So if the models are so hopelessly riddled with errors and uncertainty that an anthropogenic radiative forcing signal cannot be distinguished from noise, or if the total magnitude of the warming attributed to humans is one-tenth to one-hundredth of the error or uncertainty ranges, why are those who dare question the degree to which humans affect the Earth’s climate branded as “deniers” of science?

Kenneth Richard,

Monday, 28 October 2013

More on the IPCC Summary for Policy Makers: multiple retreats disguised and spun for PR at the expense of science

Leading authors from the NIPCC have reviewed the IPCC’s  ‘Summary for Policy Makers’.   They were not impressed.  Who would be?  It is a mix of tawdry spin and feeble science.  Here are some extracts from their review, with the review headings shown in bold:

The IPCC has retreated from at least 11 alarmist claims promulgated in its previous reports or by scientists prominently associated with the IPCC.  The SPM also contains at least 13 misleading or untrue statements, and 11 further statements that are phrased in such a way that they mislead readers or misrepresent important aspects of the science.

1. IPCC Retreats
Eleven statements made in the 2013 SPM apparently retreat from more alarmist positions struck in earlier Assessment Reports or in related research literature. These repositionings are to be welcomed when they move the IPCC’s commentary closer to scientific reality.

[see the full review, linked to above, for details of each of these 11 retreats – none of which are recognised as such in the IPCC materials.]

2. Misleading or Untrue Statements
The following 13 statements by the IPCC are written in such a way that although they may be technically true, or nearly true, they are misleading of the actual state of affairs.

[see the full review, linked to above, for details of each of these 13 statements – all presumably spun to assist the political wishes of those driving the IPCC, wishes which require there to be a climate crisis caused by industrial development.]

3. Deceptive Language that Misrepresents the Science
The following 11 statements by the IPCC create an unjustifiable impression of either scientific certainty or false alarm, or appear to have been chosen to evade conclusions that run counter to the IPCC’s belief in dangerous human-caused warming.

[see the full review, linked to above, for details of each of these 11 statements – once again all presumably spun to assist the political wishes of those driving the IPCC]

4. Advice for Policymakers
Between 1988 and 2001 (the span of preparation of its first three Assessment Reports), the United Nation’s IPCC was the sole international body able to provide advice to governments on the global warming issue. With the formation of the Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) in 2003, a second and independent team of scientific assessors began to emerge.

Now, with the release of new 2013 reports by both the IPCC and NIPCC, due-diligence analysis, such as that contained in this briefing paper, is finally possible. The IPCC’s “Green Team” scientific advice can now be weighed against the views of a “Red Team” of independent scholars.

With the same set of peer-reviewed scientific papers available to them, the scientists of the IPCC and NIPCC have come to diametrically opposing conclusions. IPCC scientists remain alarmist about the threat of human-caused global warming, even while they admit observations increasingly invalidate their model-based predictions. They are reluctant to acknowledge past errors and new research that challenge their hypothesis of human-caused dangerous climate change.

In stark contrast, NIPCC scientists find no hard evidence for a dangerous human-caused
warming. They find the null hypothesis – that observed changes in climate are due to natural causes only – cannot be rejected. NIPCC scientists remain open to new discoveries and further debate.

In 2013, any engaged policymaker or commentator has a responsibility to be fully familiar with the arguments and conclusions adduced by both of these teams of climate advisors. Towards this end, we present the primary conclusions of NIPCC’s latest report as they are stated in its Summary for Policymakers:

1. We conclude neither the rate nor the magnitude of the reported late twentieth century surface warming (1979-2000) lay outside normal natural variability, nor was it in any way unusual compared to earlier episodes in Earth’s climatic history.  Furthermore, solar forcings of temperature change are likely more important than is currently recognized, and evidence is lacking that a 2C increase in temperature (of whatever cause) would be globally harmful.

2. We conclude no unambiguous evidence exists for adverse changes to the global environment caused by human-related CO2 emissions. In particular, the cryosphere is not melting at an enhanced rate; sea-level rise is not accelerating; no systematic changes have been documented in evaporation or rainfall or in the magnitude or intensity of extreme
meteorological events; and an increased release of methane into the atmosphere from
permafrost or sub-seabed gas hydrates is unlikely.

3. We conclude the current generation of global climate models are unable to make accurate projections of climate even 10 years ahead, let alone the 100 year period that has been adopted by policy planners. The output of such models should therefore not be used to guide public policy formulation until they have been validated and shown to have predictive value.

[this final section has been reproduced here, above, in full, but with italics and bold added].

Any parents or teachers or other responsible adults wishing to tackle the hyperbole, the assurance, and the deceptions of those intent on misleading children about our impact on climate have to do their own studies to highlight what is going on, and to be in a position to argue for reform.  This might seem an impossible task for non-specialists, but that need not be the case.  Many people around the world are working to expose this scandal and bring it to a wider audience.  See the list of blogs on the right-hand side of the screen for examples.  Amateurs and professionals are involved.  Subject-matter specialists are too, as are many who bring general analytical and/or communication skills to the task in hand.  There is little by way of organisation. This is more of a spontaneous, scattered uprising against an establishment of vested or political interests whose policy and other interventions have already caused great harm.  Most of us will have something to contribute to help replace the exaggerations and other excesses of that establishment with calmer, more soundly-based perspectives about what is going on and what may happen in the future.  The NIPCC reports, to which I have recently contributed in a very modest way as a pre-publication reviewer, are at the more technical end, but even there, there is much that is readily accessible.