On the 19th of July in 2011 the National Press Club of Australia held a debate on climate change. In this video I will be analysing the claims Monckton made during the debate and if they are correct or not.
The reason I’m doing this is that Monckton challenges his critics to check his sources, or like he put it in this debate “to do your homework”. I’m going to follow him up on this to see if the scientific literature, and other available sources, corroborate what he’s saying.
On the 19th of July in 2011 the National Press Club of Australia held a debate on climate change. I will be analysing the claims Monckton made during the debate and if they are correct or not.
In this part of the debate Monckton made a few statements on climate sensitivity. But is it correct that there is no consensus in the scientific literature on how much the planet will warm for a doubling of CO2?
Hi. Sam Cardwell from Australian Associated Press.
Sorry Lord Monckton, you say that you should reject the consensus, but isn't a scientific consensus a consensus of evidence, rather than a consensus of opinion? And you say that you're willing to be convinced. What would it take for you to be convinced that climate change was happening?
Right. First of all climate change has been happening for the last 4,567 million years - since that Tuesday on which the world first formed, or the first wisps of the atmosphere. So, of course, I do not deny that climate change is happening. Nor do I deny that if we add CO2 to the atmosphere, some warming is likely to result.
But as a specialist in the field of the determination of climate sensitivity - and I lecture on this, as I've said, at faculty level - I can assure you that there is no agreement among those scientists who have studied that question, on how much warming there is going to be and I have already adduced evidence from the Royal Society, who have said exactly that in terms - in their restatement of the science on climate, just this year.
I really have to applaud Sam Cardwell for pointing out a very basic fact about a scientific consensus. That it is a consensus based on evidence, and not opinion, or some other ulterior motivation. Scientists go where the evidence leeds them, they don't make the evidence fit their views. That's behaviour that ends careers.
During this part of the debate he yet again asserts that climate sensitivity is low and that there is no consensus on how much warming a doubling of CO2 will cause. This is false.
If we take a look at an overview of what the scientific literature says on climate sensitivity you will see that they agree a lot. Generally they are consistent with the range of 2 to 4.5 degrees warming for a doubling of CO2, the number the IPCC uses in their report.
If he was a specialist on climate sensitivity he should know this. There are very few papers that disagree with this vast majority in the literature. Most of them are from so called sceptics like Monckton and are often riddled with problems. As Monckton uses a few of those papers later in the debate I'll talk about those issues there.
- The equilibrium sensitivity of the Earth’s temperature to radiation changes
- Working out climate sensitivity from satellite measurements