Scientific American’s climate lies: some further reading

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

A reader of our recent blog posting on Scientific American’s climate lies has written:

Your essay on the Scientific American blurb was excellent. In fact, it was one of the best expositions of skepticism on the “human caused global warming is cathostrophic” which I have seen in a while. (To give credit to Scientific American, they gave you an excellent target for your responses). Would it be possible for you to attach footnotes to some of your statements, particularly the one on changes in cloud levels? And then produce one of the position papers SPPI does. I would like to attach a copy of it to a letter to my senators. The essay demonstrated both clear writing and straightforward logic which made for clear reading and is short enough that there is a small chance that they might actually read it.

My reply:

Dear Enquirer – Many thanks for your very kind comments.

Two papers that you may find useful are Spencer and Braswell (2008), with another paper in the pipeline, and Palle et al. (2005). You will find these on the ISI Web of Science database of published papers from the peer-reviewed literature. Also, you may like to look at Lindzen and Choi (2009), and give a careful examination to the relative changes in short-wave and long-wave radiation escaping to space as measured by the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment satellite. Broadly speaking, a decrease in short-wave radiation and a corresponding increase in long-wave radiation denotes a decrease in cloud cover (so that less short-wave radiation is reflected back into space: instead it goes to the surface, where, depending on surface temperature, it is absorbed and emitted in the near-infrared, causing an increase in long-wave radiation).

You can correlate the ERBE graph with changes in low-altitude (and hence optically-dense) cloud as measured by the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project, which are available on the Internet. I hope that these data will prove to be a good starting-point for you.

There is a remarkable and excellent book, Chill, by Peter Taylor, now available on, which explains just how much radiative forcing these measured changes in cloud cover over the last decade or two contribute: and it is many times larger than the radiative forcing from CO2 over the whole of the past 150 years. Bottom line: at least 80% of the warming from 1975-1998 (since when there has not been any warming) is from identifiable and measured natural sources, whereas the IPCC’s estimate of the warming caused by CO2 is, to a very substantial extent, guesswork based on notional quantities none of which can be directly measured. In the UN’s guesswork, there are many known and serious exaggerations.

So sorry not to have included all of this background in the original blog posting, but I am always doing my best to keep things readable, and am always happy to answer questions of this kind. -Monckton of Brenchley