More conspiracy theories from Lindzen

Richard Lindzen has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal for Earth Day and exhibits the best of climate denialism’s ability to flip reality on its head. I was considering going through it and highlighting its many falsehoods and logical holes but Arthur Smith has done a fine job of it already.

The WSJ op-ed is behind a paywall, but if you click the first result in this google search, you can read it in full. Arthur’s take down is here.

110 thoughts on “More conspiracy theories from Lindzen

  1. “Thats wierd, i dont recall a kiwi with a funny accent being there.” – Crakar.

    That’s because I was wearing a cloaking device Crakar. Sheesh!. Yeah, I know you don’t believe that, that’s only because follow the consensus view on cloaking devices.

    “Why dont you just come out and say it DW? Just say you do not believe Morner for no other reason than you choose not to.” – Crakar.

    Okay, I not only don’t believe him because he is bonkers, I also disbelieve him because he’s wrong.


  2. As I have said in a number of posts on this thread, I am not an expert in the science of sea level change. However, one thing I am an expert in is reviewing and examining scientific evidence to determine its plausibility, and I have reviewed countless papers to determine whether they contain flaws which may render their findings invalid. As I said in post #72 and #79, where I reviewed some information relating to a paper by Nils-Axel Mörner, the paper was clearly flawed, because the conclusions were not supported by the evidence in the paper, and the data in the paper was both implausible and ran counter to all other data sets on the issue. It appeared that either Nils-Axel Mörner had either done poor research, or had failed to examine other options for his findings, or had a political axe to grind.

    While the later possibility is supported by the conclusion to the paper, which contains clear political statements that run counter to what you would expect in a science paper, I did not suggest that as a possibility at the time, preferring to restrict my arguments to the science. I did not need to be an expert on the subject to identify the flaws in the work – indeed anyone with any science training could have done a similar analysis if they had just used basic science techniques to bear on the paper. That is exactly what I did, and I concluded by suggesting that, if the conclusion regarding a ‘relative change in sea level was correct’, then it was not for the reasons which had been suggested in the paper, which were implausible, lacking in evidence to support them, and which ran counter to all other observations.

    However, the correct scientific approach to an issue where there is disagreement on findings is to conduct follow up studies to confirm which conclusion is correct. Any operational military officer or detective could tell you that you should never rely on a single source of information – you should seek confirmation – especially when the information runs contrary to common sense and other, related data. Fortunately, in this case, it would appear that such follow up studies have been conducted. Who would like to guess which conclusion – that sea level is rising or falling in the central Indian Ocean – is correct?

    Times up. Without giving the game away, the link to the study is here:

    For those of you who do not have access to science journals, here are just a couple of quotes from the paper (the first is from the abstract):

    “….That objective led a fieldwork team to the Maldives, and resulted in a conclusion that sea level in the islands fell by approximately 30 cm during the past few decades. In the present paper, the suggestion of such a fall has been examined from meteorological and oceanographic perspectives and found to be implausible. A number of met-ocean data sets and regional climate indices have been examined, at least one of which would have been expected to reflect a large sea level fall, without any supporting evidence being found. In particular, a suggestion that an increase in evaporation could have caused the fall has been demonstrated to be incorrect…”

    “….It is clear that, if one is discussing possible changes in sea level due to climate change of the order of half a metre (Church et al., 2001), and, if there are additional processes at work which can cause rapid changes of a similar magnitude, then those processes must be understood. It is disappointing that the Maldives tide gauge records are not much longer than they are. However, in this study, no complementary evidence to support the claim of a 30-cm fall in Maldives sea level during the 1970s has been found. An extensive set of oceanographic, meteorological, and geological information has been investigated, at least one component of which would have been expected to reflect such a large sea level fall, if it had occurred. Church et al. (submitted for publication) have conducted a study of Pacific and Indian Ocean variability during the past half century, based on reconstructions of sea level fields derived from both tide gauge and altimeter data, and have reached similar conclusions….”

    I think that is pretty definitive, and only someone who is away with the fairies and believes in pseudo-science like dowsing would still argue that Nils-Axel Mörner paper has any credibility.


  3. Is that a Romulan cloaking device or the one used by Harry Potter? :-)))

    Thats an interesting link Paul (thanks) and to DW for providing the initial quote.

    I have read the abstract and now have a few questions to ask (as per the sea level experts definition of a skeptic).

    But first my overall take on the abstract, the abstract claims from 1962 to 1990 the sea level rise was between 1 and 2 mm/yr then from 1990 this increased to 2.8 to 3.6 mm/yr. It goes on to say this is primarily due to tropical and sth ocean changes and times well with “upper ocean heat content and sea ice melt”.

    Q1, The sea levels have been rising for over 200 years, do we know what caused this sea level rise and if so is that cause still having an effect today.

    Q2, Given that global ice extent has changed very little if any since 1979 how much rise in sea level could be realistically attributed to “ice melt”.

    Q3, If upper ocean temperature rise is the cause (or one of, see Q2) of this increase in sea level rise do you attribute the current drop in the rate of rise as seen here:

    to the drop in upper ocean temps measured by the ARGO bouys? Or is this drop/flatening in temp still to be seen?

    Here is a final word from Bonkers:


  4. Looks like Mandas has shown his hand and while he was trying to sound like an expert even though he admitted he wasnt he was simply regurgitating what was written in another study.

    So once again my narrative (is that ok Skip) on how to be a AGW believer has been proven correct. When confronted with a study that does not agree with the belief we simply belittle the author and anyone else in ear shot and then quickly substitute their reality with your own.

    So well done Mandas you have a couple of people that agree with you which of course must mean you are right.


  5. Crakar,
    I posted the link to the Mörner paper and asked for comments because of the specific claim by Mörner that the sea level change was due to “increased evaporation”.
    I recall a few years ago, when I was heavily in the anti-AGW camp, watching an anti-AGW documentary and a part of it was about Mörner, interviewing him in the Maldives, and he was wandering about the beach, pointing out where the sea level used to be higher and where it is now lower, etc, and then landing his increased evaporation bombshell as his explanation. I was so shocked by this, and the unquestioning nature of it by the interviewer, that I knew I had to really start looking into the whole AGW thing more seriously and try to look at the science much more objectively. I still think that Mörner’s increased evaporation scenario is the single biggest piece of craziness every to be spoken by anyone in the AGW debate. I linked to his paper to see whether anyone could see if there was any validity at all to his claims.

    Mörner’s claim actually helped me turn away from my flat-Earth thinking on AGW and to take my normally balanced scientific views to the AGW debate also. I’m not overly concerned whether he’s into divining or anything else; I only care about whether he’s a credible source of information that will add to knowledge on AGW. He probably lost credibility with me forever with his increased evaporation claim, so I wanted to check if he’s redeemed himself within the science community in the interim.
    Seems not.



  6. “Q2, Given that global ice extent has changed very little if any since 1979 how much rise in sea level could be realistically attributed to “ice melt”. – Crakar.

    “We show that for the 1993–2007 time span, the sum of climate-related contributions (2.85 ± 0.35 mm year−1) is only slightly less than altimetry-based sea level rise (3.3 ± 0.4 mm year−1): 30% of the observed rate of rise is due to ocean thermal expansion and 55% results from land ice melt”

    ” Recent acceleration in glacier melting and ice mass loss from the ice sheets increases the latter contribution up to 80% for the past five years. We also review the main causes of regional variability in sea level trends: The dominant contribution results from nonuniform changes in ocean thermal expansion.”


  7. Skip,
    “As for goal, it needs to be 350ppm or 0 CO2 emissions or preferably a temperature, like one being bandied about, 2C above some baseline.

    Sure. I mean, ok. But I would want people way better educated than either of us ironing out those details.

    You don’t have to be better educated, you know the bounds of what is being discussed. Let’s use CO2, we can let the brighter folks tell us what that means in temperature.

    Here’s a graph to help you out.

    Or some well reasoned thoughts on a lower number.

    Or higher.
    “At present, most scentists and politicians in the developed world focus on a target of 450-550ppm, which could raise temperatures at least 2C-3C”


  8. Oh God, I just have too much to say but now I have 47k papers to grade and a staff meeting where my colleagues will ritually flagellate me for the lousy job I do as graduate director. I think I’ll have to hit all these comments tonight or tomorrow.

    G’day gents.


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