Friday, January 29, 2010

This week in false IPCC statements

Last week, the IPCC got attention for their Himalayan glaciers claim being exposed as a fraud.

Let's see if they can top themselves this week.

On the IPCC claim that the "global warming" is linked to an increased number of natural disasters.

Times Online:

THE United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report's own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.

The claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is already affecting the severity and frequency of global disasters, has since become embedded in political and public debate. It was central to discussions at last month's Copenhagen climate summit, including a demand by developing countries for compensation of $100 billion (£62 billion) from the rich nations blamed for creating the most emissions.

Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change minister, has suggested British and overseas floods — such as those in Bangladesh in 2007 — could be linked to global warming. Barack Obama, the US president, said last autumn: "More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent."

[...]When the paper was eventually published, in 2008, it had a new caveat. It said: "We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses."

Despite this change the IPCC did not issue a clarification ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit last month. It has also emerged that at least two scientific reviewers who checked drafts of the IPCC report urged greater caution in proposing a link between climate change and disaster impacts — but were ignored.

[...]Muir-Wood's paper [against the IPCC claim] was originally commissioned by Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at Colorado University, also an expert on disaster impacts, for a workshop on disaster losses in 2006. The researchers who attended that workshop published a statement agreeing that so far there was no evidence to link global warming with any increase in the severity or frequency of disasters. Pielke has also told the IPCC that citing one section of Muir-Wood's paper in preference to the rest of his work, and all the other peer-reviewed literature, was wrong.
On the IPCC's claim that the 3rd world will face more water shortages because of "global warming."

Watts Up With That:

I want to spotlight another error in the IPCC report. This is an error, based not on blunders or poor scholarship but on selective reporting of results, where one side of the story is highlighted but the other side is buried in silence. In other words, it’s a sin of omission, that is, it results, literally, from being economical with the truth. It succeeds in conveying an erroneous impression of the issue — similar to what “hide the decline” did successfully (until Climategate opened and let the sunshine in).

I have written about this previously at WUWT in a post, How the IPCC Portrayed a Net Positive Impact of Climate Change as a Negative, and in a peer reviewed article on global warming and public health. Both pieces show how the IPCC Working Group II’s Summary for Policy Makers (SPM), which deals with the impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, hid the projected decline in the future global population at risk of water shortage due to climate change. Not surprisingly, news outlets (e.g., here and here) routinely report that climate change could increase the population at risk of water shortage, despite the fact that studies show exactly the opposite regarding the net global population at risk of water shortage.
And the claim that global warming could devastate African agriculture:

Herald Sun:

Yet more evidence that the IPCC cooked the books. Here’s its 2007 claim that global warming could devastate African agriculture:

In other [African] countries, additional risks that could be exacerbated by climate change include greater erosion, deficiencies in yields from rain-fed agriculture of up to 50% during the 2000-2020 period, and reductions in crop growth period…
In fact, that claim comes from a non-peer-reviewed and non-scientific paper which looked at just three African countries, and was produced by a sustainable development lobby group. How did this end up as IPCC gospel?
What about the claim of the Amazon being in peril?

Herald Sun:

Now yet another scare claim in the IPCC’s 2007 report collapses on closer inspection.

This time ithe dodgy claim is this:

Up to 40%of theAmazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation; this means that the tropical vegetation, hydrology and climate system in South America could change very rapidly to another steady state, not necessarily producing gradual changes between the current and the future situation (Rowell and Moore, 2000). It is more probable that forests will be replaced by ecosystems that have more resistance to multiple stresses caused by temperature increase, droughts and fires, such as tropical savannas.
In fact, as Richard North points out:

At first sight, the reference looks kosher enough but, following it through, one sees:
Rowell, A. and P.F. Moore, 2000: Global Review of Forest Fires. WWF/IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, 66 pp.
This, then appears to be another WWF report, carried out in conjunction with the IUCN – The International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The link given is no longer active, but the report is on the IUCN website here. Furthermore, the IUCN along with WWF is another advocacy group and the report is not peer-reviewed. According to IPCC rules, it should not have been used as a primary source.
In fact, neither of the authors is even a scientist, and one is a green campaigner and journalist. Nor can North find any support in the WWF document for the IPCC’s claim that 40 per cent of the Amazonian forest is threatened - or at least no legitimate support.
On the head of the IPCC getting grants from the phony Himalayan glaciers claim.

Times Online:

The chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has used bogus claims that Himalayan glaciers were melting to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Rajendra Pachauri's Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), based in New Delhi, was awarded up to £310,000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the lion's share of a £2.5m EU grant funded by European taxpayers.

It means that EU taxpayers are funding research into a scientific claim about glaciers that any ice researcher should immediately recognise as bogus. The revelation comes just a week after The Sunday Times highlighted serious scientific flaws in the IPCC's 2007 benchmark report on the likely impacts of global warming.
Oh and who is this Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC?


Although Dr Pachauri is often presented as a scientist (he was even once described by the BBC as “the world’s top climate scientist”), as a former railway engineer with a PhD in economics he has no qualifications in climate science at all.
Yup, I think this week wins.

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  1. First of all, I would like to address the outlandish proclamation that global climate change will not negatively impact African agriculture. Additionally, please apply these findings to the underlying notion that it will not affect other third world counters in a similar manner. Think about nearly every potentially negative concept out there, from multinational corporations to cleanliness of water... third world countries get hit the hardest- almost across the board.

    Now, digest research from Stanford SCIENTISTS, which I decided to quote, given your criticism of individuals like Dr. Pachauri, who, despite their immense knowledge and extensive education, do not hold degrees pertaining to climate science (in general, please contemplate this idea, as a standardized degree does not always speak louder than the infatuations and true passions of ones character and mind):
    ---> I realize he is not a scientist, but given his background, degrees, and the number of credible books he has written, I think he knows a little more about the situation than you and I.

    Additionally, it has been predicted that suffering will result in furthering/increasing civil wars:

    These battles often occur over resources, including WATER:

    Aren't you aware of the situation that is going on in the United States? Look into the Ogallala Aquifer, how it’s drying up at a rapid rate, then contemplate the reality that we might be victims of similar situations (although on a much smaller scale). Do you think that farmers in the Central Valley of California did a "Water March" for fun? NO, they did it get the attention of their Governor, who had to deny their appeals in order to sustain the amount of water available to our citizens living in California.
  2. replies welcome -->