$ is given by

$latex Delta T_t = q_t^{-1} Delta F_t r_t lambda_o (1 – g)^{-1},$

where $latex q_t$ is the fraction of the forcing due to CO2, $latex r_t$ is the fraction of the equilibrium response attained by time $latex t$, $latex lambda_o$ is the no-feedback sensitivity, and…

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