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IPCC


Answering the IPCC

In the past couple of weeks we’ve all been “treated” to climate change alarmist screeds calling for the arrest of “deniers.”   Hey, just because you have a bi-line in a publication doesn’t mean you’re particularly smart.  In fact, I’ve always found that “true believers” who voice no skepticism about much of anything to be, well, not the brightest bulb in the room.

However, I’m not sure there’s anyone out there “denying” climate change.  The climate of the world is in constant flux and few if any deny that.  The denial is of the claims – the assertions – that trace gas CO2 is the major culprit and that man is the major reason for all the CO2.    That man’s activities are driving climate change, not natural forces.

Of course all this recent alarmist activity has been designed to coincide with the UN’s IPCC report on climate change.  As you might imagine, they’ve become a little gun shy at the IPCC after so many of their previous claims have been found to be either groundless or wrong.  So this report is couched in a mountain of qualifiers like “could”, “may”, “might” etc.  They still claim they’re right, but they aren’t quite as specific about it as previously.  Instead they use the qualifiers to help put fear in people without really having to take responsibility for their claim.

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book for those who perceive themselves to be on very shaky ground but still have an agenda to fulfill.

Thankfully there are a few “denier” organizations (skeptical is the word most normal folks would use) who are monitoring the IPCC and the screechy alarmists and answering even their caveated claims.  For instance:

IPCC: “Risk of death, injury, and disrupted livelihoods in low-lying coastal zones and small island developing states, due to sea-level rise, coastal flooding, and storm surges.”

NIPCC: “Flood frequency and severity in many areas of the world were higher historically during the Little Ice Age and other cool eras than during the twentieth century. Climate change ranks well below other contributors, such as dikes and levee construction, to increased flooding.”

IPCC: “Risk of food insecurity linked to warming, drought, and precipitation variability, particularly for poorer populations.”

NIPCC: “There is little or no risk of increasing food insecurity due to global warming or rising atmospheric CO2 levels. Farmers and others who depend on rural livelihoods for income are benefitting from rising agricultural productivity throughout the world, including in parts of Asia and Africa where the need for increased food supplies is most critical. Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels play a key role in the realization of such benefits.

IPCC: “Risk of severe harm for large urban populations due to inland flooding.”

NIPCC: “No changes in precipitation patterns, snow, monsoons, or river flows that might be considered harmful to human well-being or plants or wildlife have been observed that could be attributed to rising CO2 levels. What changes have been observed tend to be beneficial.”

IPCC: “Risk of loss of rural livelihoods and income due to insufficient access to drinking and irrigation water and reduced agricultural productivity, particularly for farmers and pastoralists with minimal capital in semi-arid regions.”

NIPCC: “Higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations benefit plant growth-promoting microorganisms that help land plants overcome drought conditions, a potentially negative aspect of future climate change. Continued atmospheric CO2enrichment should prove to be a huge benefit to plants by directly enhancing their growth rates and water use efficiencies.”

Etc, etc., etc.  What it seems you get from the IPCC is pseudo-scientific and blatantly political claims.  The UN has decided that “climate change” is a huge and threatening problem (and a grand method of redistributing national wealth from the 1st world to the 3rd world).  Consequently it has decided to make “science” bend to the political agenda they’ve put forward.  And compliant “scientists” are apparently willing to do their bidding.

Meanwhile, as Anthony Watts has pointed out, no one among that group of IPCC “scientists” can answer the most basic and troubling question.  Why hasn’t it warmed, as predicted, in 17 years and 6 months in the face of higher CO2 levels, and, in fact, is trending toward being cooler? One chart points the the alarmist problem in a nutshell:

So tell us again, oh ye Chicken Littles of the alarmist creed, why we should believe a single thing you claim about climate change when you and your predictions (and models) have been so awfully wrong for almost 2 decades?

~McQ


New UN IPCC report drops AGW as the cause of climate change

Roger Pielke Jr notes that the new IPCC report covering climate change seems to take the skeptical argument to heart and stick much more closely to actual facts and what is really known  empirically.  Says Pielke:

The full IPCC Special Report on Extremes is out today, and I have just gone through the sections in Chapter 4 that deal with disasters and climate change. Kudos to the IPCC — they have gotten the issue just about right, where "right" means that the report accurately reflects the academic literature on this topic. Over time good science will win out over the rest — sometimes it just takes a little while.

His examples from the report:

A few quotable quotes from the report (from Chapter 4):

-"There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change"

-"The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic climate change holds for tropical and extratropical storms and tornados"

-"The absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses"

The report even takes care of tying up a loose end that has allowed some commentators to avoid the scientific literature:

-"Some authors suggest that a (natural or anthropogenic) climate change signal can be found in the records of disaster losses (e.g., Mills, 2005; Höppe and Grimm, 2009), but their work is in the nature of reviews and commentary rather than empirical research.

Maybe he’s right.  Maybe, finally, science will “win out”.  And I also hope that the administration that has said it will use science in its policy making process will now actually do so. 

Hello, EPA?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Two more scientist change sides in the AGW debate

In fact, it seems as if it isn’t really much of a debate anymore.

First, let me be clear, the debate among scientists isn’t whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas or whether, even, it can cause warming, but instead on what real (if any) total effect it has overall on the climate.  In other words, is there a saturation point where additional CO2 has little marginal effect, or does it build to a tipping point where the change is radical?  Robust climate or delicate climate?

Evidence is building toward the robust climate theory, which would mean that while there may be more CO2 being emitted, it has little to no effect on the overall climate.  That, of course, is contrary to the AGW crowd’s theory.

So, on to the latest high profile defections:

One of the fathers of Germany’s modern green movement, Professor Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, a social democrat and green activist, decided to author a climate science skeptical book together with geologist/paleontologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning. Vahrenholt’s skepticism started when he was asked to review an IPCC report on renewable energy. He found hundreds of errors. When he pointed them out, IPCC officials simply brushed them aside. Stunned, he asked himself, “Is this the way they approached the climate assessment reports?”

Vahrenholt decided to do some digging. His colleague Dr. Lüning also gave him a copy of Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion. He was horrified by the sloppiness and deception he found. Persuaded by Hoffmann & Campe, he and Lüning decided to write the book. Die kalte Sonne cites 800 sources and has over 80 charts and figures. It examines and summarizes the latest science.

Vahrenholt concluded, through his research, that the science of the IPCC (if you can call it that) was mostly political and had been “hyped.”

Germany’s flagship weekly news magazine Der Spiegel today also featured a 4-page exclusive interview with Vahrenholt, where he repeated that the IPCC has ignored a large part of climate science and that IPCC scientists exaggerated the impact of CO2 on climate. Vahrenholt said that by extending the known natural cycles of the past into the future, and taking CO2′s real impact into effect, we should expect a few tenths of a degree of cooling.

That, as I said, points to the “robust” climate model.

Once more to make the point before I leave the subject:

Skeptic readers should not think that the book will fortify their existing skepticism of CO2 causing warming. The authors agree it does. but have major qualms about the assumed positive CO2-related feed-backs and believe the sun plays a far greater role in the whole scheme of things.

As Dr. Roy Spencer says, CO2 is a greenhouse gas.  Adding CO2 should cause warming.  The argument is “how much” and that’s based on competing theories about the climate’s sensitivity. Skeptics think the sensitivity is very low while alarmists think it is very high.   The building evidence is that rising CO2 has little warming effect in real terms regardless of the amount of the gas emitted. That there is a “saturation level”.   If that’s true, and indications are it is,  then there’s a) no justification for limiting emissions and b) certainly no justification to tax them.

That, of course, is where politics enter the picture.  Governments like the idea of literally creating a tax out of thin air, especially given the current financial condition of most states.   Consequently, governments are more likely to fund science that supports their desired conclusion – and it seems that in this case there were plenty who were willing to comply (especially, as Patrick J. Michael has noted, when that gravy train amounts to $103 billion in grants).

What Vahrenholt is objecting too is the IPCC’s key definition in which it clearly states that “climate change” is a result of and because of “human contributions”.  As noted above, he thinks that the sun is a much greater factor (something mostly ignored in the models) and he finds past CO2 trends to forecast nothing like the IPCC’s forecast. 

What we’re finding as this argument goes forward is that Patrick Michaels was right – “AGW theory functions best in a data free environment”. 

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


That big yellow thing that hangs in the sky each day

It appears the warmist agenda is about to take another hit if this is being interpreted properly:

The chief of the world’s leading physics lab at CERN in Geneva has prohibited scientists from drawing conclusions from a major experiment. The CLOUD ("Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets") experiment examines the role that energetic particles from deep space play in cloud formation. CLOUD uses CERN’s proton synchrotron to examine nucleation.

CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Welt Online that the scientists should refrain from drawing conclusions from the latest experiment.

"I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them," reports veteran science editor Nigel Calder on his blog. Why?

Because, Heuer says, "That would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate change debate. One has to make clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters."

Oh … “only one of many parameters”, eh?  You mean like that big yellow thing that hangs in the sky each day?  

Imagine that  – cosmic rays have a role in cloud formation and the sun is extraordinarily active in how many cosmic rays are able reach the atmosphere and carry out that function.  And  the effect?

The CLOUD experiment builds on earlier experiments by Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark, who demonstrated that cosmic rays provide a seed for clouds. Tiny changes in the earth’s cloud cover could account for variations in temperature of several degrees. The amount of Ultra Fine Condensation Nuclei (UFCN) material depends on the quantity of the background drizzle of rays, which varies depending on the strength of the sun’s magnetic field and the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field.

Emphasis mine.   Back to that big yellow thing – what role does it have?:

Since clouds often cover 30 percent of the earth’s surface, a moderate change in cloud cover clearly could explain the warming/cooling cycle.

Svensmark noted the gigantic “solar wind” that expands when the sun is active—and thus blocks many of the cosmic rays that would otherwise hit the earth’s atmosphere. When the sun weakens, the solar wind shrinks. Recently, the U.S. Solar Observatory reported a very long period of “quiet sun” and predicted 30 years of cooling.

Got it?  We’re in a solar minimum and the temp hasn’t risen in the 10 years since it has begun.  Go figure.

So where does this leave us given the CERN gag order?  What can you infer from that?  Nigel Calder does a good job of rounding them up:

Four quick inferences:

1) The results must be favourable for Svensmark or there would be no such anxiety about them.

2) CERN has joined a long line of lesser institutions obliged to remain politically correct about the man-made global warming hypothesis. It’s OK to enter “the highly political arena of the climate change debate” provided your results endorse man-made warming, but not if they support Svensmark’s heresy that the Sun alters the climate by influencing the cosmic ray influx and cloud formation.

3) The once illustrious CERN laboratory ceases to be a truly scientific institute when its Director General forbids its physicists and visiting experimenters to draw the obvious scientific conclusions from their results.

4) The resulting publication may be rather boring.

Indeed … boring only in the sense of reading dense scientific material.  Not boring in its impact.

The CERN experiment is supposed to be the big test of the Svensmark theory. It’s a tipoff, then, that CERN’s boss, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, has just told the German magazine Die Welt that he has forbidden his researchers to “interpret” the forthcoming test results. In other words, the CERN report will be a stark “just the facts” listing of the findings. Those findings must support Svensmark, or Heuer would never have issued such a stifling order on a major experiment.

Can’t wait to watch this one unfold.  But the gag order is very suspicious and certainly infers that the results don’t support the warmist theory … or should I say “assertion” now?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


How alarmists have hurt their AGW cause

Science is about discovery, the expansion of knowledge, how things work and what that means.  What it is not, or shouldn’t be, is an accessory to politics.  Politics isn’t about any of those things.  Politics is about the application of power to move things in a particular direction.  So when pure science teams up with politics to become advocacy “science” bad things are most likely to happen.

The IPCC report specifically, and climate science in general, are learning that the hard way.  James Taylor, who seems open to the AGW arguments,  asks the salient questions generated by the last IPCC report and subsequent findings.  Using  Godfather II as an analogy, he sets up the point:

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report was as straightforward as Frank Pentangeli’s earlier confession that he had killed on behalf of Michael Corleone. “Milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms,” IPCC reported.

That was in 2001. Now, however, with an unprecedented number of major winter snowstorms hitting the northeastern U.S. during the past two winters, the alarmists are clamming up and changing their tune faster than Tom Hagen can fly in Vincenzo Pentangeli from Italy to aid his brother in his time of trouble.

He’s absolutely right – there was no equivocation in the report.  A leads to B.  They said the same thing about hurricanes – warming would lead to many more and much more powerful storms.  Instead they’re at a historically lower level.   Glaciers, snowcaps, all sorts of predictions have been found to be false.

When James confronted the IPCC on this, he got the sort of mushy answer you might expect:

During the question and answer portion of the UCS press conference, I quoted the IPCC Third Assessment Report and asked Masters and Serreze if they were saying IPCC was wrong on the science.

“I would say that we always learn,” replied Serreze. “Have we learned a great deal since the IPCC 2001 report? I would say yes, we have. Climate science, like any other field, is a constantly evolving field and we are always learning.”

Really?  What happened to “the debate is over” and “the science is settled”?

For years, alarmists have claimed “the science is settled” and “the debate is over.” Well, when was the science settled? When global warming would allegedly cause Himalayan glaciers to melt by 2035, or now that it won’t? When global warming would allegedly cause fewer heavy snow events, or now that it will allegedly cause more frequent heavy snow events?

You can’t have it both ways and have it be called “science” can you?

~McQ


Another alarmist claim bites the dust

OK, perhaps not the perfect metaphor for this but another in a long line of claims made by the UN’s IPCC report has been found to be totally false.  In fact, in the case of this particular claim, there appears to be no foundation whatsoever for the claim and in reality it appears exactly the opposite of what was claimed appears to be true.

The claim?

Himalayan glaciers were melting because of global warming climate change.  The facts?

Researchers have discovered that contrary to popular belief half of the ice flows in the Karakoram range of the mountains are actually growing rather than shrinking.

You have to love that sentence – “contrary to popular belief”?  Is that what the so-called “science” of global warming climate change has been reduced too?

Even more damning:

The new study by scientists at the Universities of California and Potsdam has found that half of the glaciers in the Karakoram range, in the northwestern Himalaya, are in fact advancing and that global warming is not the deciding factor in whether a glacier survives or melts.

“Global warming” isn’t the deciding factor?  But, but there was “scientific  consensus” that global warming climate change was indeed causing the glaciers to melt.  And now scientists are saying that not only are the glaciers not melting – they’re instead growing – but that global warming climate change isn’t even the “deciding factor” in either case?

In fact, the study says, the real reason for advancing or retreating glaciers is much simpler than global warming climate change.  It has to do with debris fields:

Their report, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, found the key factor affecting their advance or retreat is the amount of debris – rocks and mud – strewn on their surface, not the general nature of climate change.

[…]

"Our study shows that there is no uniform response of Himalayan glaciers to climate change and highlights the importance of debris cover for understanding glacier retreat, an effect that has so far been neglected in predictions of future water availability or global sea level," the authors concluded.

Dr Bookhagen said their report had shown "there is no stereotypical Himalayan glacier" in contrast to the UN’s climate change report which, he said, "lumps all Himalayan glaciers together."

In fact, the science of global warming climate change lumps a whole bunch of things together it shouldn’t be lumping together, while it leaves off a whole mess of things it should be considering depending on the model such as clouds, sun, water vapor, etc.

By the way, a reminder of the base for the IPCC “scare-science”:

Dr Pachauri, head of the Nobel prize-winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has remained silent on the matter since he was forced to admit his report’s claim that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 was an error and had not been sourced from a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It came from a World Wildlife Fund report.

He angered India’s environment minister and the country’s leading glaciologist when he attacked those who questioned his claim as purveyors of "voodoo science".

Of course, now we know who the real purveyor of “voodoo science” is, don’t we?

~McQ


The AGW summit in Cancun–“ritualized scaremongering?”

While what David Rose of the Mail calls “another giant, 15,000 delegate UN climate jamboree” is underway in Cancun Mexico, the British press is hard at it again, pointing out that in the world of AGW there’s just no “there there”.   As an example, Rose and others point to the Met Office and its claims:

A year ago tomorrow, just before the opening of the UN Copenhagen world climate summit, the British Meteorological Office issued a confident prediction. The mean world temperature for 2010, it announced, ‘is expected to be 14.58C, the warmest on record’ – a deeply worrying 0.58C above the 1961-1990 average.

World temperatures, it went on, were locked inexorably into an ever-rising trend: ‘Our experimental decadal forecast confirms previous indications that about half the years 2010-2019 will be warmer than the warmest year observed so far – 1998.’

Met Office officials openly boasted that they hoped by their statements to persuade the Copenhagen gathering to impose new and stringent carbon emission limits – an ambition that was not to be met.

[…]

Never mind that Britain, just as it was last winter and the winter before, was deep in the grip of a cold snap, which has seen some temperatures plummet to minus 20C, and that here 2010 has been the coolest year since 1996.

Globally, it insisted, 2010 was still on course to be the warmest or second warmest year since current records began.

But buried amid the details of those two Met Office statements 12 months apart lies a remarkable climbdown that has huge implications – not just for the Met Office, but for debate over climate change as a whole.

Read carefully with other official data, they conceal a truth that for some, to paraphrase former US VicePresident Al Gore, is really inconvenient: for the past 15 years, global warming has stopped.

Of course, that won’t stop the “jamboree” from recommending the looting of the “richer” nations to help the “poorer” nations with “global warming”.  After all, that’s what the meeting is really all about.  Just as Democrats are all about income redistribution and “taxing the rich” in this country, their counterparts in the world body are obsessed with the same.  AGW is the perfect pseudo-scientific cause on which to pin the extortion.

In fact, say the Brits, 2010 was an “unexceptional El Nino” year

As for that infamous “scientific consensus?”  Not so much any more:

But little by little, the supposedly settled scientific ‘ consensus’ that the temperature rise is unprecedented, that it is set to continue to disastrous levels, and that it is all the fault of human beings, is starting to fray.

Earlier this year, a paper by Michael Mann – for years a leading light in the IPCC, and the author of the infamous ‘hockey stick graph’ showing flat temperatures for 2,000 years until the recent dizzying increase – made an extraordinary admission: that, as his critics had always claimed, there had indeed been a ‘ medieval warm period’ around 1000 AD, when the world may well have been hotter than it is now.

Other research is beginning to show that cyclical changes in water vapour – a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide – may account for much of the 20th Century warming.

Even Phil Jones, the CRU director at the centre of last year’s ‘Climategate’ leaked email scandal, was forced to admit in a littlenoticed BBC online interview that there has been ‘no statistically significant warming’ since 1995.

That’s not to say the true believers (or deceivers, take your pick) aren’t going to continue to try – especially with the “jamboree” going on.  Christopher Booker of the Telegraph reports:

Between their tequilas and lavish meals paid for by the world’s taxpayers, they heard how, by 2060, global temperatures will have risen by 4 degrees Celsius; how the Maldives and Tuvalu are sinking below the waves faster than ever; how the survival of salmon is threatened by CO2-induced acidification of the oceans; how the UN must ban incandescent light bulbs throughout the world.

“Scientists”, we were told, are calling for everyone to be issued with a “carbon ration card”, to halt all Western economic growth for 20 years.

Meanwhile, Dr Rajendra Pachauri was telling us that we must spend hundreds of billions on covering the world’s oceans with iron filings, on building giant mirrors out in space and on painting all the world’s roofs white to keep out the heat from the sun.

The most obvious thing about all this ritualised scaremongering was how stale it all was. Not one of these points hasn’t been a cliche for years.The only scientist who believes we should all be issued with carbon ration cards is a Prof Kevin Anderson, who has been saying it since 2004. It is only those same old computer models that predict that Tuvalu and the Maldives are about to drown, when real measurements show the sea around them not to be rising at all. Far from the oceans acidifying, their pH currently ranges between 7.9 and 8.3, putting them very firmly on the alkaline side of the threshold, at 7.0.

The prediction that global temperatures will rise by four degrees in 50 years comes from that same UK Met Office computer which five weeks ago was telling us we were about to enjoy a “milder than average” winter, after three years when it has consistently got every one of its winter and summer forecasts hopelessly wrong. (And the reason why our local authorities are already fast running out of salt is that they were silly enough to believe them.)

Wonderful stuff, eh?  Oh, and speaking of the Met Office’s ‘mild winter prediction’ even when wrong “scientists” see an opportunity to push the AGW argument:

RESEARCHERS have warned the last three winters’ cold spells could be a taste of things to come for Wales – with even a chance glaciers could return to Snowdon within 40 years.

According to one theory, global warming could paradoxically trigger a collapse in temperatures in Western Europe.

There’s always that “one theory” which will, even paradoxically, doggedly try to pin even bitterly cold temperatures on “global warming”.  It’s a religion, I tell you, not science.

Some truths most of us have learned while following this is 1) the real science is far from settled, 2) the climate is far more complex and still barely understood, and consequently the present day computer models and their predictions are less than useless, 3) the fact that temperatures have remained flat over the past 15 years with a slight trend toward cooling has blown the predictive models out of the water, 4) until there is much better science (and if based in models, models that can at least replicate past climate results) no major public policy initiatives – initiatives that would most likely spend money we don’t have and have a crippling effect on the economy – should be undertaken.  And finally 5) alternative renewable and clean energy sources should be pursued with vigor, but until they’re viable and cheap, traditional fuel sources should be exploited to the maximum (with government getting the heck out of the way).

Of course the Third World Debating Society, aka the UN, won’t leave this scam alone until they manage to rope the richer nations into it and bleed them of a few hundred billion or so.  If ever there was a time to adapt the Nancy Reagan drug slogan to other duty it is now.

“Just say ‘no’.”

~McQ


IPCC: stay out of politics and concentrate on science

Essentially, that’s the unvarnished version of what an independent commission recommended the UN’s IPCC do from now on – stay out of politics and concentrate on getting the science right.

UN climate change experts have been accused of making ‘imprecise and vague’ statements and over-egging the evidence.

A scathing report into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change called for it to avoid politics and stick instead to predictions based on solid science.

The probe, by representatives of the Royal Society and foreign scientific academies, took a thinly-veiled swipe at Rajendra Pachauri, the panel’s chairman for the past eight years.

As anyone who has been keeping up with the scandal among the IPCC and warmist “science” crowd in general, the report last issued by the UN’s climate commission has been under heavy and increasing fire from many directions.  This is the latest in the saga.  The investigative panel also make it clear that they’re of the opinion that Pachauri is not the guy they believe should be in charge of the IPCC.

Harold Shapiro, a Princeton University professor and chair of the committee that conducted the review, said that a report by an IPCC working group "contains many statements that were assigned high confidence but for which there is little evidence."

Professor Shapiro said the IPCC’s response to errors when they were subsequently revealed was "slow and inadequate."

Asked about the Himalayan glaciers error, Professor Shapiro said, "At least in our judgment, it came from just not paying close enough attention to what [peer] reviewers said about that example."

He added that there was concern about the U.N. climate panel’s lack of a conflict of interest policy, as is standard in most Government departments and international bodies.

The report called for development of a "rigorous conflict of interest policy" and made detailed suggestions on what should be disclosed.

Among those disclosures recommended are any financial and other ties to groups with an interest in the outcome of such a report (Pachauri has previously acted as an adviser to green energy companies).

The main finding, as noted above, was that despite all the claims to the contrary, many of the findings published with a “high confidence” were not peer reviewed or, if they were, the process was badly flawed.  Consequently, many of the findings were found to be erroneous.

That’s not to say that the panel found the overall IPCC report to be fraudulent – on the contrary – it claims to support the basic findings. And I’d be interested to know the panel’s leanings before their investigation.  Nevertheless it does find the present report’s errors to have badly “dented the credibility of the process”.

The panel also made a recommendation that the head of the IPCC be professionally qualified to do the necessary job:

‘Because the IPCC chair is both the leader and the face of the organisation, he or she must have strong credentials (including high professional standing in an area covered by IPCC assessments), international stature, a broad vision, strong leadership skills, considerable management experience at a senior level, and experience relevant to the assessment task.’

Pachauri’s background is mechanical engineering and he served with the Indian railway system before entering academia.  Few objective observers would his credentials as adequate for the job.  However Pachauri has no plans to step down.  This is another example of what putting an unqualified individual in high office will get  you.

We’ll see how this plays out, but remember that the IPCC report is something by which countries set their environmental policies.  If Pachauri stays on, with his credibility tarnished, a very good case exists for questioning the validity of the report (given this episode).  My guess is pressure is going to mount to oust him and replace him with a scientist at least associated with the field under investigation.

Frankly  I hope he stays on.  In my estimation, he perfectly represents why the warmist movement – and that’s what it is – continues to lose its audience and fewer and fewer people believe what they’re trying to sell.  And, afterall, he’s at least as qualified as Al Gore.

~McQ


About That Climate Change Consensus …

What was always suspected, yet never proved, has now been exposed:

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change misled the press and public into believing that thousands of scientists backed its claims on manmade global warming, according to Mike Hulme, a prominent climate scientist and IPCC insider. The actual number of scientists who backed that claim was “only a few dozen experts,” he states in a paper for Progress in Physical Geography, co-authored with student Martin Mahony.

“Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous,” the paper states unambiguously, adding that they rendered “the IPCC vulnerable to outside criticism.”

You’re shocked I’m sure. But just who is Mike Hulme that he’d have any credibility to make such a bold claim? As it turns out, he’s not only a professor at the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (yes, that one), and the founding Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, he also was a co-ordinating lead author on a portion of the IPCC

Not exactly a climate-denialist. But you do have to wonder why he’s making this claim now? Why didn’t he expose the consensus fraud while in the middle of his work on the IPCC?

Actually, if you read the paper (pdf) in which his statement appears, it seems that Hulme wasn’t so much making an accusation as he was simply making an offhand comment:

Since its origins, the IPCC has been open and explicit about seeking to generate a ‘scientific consensus’ around climate change and especially about the role of humans in climate change. Yet this has been a source of both strength and vulnerability for the IPCC. Understanding consensus as a process of ‘truth creation’ (or the more nuanced ‘knowledge production’) which marginalises dissenting voices – as has frequently been portrayed by some of the IPCC’s critics (see Edwards & Schneider, 2001; Petersen, 2010) – does not do justice to the process.

Consensus-building in fact serves several different goals. As Horst and Irwin (2010) have explained, seeking consensus can be as much about building a community identity – what Haas (1992) refers to as an epistemic community – as it is about seeking the ‘truth’. Equally, as Yearley (2009) explains, IPCC consensus-making is an exercise in collective judgement about subjective (or Bayesian) likelihoods in areas of uncertain knowledge. Consensus-making in the IPCC has been largely driven by the desire to communicate climate science coherently to a wide spectrum of policy users – ‘to construct knowledge’ (Weingart, 1999) – but in so doing communicating uncertainties have been down-played (van der Sluijs, 1998). As Oppenheimer et al. (2007: 1506) remark: “The establishment of consensus by the IPCC is no longer as critical to governments as [is] a full exploration of uncertainty.”

Without a careful explanation about what it means, this drive for consensus can leave the IPCC vulnerable to outside criticism. Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous. That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies; other IPCC authors are experts in other fields. But consensus-making can also lead to criticism for being too conservative, as Hansen (2007) has most visibly argued. Was the IPCC AR4 too conservative in reaching its consensus about future sea-level rise? Many glaciologists and oceanographers think they were (Kerr, 2007; Rahmstorf, 2010), leading to what Hansen attacks as ‘scientific reticence’. Solomon et al. (2008) offer a robust defence, stating that far from reaching a premature consensus, the AR4 report stated that in fact no consensus could be reached on the magnitude of the possible fast ice-sheet melt processes that some fear could lead to 1 or 2 metres of sea-level rise this century. Hence these processes were not included in the quantitative estimates.

Incredibly, Hulme’s point here is that making completely false claims, such as that a consensus on AGW has been reached by “2,500 of the world’s leading scientists” (or maybe it’s 4,000!), is merely the aggressive flip-side to being too conservative in failing to make unsupported claims on which no one agrees. At least, he compares these two “criticisms” of the IPCC efforts to build consensus as if they were two ends of a spectrum. Sadly, when it comes to climate “science” this is exactly where the problem lies.

Instead of dealing in actual science (where hypotheses are proposed, experiments and data-collection ensue, and actual results inform us as to what is happening), we instead are offered catastrophic theories unsupported by little if any actual data but that, by golly gee, sure do have a whole lot of “consensus” behind them. After all, who are we peons to doubt the “experts”? It’s not as if a group of people has ever been persuaded to … ahem, “adjust” their arguments in order to acquire sweeping political power. One wonders if the word “cabal” exists in any dictionaries in the University of East Anglia’s libraries.

If anyone working on the IPCC wants to know why their reputation is in the tank, perhaps they’d better take a look at what the public “consensus” is regarding fraudulent claims designed to increase the fraudsters’ power. And then maybe they should reacquaint themselves with actual science.


IPCC Hurricane Conclusions Called Into Question

And the hits keep on coming.  Now it is hurricane data being called into question:

More trouble looms for the IPCC. The body may need to revise statements made in its Fourth Assessment Report on hurricanes and global warming. A statistical analysis of the raw data shows that the claims that global hurricane activity has increased cannot be supported.

Dr. Les Hatton says he is neither “a warmist nor a denialist”, but a scientist. And as a scientist he took a look at the IPCC’s claims about hurricanes and found them wanting:

Hatton performed a z-test statistical analysis of the period 1999-2009 against 1946-2009 to test the six conclusions. He also ran the data ending with what the IPCC had available in 2007. He found that North Atlantic hurricane activity increased significantly, but the increase was counterbalanced by diminished activity in the East Pacific, where hurricane-strength storms are 50 per cent more prevalent. The West Pacific showed no significant change. Overall, the declines balance the increases.

“When you average the number of storms and their strength, it almost exactly balances.” This isn’t indicative of an increase in atmospheric energy manifesting itself in storms.

Says Hatton, after running his statitistical analysis and reading the IPCC report, he found it’s conclusions could not be supported by the data:

The IPCC continues: “It is more likely than not (> 50%) that there has been some human contribution to the increases in hurricane intensity.” But, as Hatton points out, that conclusion comes from computer climate models, not from the observational data, which show no increase.

“The IPCC goes on to make statements that would never pass peer review,” Hatton told us. A more scientifically useful conclusion would have been to ask why there was a disparity. “This differential behaviour to me is very interesting. If it’s due to increased warming in one place, and decreased warming in the other – then that’s interesting to me.”

It would be interesting to others as well since it might indicate the observed warming was a result of regional weather, not global warming. Hatton has put his work on his personal web site (you can see it here) and issued an open invitation to prove his analysis wrong. Al Gore has said he’ll get right on it.

~McQ