Examples of Monckton contradicting his scientific sources

Climate skeptic Christopher Monkton makes some extraordinary claims about climate science. In his talks, he himself says "The scientific method is about checking" and encourages his audience to check the data for themselves. John Abraham followed this advice and contacted the scientists who Monckton cites in his presentations. What Abraham found was that Monckton is frequently at odds with the very scientists he cites. Here are some examples:

Monckton Scientists he cites
"But the solar physicists, you might take Scafetta and West, say in 2008, they attribute 69% of all the recent global warming to the sun. Most solar physicists agree. The International Astronomical Union in 2004 held a symposium on it. They concluded that that was the case. They said we're now going to get global cooling because the sun's turned itself off for a bit." "I can assure you there is not such a formal position endorsed by the IAU. Let alone any claim from IAU that suggests that global warming (defined as the heating trend observed on Earth during the last mid 20th century) can be explained by solar variability."
"They [the NOAA] rely only on data from ships dropping canvas buckets down as they randomly pass across the oceans, and pulling up some water and sticking a thermometer in." "Mr. Monckton's statement to the effect that we used temperature measurements of seawater gathered by dragging canvas buckets through the ocean are completely false. In fact, I know of no scientific group that would even think such a technique could supply useful measurements!"
Sydney Levitus (email correspondance with John Abraham)
"Dr. Craig Idso has collected papers by almost 1000 scientists worldwide, nearly all of which demonstrate the influence of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and show it was at least as warm as, and in most instances warmer than, the present."

"The studies that are currently available for MWP temperature estimates have little to say about global warming in the context of anthropogenic contribution to Earth’s radiative balance."

"No, I do not think there is evidence that the world was warmer than today in Medieval times."

"We do not believe that our work disproves” human-induced global warming."

"The MWP is seen in many proxy archives, but it is not yet certain how global in extent it was. Whether or not it was warmer than today's temperatures depends on the proxy and the place. Most global temperature reconstructions suggest that on average, the MWP was not warmer than today. Regardless, a warm MWP doesn't disprove the fact that humans are changing climate presently."

"In an email to John Abraham, Dr. Andrew Lorrey said his paper “certainly does not disprove AGW [Anthropogenic Global Warming], and it does nothing to approach that particular subject of climate science."

"You are right, we never said the MWP was warmer than today."

Anil Gupta (email correspondance with John Abraham)

"The last IPCC report has a separate sub-chapter in its paleoclimate chapter that reviews the work up to 2007 and several other papers have been published since then. Together these investigations tell that the available evidence suggest that - globally - the warmth at mediveal times was not as warm as today, although some regions (in particular around the northern North Atlantic) may have been warmer. Whatever the exact temperatures were in medieveal times, warmth at that time does not disprove the AGW."

Anders Moberg (email correspondance with John Abraham)
"Arctic sea-ice extent is just fine: steady for a decade" (citing IARC-JAXA) "The NSIDC group tracks sea ice variations over a longer timeframe (back to 1979), and they point out that a striking feature of recent years is the relative absence of older, thicker (multiyear) sea ice. This finding provides a physical basis for the extreme summer losses of the recent years."
"sea level has not risen for four years" (citing University of Colorado) "There is indeed a leveling off over the past ca. 1.5 years but Monckton's conclusion that sea level rise is over on this basis strikes me as a bit like assuming at dusk that the sun will never rise again. It's not actually an impossible outcome, but it's probably worth waiting until morning to find out if you're right."
Tad Pfeffer (author of University of Colorado sea level graph)
"No ocean heat buildup for 50 years" (citing Domingues) "We have found that the upper 700 m of the global ocean has warmed from 1950-2003."
"The population of polar bears has increased dramatically since the 1940s and 1950s. Somewhere between 2 and 5 times, we don't know exactly but it's certainly a huge increase in polar bear population. Hardly as you would think the profile of a species in imminent threat of extinction." "I do not believe that Christopher Monckton has read my work, or recent work of prominent polar bear biologists that is easily obtained thru Google."
"Grand Minimum to Grand Maximum: 300 years' warming" (citing Hathaway 2004) "I did not then, nor did I ever, suggest that solar variability plays a dominant role in climate change."
“What, then, caused the third period of warming? Most of that third and most recent period of rapid warming fell within the satellite era, and the satellites confirmed measurements from ground stations showing a considerable, and naturally-occurring, global brightening from 1983-2001 (Pinker et al., 2005).” "This statement in effect equates temperature change with surface solar radiation change which, as noted in points 2 and 3 above, is only one input into a complex climate process. Also, it is not necessarily the case that global brightening is naturally-occurring; it can be caused by anthropogenic aerosols or changes in the atmospheric moisture content as well as clouds, possibly affected by increasing CO2 levels."
"Warm: more polar bears. Cool: fewer polar bears." (referencing Norris et al 2002) "The report Polar Bears at Risk reviews the threats faced by the world's 22,000 polar bears and highlights that human-induced climate change is the number one long-term threat to the survival of the world's largest terrestrial carnivores."

Posted by John Cook on Tuesday, 19 July, 2011

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