Nic Lewis

Nic Lewis- who? IPCC expert reviewer no less.

Nic Lewis. A semiretired successful financier from Bath, England, with a strong mathematics and physics background, Mr. Lewis has made significant contributions to the subject of climate change

Nic Lewis’ academic background is mathematics, with a minor in physics, at Cambridge University (UK). His career has been outside academia. Two or three years ago, he returned to his original scientific and mathematical interests and, being interested in the controversy surrounding AGW, started to learn about climate science.   He is co-author of the paper that rebutted Steig et al.  Antarctic temperature reconstruction (Ryan O’Donnell, Nicholas Lewis, Steve McIntyre and Jeff Condon, 2011, Improved methods for PCA-based reconstructions: case study using the Steig et al. (2009) Antarctic temperature reconstruction, Journal of Climate – print version at J.Climate or preprint here).

Quotes are from a Matt Ridley article in the Wall St Journal and his own bio in Judith Curries blog   – So Nic Lewis has a math degree from Cambridge and after a career in finance he retired to take up climate change scepticism. Nic Lewis is not in complete climate change denial- from a comment from Judith Curries blog

  1. I fully accept that, as a result of basic radiative transfer physics, CO2 warms the planet, However, my present view is that the observational evidence for climate sensitivity being 2–4 times its base level, as a result of net feedbacks, is fairly weak. I also think that the politicized and dogmatic nature of the AGW debate has led to bias in the scientific process and to some extent compromised its integrity. I would particularly like to see, as a matter of routine, climate research papers make easily available all data and methods information in the detail required to replicate studies. I also think that the peer review and publication process is biased against papers that challenge mainstream views, and should be reformed.
Nic Lewis’ main contribution to the ‘debate’ is his co-authorship with Ryan O’Donnell [computer science] Steve McIntyre and Jeff Condon paper criticising Eric Steig’ study in Nature 2009 his rebuttal is found here .
Nic Lewis main contention is that CO2 physics is correct and will result in 1.5c temperature increase with a doubling in CO2 [so any deniers using the CO2 is not a GHG should best avoid his arguments] but Climate Science evidence that positive feedback will amplify GHG to cause higher temperatures is wrong.
Nic Lewis’ other criticisms include Forrest 2006 paper on Antarctic and the leaked IPCC draft report to be published in 2013
Mr. Lewis tells me [Matt Ridley]that the latest observational estimates of the effect of aerosols (such as sulfurous particles from coal smoke) find that they have much less cooling effect than thought when the last IPCC report was written. The rate at which the ocean is absorbing greenhouse-gas-induced warming is also now known to be fairly modest. In other words, the two excuses used to explain away the slow, mild warming we have actually experienced—culminating in a standstill in which global temperatures are no higher than they were 16 years ago—no longer work.
However because being an expert reviewer forbids citing the draft document publicly Nic Lewis is unable to quote any paper included in the report and why it is wrong.
March 2014 – Nic Lewis co authors a Global Warming Policy Foundation report that takes the most optimistic paper on predicted warming from doubling of CO2 [from pre industrial levels] and without feedback.

Oversensitive: How The IPCC Hid The Good News On Global Warming

A new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation shows that the best observational evidence indicates our climate is considerably less sensitive to greenhouse gases than climate models are estimating. ……

For over thirty years climate scientists have presented a range for climate sensitivity (ECS) that has hardly changed. It was 1.5-4.5°C in 1979 and this range is still the same today in AR5. The new report suggests that the inclusion of recent evidence, reflected in AR5, justifies a lower observationally-based temperature range of 1.25–3.0°C, with a best estimate of 1.75, for a doubling of CO2. By contrast, the climate models used for projections in AR5 indicate a range of 2-4.5°C, with an average of 3.2°C.

Nic Lewis has taken the lowest range from the research papers used by the IPCC and then taken the lowest range in that- i.e. 1.75°C

The author of the paper selected by Nic Lewis to herald the good news is not optimistic – from the Guardian.

I asked Professor Forster for his views on the GWPF paper. Perhaps Lewis and Crok should have done the same?  A baldly honest Professor Forster told me:

Lewis and Crok use methods developed by Jonathan Gregory and myself to infer a lower climate sensitivity than that quoted in IPCC AR5. Whilst our techniques are powerful they have uncertainties and do not necessarily produce more robust estimates of climate sensitivity than other methods, as they make crude assumptions and suffer from data quality issues. Climate sensitivity remains an uncertain quantity. Nevertheless, even employing the lowest estimates suggested by Lewis and Crok, we expect continued and significant warming out to 2100 of around 3C above preindustrial if we continue to emit CO2 at current levels.

Nic Lewis’ latest paper is something of an achievement – not so much in conclusions which follow on from previous papers- i.e. sensitivity is likely to be low- the real achievement is having Judith Curry as a co-author who has finally slain her uncertainty monster.

  1. Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest
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  2. freedomfan

    Lewis & Curry (Climate Dynamics, September 2014) have authored a peer-reviewed paper based upon AR5 data which shows that median estimate of climate sensitivity (ECS) is a paltry 1.64 degree for a doubling of CO2.

    Now we see why AR5 declined to state a median best estimate, like they did in AR4, while lowering the bottom range to 1.0.

  3. Thank you. Now I know which scientists are trustworthy, who actually care about food, shelter, and water (which is the result of reliable energy) for all of humanity not just wealthy people.

  4. Did you know that Charles Darwin was a mediocre mathematician? And that is all.

  5. Reblogged this on For God's Sake and commented:
    A list of trustworthy scientists who believe that all of humanity can and should have food, shelter, and clean water as a result of reliable energy, just life rich people do.

  6. Why do you and everyone at Greenpeace hate people so much? I hope that everyone reads the actual works of these scientists and not just the opinions of mean people.

  7. Eric H

    You say, “Nic Lewis main contention is that CO2 physics is correct and will result in 1.5c temperature increase with a doubling in CO2 [so any deniers using the CO2 is not a GHG should best avoid his arguments] but Climate Science evidence that positive feedback will amplify GHG to cause higher temperatures is wrong.”

    This seems to fall into your own definition of “skeptic”, and not your definition of “denier”. Looking forward to your correction.

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