Thursday, February 25, 2010

What’s happening at the IPCC?

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) according to proponents of AGW, is the gold standard in climate science. Thousands of dedicated scientists working collaboratively to identify and quantify the threat posed by mankind’s use of fossil fuels make the IPCC the most respected scientific organization in the world according to them

Founded in 1988, the IPCC does not perform its own original research, nor does it monitor climate or related phenomena itself. A main activity of the IPCC is publishing special reports on topics relevant to the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Skeptics do not see the IPCC this way. First they point out that rather than a scientific body, the IPCC is primarily a political organization.

One major example of this is that the IPCC procedure required that the chapters had to be made consistent with the summary, rather than vice versa. This is because the ultimate authors of the "intergovernmental" reports are the governments that approve the summary for policy makers. But such a rule puts the scientists in a difficult position, and lead scientists have the unenviable job of rewording his chapter to reflect the wording of the political summary.

In addition it was in the summary after the scientists had gone home that the first mention of global warming being caused by man was breached. At this time, there was very little chance this finding could have been adopted by science, but after this it was a driving force in the climate change industry.

Reliance on unreliable sources

Since the IPCC doesn’t do any of its own research nor does it monitor temperature, it relies on other groups. This has resulted in the shortcomings of other groups tarnishing the IPCC such as CRU and Phil Jones.

Professor Jones, the CRU's director, is in charge of the two key sets of data used by the IPCC to draw up its reports. Through its link to the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office, which selects most of the IPCC's key scientific contributors, his global temperature record is the most important of the four sets of temperature data on which the IPCC and governments rely – not least for their predictions that the world will warm to catastrophic levels unless trillions of dollars are spent to avert it.

Dr Jones is also a key part of the closely knit group of American and British scientists responsible for promoting that picture of world temperatures conveyed by Michael Mann's "hockey stick" graph which 10 years ago turned climate history on its head by showing that, after 1,000 years of decline, global temperatures have recently shot up to their highest level in recorded history.

Given star billing by the IPCC, not least for the way it appeared to eliminate the long-accepted Mediaeval Warm Period when temperatures were higher they are today, the graph became the central icon of the entire man-made global warming movement. As I mentioned before the Hockey Stick graph is probably the most discredited study in history.

The 2007 Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report says they’re 90% certain global warming of the last 50 years is due to increasing atmospheric CO2. They acknowledge that before 1950 the sun explained over 50% of the temperature increase. As the Summary for Policymakers notes, “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations. It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent (except Antarctica).”

Exclusion of Antarctica is a convenient omission and makes a mockery of their claim, because it cooled over the period. Their solar explanation for half the change prior to 1950 uses only one part the sun’s effect on global temperature, namely electromagnetic radiation (ER), (heat and light). They were flummoxed by the decrease of temperature from 2002 while CO2 levels continued to rise. Jones now concedes, “There was no significant warming from 1998-2009” and “Neither the rate nor magnitude of recent warming is exceptional.” He also concedes the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than at present. These statements alone completely destroy all claims about the validity of the science and claims of the IPCC.

The Sun They Ignore

Why did they include ER and ignore major solar factors of the Milankovitch Effect and changes in solar magnetism that cause temperature change? The simple answer was to counteract the claim that the Sun was causing warming. Variance in ER for the short periods of record are about 0.15%, which sounds like very little, but theoretical calculations show a 6% variance explains all temperature variance in the history of the Earth. They manipulate the data and models to attribute temperature change since 1950 almost totally to CO2. As Jones explains, “The IPCC models may have overestimated the climate sensitivity for greenhouse gases, underestimated natural variability, or both.”

But the IPCC in its fourth report has taken upon itself to tarnish its own reputation.

Recently there came the admission that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was dead wrong about Himalayan ice melt. In the fourth report, it said it the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035. As the scandal unfolded it appeared they knew this was untrue and the head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, used bogus claims that Himalayan glaciers were melting to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for his own Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), based in New Delhi. TERI was awarded up to $500,000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the lion's share of a £2.5m EU grant funded by European taxpayers.

Peer Review—the backbone of science

The IPCC bought the theory of Professor David Karoly that man-made warming was causing the higher temperatures and evaporation in the Murray Darling basin in Australia. A paper published last December by Lockart, Kavetski, and Franks rebuts the AR4 WG1 assertion that CO2-driven higher temperatures drive higher evaporation and thereby cause droughts. The study claims they got it backwards, as higher air temperatures are in fact driven by the lack of evaporation (as occurs during drought

It should also be noted that Karoly’s theory was heavily relied upon in a chapter the IPCC’s 2007 report that was supposed to be reviewed by ... Karoly himself:
“But amazingly, the story doesn’t end with how wrong the chapter was. Professor Franks also pointed out that ... David Karoly, whose work was also heavily cited in WG1 Chapter 9, was its Review Editor.”

The man in charge of the reviewing supervises reviews of his own theory.

At the same time input in the IPCC report are supposed to be carefully investigated and peer reviewed. In one such included claim:

"Concepts considered included alternative aircraft configurations such as the blended wing body and the laminar flying wing, and the use of an unducted fan (open rotor) power plant. The study concluded that these two aircraft concepts could offer significant fuel burn reduction potential compared with a conventional aircraft design carrying an equivalent payload. Other studies (Leifsson and Mason, 2005) have suggested similar results."

What are the other studies? Leifsson and Mason is referenced as: Leifsson, L.T. and W.H. Mason, 2005: The Blended Wing Body Aircraft, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA, accessed 30/05/07.

If you look at the paper you find it is only three pages long, unless you include the pictures pasted in, then it is eight. There are only six references, and four of them are for the five pages of pictures. Of the two real references, one is a presentation the authors gave at a conference.

The IPCC has wrongly claimed that in some African countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2020.

At best, this is a wild exaggeration, unsupported by any scientific research, referenced only to a report produced by a Canadian advocacy group, written by an obscure Moroccan academic who specialises in carbon trading, citing references which do not support his claims.

In one section of this Nobel-winning report, climate change is linked to coral reef degradation. The sole source for this claim? A Greenpeace report titled “Pacific in Peril.” The report relies on a Greenpeace document to establish the lower-end of an estimate involving solar power plants

United Nations report wrongly claimed that more than half of the Netherlands is currently below sea level. In fact, just 20 percent of the country consists of polders that are pumped dry, and which are at risk of flooding if global warming causes rising sea levels. Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer has ordered a thorough investigation into the quality of the climate reports which she uses to base her policies on.

A Canadian analyst has identified more than 20 passages in the IPCC's report which cite similarly non-peer-reviewed WWF or Greenpeace reports as their authority, and other researchers have been uncovering a host of similarly dubious claims and attributions all through the report. These range from groundless allegations about the increased frequency of "extreme weather events" such as hurricanes, droughts and heatwaves, to a headline claim that global warming would put billions of people at the mercy of water shortages – when the study cited as its authority indicated exactly the opposite, that rising temperatures could increase the supply of water.


Finally, let’s look at some IPCC “contradictions” (areas where the observed facts contradict the IPCC claims):

Contradiction #1:
IPCC projects global warming at a rate of 0.2C per decade in the early 21st century; so far the first 8 years of the 21st century have shown cooling at an average rate of around 0.1C per decade.

Contradiction #2:
IPCC states that the rate of sea level rise has increased in the latter part of the 20th century, switching from tide gauge records to satellite altimetry; the tide gauge record shows a slight decrease in sea level rise in the second half of the 20th century, as compared to the first half.

Contradiction #3:
IPCC states that changes in solar irradiance since 1750 are estimated to cause a radiative forcing of only 0.12 W/m2, equivalent to a net warming of around 0.02C; several studies by solar scientists conclude that the 20th century warming caused by the unusually high level of solar activity is around 0.35C.

Contradiction #4:
IPCC states that the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years, ignoring overwhelming physical and historical evidence of a warmer global Medieval Warm Period. Phil Jones has admitted that this period could have been warmer than today.

Contradiction #5:
IPCC claims that the satellite temperature record has shown a faster rate of tropospheric warming than that at the surface, confirming the anthropogenic cause of warming; both the satellite and radiosonde record show less warming than the surface record.

Contradiction #6:
IPCC models all assume a strongly positive feedback from clouds with warming, resulting in 1.3C of the total assumed 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3.2C; actual physical observations show a strongly negative net feedback from clouds of around the same order of magnitude; correcting the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity for this factor brings it to around 0.6 to 0.8C, rather than 3.2C.

Contradiction #7:
IPCC states confidently that the upward distortion of the surface temperature record due to the urban heat island effect has a negligible influence of less than 0.006C per decade; many studies from all over the world show that the UHI influence is thirty to fifty times as great as claimed by IPCC.,21985,25401759-5000117,00.html%22//

Up Next—Putting it all together

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