Posts Tagged ‘IPCC Fourth Assessment Report’

“But measuring rainfall is very tricky,” – Kerry Emanuel

August 19, 2013

It’s the tail wagging the dog, or the cart before the horse as the IPCC prepares to publish its report.

It’s the brave new world of Global warming – though global temperatures have been still or have declined slightly over the last 17 years. But it is 95% certain – says the IPCC –  that carbon dioxide is the cause and the world has warmed by 0.8 °C since the 1950′s. But that 95% is plucked from the air. But they are certain – from their models that the world will warm by upto 4°C in the next 100 years — and that carbon dioxide is the cause! We know the cause but we don’t know the effects!

The local effects are elusive.

“But measuring rainfall is very tricky,” said Kerry Emanuel


Experts surer of manmade global warming but local predictions elusive

Climate scientists are surer than ever that human activity is causing global warming, according to leaked drafts of a major U.N. report, but they are finding it harder than expected to predict the impact in specific regions in coming decades. ….

…. Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the U.N. panel of experts, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.

But they will merely ignore the real observation that global temperatures have not increased for at least 17 years.

“We have got quite a bit more certain that climate change … is largely manmade,” said Reto Knutti, a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. “We’re less certain than many would hope about the local impacts.”

And gauging how warming would affect nature, from crops to fish stocks, was also proving hard since it goes far beyond physics. “You can’t write an equation for a tree,” he said.

How exactly the certainty increased when temperatures did not go up while carbon dioxide concentration continued to increase is of no consequence – apparently. How certainty increases when the models are diverging more and more from reality is another mystery.

The IPCC report, the first of three to be released in 2013 and 2014, will face intense scrutiny, particularly after the panel admitted a mistake in the 2007 study which wrongly predicted that all Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035. Experts say the error far overestimated the melt and might have been based on a misreading of 2350.

The new study will state with greater confidence than in 2007 that rising manmade greenhouse gas emissions have already meant more heatwaves. But it is likely to play down some tentative findings from 2007, such as that human activities have contributed to more droughts. ….

Drew Shindell, a NASA climate scientist, said the relative lack of progress in regional predictions was the main disappointment of climate science since 2007.

“I talk to people in regional power planning. They ask: ‘What’s the temperature going to be in this region in the next 20-30 years, because that’s where our power grid is?’” he said.

“We can’t really tell. It’s a shame,” said Shindell. Like the other scientists interviewed, he was speaking about climate science in general since the last IPCC report, not about the details of the latest drafts.


The panel will try to explain why global temperatures, while still increasing, have risen more slowly since about 1998 even though greenhouse gas concentrations have hit repeated record highs in that time, led by industrial emissions by China and other emerging nations.

An IPCC draft says there is “medium confidence” that the slowing of the rise is “due in roughly equal measure” to natural variations in the weather and to other factors affecting energy reaching the Earth’s surface.

Scientists believe causes could include: greater-than-expected quantities of ash from volcanoes, which dims sunlight; a decline in heat from the sun during a current 11-year solar cycle; more heat being absorbed by the deep oceans; or the possibility that the climate may be less sensitive than expected to a build-up of carbon dioxide.

“It might be down to minor contributions that all add up,” said Gabriele Hegerl, a professor at Edinburgh University. Or maybe, scientists say, the latest decade is just a blip.

Or maybe the Anthropogenic Global Warming meme is just plain wrong.

The main scenarios in the draft, using more complex computer models than in 2007 and taking account of more factors, show that temperatures could rise anywhere from a fraction of 1 degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) to almost 5C (9F) this century, a wider range at both ends than in 2007.

The low end, however, is because the IPCC has added what diplomats say is an improbable scenario for radical government action – not considered in 2007 – that would require cuts in global greenhouse gases to zero by about 2070.

Temperatures have already risen by 0.8C (1.4F) since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.

Experts say that the big advance in the report, due for a final edit by governments and scientists in Stockholm from September 23-26, is simply greater confidence about the science of global warming, rather than revolutionary new findings.


“Overall our understanding has strengthened,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor at Princeton University, pointing to areas including sea level rise.

An IPCC draft projects seas will rise by between 29 and 82 cm (11.4 to 32.3 inches) by the late 21st century – above the estimates of 18 to 59 cm in the last report, which did not fully account for changes in Antarctica and Greenland.

The report slightly tones down past tentative findings that more intense tropical cyclone are linked to human activities. Warmer air can contain more moisture, however, making downpours more likely in future.

“There is widespread agreement among hurricane scientists that rainfall associated with hurricanes will increase noticeably with global warming,” said Kerry Emanuel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“But measuring rainfall is very tricky,” he said.

BBC has been just a lobby group for global warming since 2006

November 20, 2011
BBC journalist Roger Harrabin

The less than objective “reporting” on global warming from the BBC was always fairly obvious but the role of Roger Harrabin, one of its senior environmental correspondents in driving that policy is now becoming clear. Christopher Booker has a long article in The Telegraph:

The BBC’s hidden ‘warmist’ agenda is rapidly unravelling 

Since 2006, the BBC has relentlessly promoted the global warming orthodoxy as a pressure group in its own right.

The story of the BBC’s bias on global warming gets ever murkier. Last week there was quite a stir over a new report for the BBC Trust which criticised several programmes for having been improperly funded or sponsored by outside bodies. One, for instance, lauded the work of Envirotrade, a Mauritius-based firm cashing in on the global warming scare by selling “carbon offsets”, which it turned out had given the BBC money to make the programme. ……


The irony is, however, that just as the BBC adopted its new hard line on climate change, in the real world the story was beginning to shift. Ever more searching questions have come to be asked about the supposed “consensus” on man-made warming, and the BBC’s coverage has come to look ever more one-sidedly absurd.

Last week, even Richard Black, another BBC proselytiser for man-made warming, was gloomily having to reveal the conclusion of a new IPCC report: that, over the next few decades, “climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variabilty”. In plain English, that means the great scare story is over. What a shame. But at what a price. …

Meanwhile the Daily Mail carries the following headline:

(Update! The Daily Mail article has been removed but has been reported here).

(Update 2! The Daily Mail article has now been restored)

BBC’s Mr Climate Change accepted £15,000 in grants from university rocked by global warning scandal

Alarmism is lucrative.

Now IPCC becomes just a lobby for Greenpeace!

June 16, 2011

There seems to be an incestuous relationship between the IPCC and a number of advocacy groups with the parties lobbying for each other. In the latest episode the IPCC has become the vehicle for publishing conclusions from a Greenpeace advocacy report on renewables:

The Independent:

Climate change panel in hot water again over ‘biased’ energy report 

The world’s foremost authority on climate change used a Greenpeace campaigner to help write one of its key reports, which critics say made misleading claims about renewable energy, The Independent has learnt. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the UN in 1988 to advise governments on the science behind global warming, issued a report last month suggesting renewable sources could provide 77 per cent of the world’s energy supply by 2050. But in supporting documents released this week, it emerged that the claim was based on a real-terms decline in worldwide energy consumption over the next 40 years – and that the lead author of the section concerned was an employee of Greenpeace. Not only that, but the modelling scenario used was the most optimistic of the 164 investigated by the IPCC.

Critics said the decision to highlight the 77 per cent figure showed a bias within the IPCC against promoting potentially carbon-neutral energies such as nuclear fuel. One climate change sceptic said it showed the body was not truly independent and relied too heavily on green groups for its evidence. 

Yesterday, after the full report was released, the sceptical climate change blog Climate Audit reported that the 77 per cent figure had been derived from a joint study by Sven Teske, a climate change expert employed by Greenpeace, which opposes the use of nuclear power to cut carbon emissions.

Last night, the IPCC said it had been made clear that the 77 per cent figure was only one of the estimates made from the models and that Mr Teske was just one of 120 researchers who had worked on the report. John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: “Exxon, Chevron and the French nuclear operator EDF also contribute to the IPCC, so to paint this expert UN body as a wing of Greenpeace is preposterous.” But Mark Lynas, a climate change writer in favour of using nuclear and renewables to combat global warming, said: “It is stretching credibility for the IPCC to suggest that a richer world with two billion more people will use less energy in 2050. Campaigners should not be employed as lead authors in IPCC reports.”

The IPCC must urgently review its policies for hiring lead authors – and I would have thought that not only should biased ‘grey literature’ be rejected, but campaigners from NGOs should not be allowed to join the lead author group and thereby review their own work. There is even a commercial conflict of interest here given that the renewables industry stands to be the main beneficiary of any change in government policies based on the IPCC report’s conclusions. Had it been an oil industry intervention which led the IPCC to a particular conclusion, Greenpeace et al would have course have been screaming blue murder.

Climate Audit: IPCC WG3 and the Greenpeace Karaoke

The basis for this claim is a Greenpeace scenario. The Lead Author of the IPCC assessment of the Greenpeace scenario was the same Greenpeace employee who had prepared the Greenpeace scenarios, the introduction to which was written by IPCC chair Pachauri.

The public and policy-makers are starving for independent and authoritative analysis of precisely how much weight can be placed on renewables in the energy future. It expects more from IPCC WG3 than a karaoke version of Greenpeace scenario.

It is totally unacceptable that IPCC should have had a Greenpeace employee as a Lead Author of the critical Chapter 10, that the Greenpeace employee, as an IPCC Lead Author, should (like Michael Mann and Keith Briffa in comparable situations) have been responsible for assessing his own work and that, with such inadequate and non-independent ‘due diligence’, IPCC should have featured the Greenpeace scenario in its press release on renewables.

Everyone in IPCC WG3 should be terminated and, if the institution is to continue, it should be re-structured from scratch.


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