Because the AR5 report is now leaked into the public domain, Christopher Monckton has released his AR5 review comments on the Lord Monckton Foundation site. Notably, Monckton does his absolute best to help the IPCC operate as a useful honest public service. In the most statesman-like manner, Monckton works from the principle that the IPCC’s credibility could theoretically be rescued. (How generous is he?) Monckton also provides a few peer reviewed papers that the team of hundreds of experts has missed — just the odd 450 references or so. As always, meticulously researched, carefully thought out, and with impeccable logic. The IPCC must be paying him well for this rigorous input… oh wait…
In order to produce a respectable useful document the IPCC has to improve:
- The IPCC needs to address the failure of their past key predictions.
- Split up the science from the politics. (Political appointee’s can write their own chapter*, not rewrite the scientists ones).
- The alterations to the scientists final draft need to be marked as such and sent back to the expert reviewers.
- All references from gray literature (eg activist press releases) should be removed.
- To stop the goal posts moving, the IPCC should update projections based on the original scenarios (it is hard to compare projections made to new, different scenarios).
- All data related to the report should be archived and publicly available.
- How did the IPCC arrive at the Planck or zero-feedback climate-sensitivity parameter? The details should be made explicit.
- We need to know the projected impact of climate feedbacks over time. (Which means we need a graph of the evolution of the value of the climate sensitivity parameter).
- Feedbacks are nearly twice as important as CO2 in the models — The IPCC needs to explicitly list all the feedbacks and make an estimate of each (with error bars)
- There has been 16 years of no statistically significant warming. The IPCC must stop ignoring this. (In 2008, modelers said a stasis of 15 years would mean the models were wrong. Ergo…? )
- On the economic front, the IPCC needs to do the cost-benefits on adapting to a warming world compared to the cost benefit of changing the weather.
Here is Lord Monckton’s Expert Review for the UN IPCC. Written in his inimitable style of course.
(Australians and New Zealanders will be delighted to know that Monckton is coming to tour again in March 2013. Details coming.).
UPDATE: to clarify. I’m quite certain Monckton knows the IPCC was never supposed to be a “public service”. But it’s an excellent rhetorical technique to expose how far from that they are, by carefully methodically documenting what they would be doing if they were such an institution. The contrast speaks for itself.
The IPCC need to pretend they are transparent, open to review, based on evidence, and unbiased.
Monckton’s strategy is to pretend that they might be those things.
Christopher Moncktons top eleven points
(Read the full PDF for the other 93 comments)
General comments on the draft of WG1’s contribution to AR5
1. Comment #1: Ch. 0, from page 0, line 0, to page 0, line 0
To restore some link between IPCC reports and observed reality, the report must address – but does not at present address – the now-pressing question why the key prediction of warming in earlier IPCC reports have proven to be significant exaggerations.
Reason: The IPCC’s credibility has already been damaged by its premature adoption and subsequent hasty abandonment of the now-discredited “hockey-stick” graph as its logo; by its rewriting its Second Assessment Report after submission of the scientists’ final draft, to state the opposite of their finding that no discernible human influence on climate is detectable; by its declaration that all Himalayan ice would be gone in 25 years; and by its use of a dishonest statistical technique in 2007 falsely to suggest that the rate of global warming is accelerating. But the central damage to its credibility arises from the absence of anything like the warming it had predicted.
Example: In 1990 the IPCC’s central estimate was that warming would occur at 0.3 K/decade and that by now some 0.6 K warming would have occurred. Since then observations show warming has occurred at 0.14 K/decade and 0.3 K warming has occurred. There has been no global warming for 16 years.
2. Comment #2: Ch. 0, from page 0, line 0, to page 0, line 0
To restore lost credibility, all alterations by governments to the scientists’ final draft must be visibly distinguished from it and referred back to all expert reviewers for comment before publication.
Reason: Failure to make explicit the distinction between scientific and political content weakens the Assessment Reports by leaving readers wondering which findings are political. For this reason, I recommend the governments I advise to exercise caution before relying on the IPCC, which was founded as a political and not a scientific body.
Example: During preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4, 2007), governments’ political representatives decided by show of hands the “90% confidence” that more than half of the warming since 1960 was manmade. China had argued for no estimate; others had argued for 95%. Yet commentators unaware that this central decision was not scientific but political presented it as though it were a legitimate scientific finding.
3. Comment #3: Ch. 0, from page 0, line 0, to page 0, line 0
To prevent recurrence of past scientific dishonesty, all alterations to the scientists’ final draft after submission are to be visibly flagged and referred back to all expert reviewers for comment.
Reason: The IPCC’s Chairman, Dr. Pachauri, defended certain scientific errors in AR4 that exaggerated our influence on climate and had not been in the scientists’ final draft.
Example: The scientists’ final draft showed a graph of global mean surface temperature anomalies since 1850, with one linear trend-line covering the entire period. Later, someone added three additional trend-lines, starting in 1900, 1950 and 1975 respectively, and added a false conclusion that since the trend-lines that began later rose more steeply manmade warming was accelerating. The same artifice would show a sine-wave, which has a zero trend, rising (or, if desired, falling) at an ever-faster rate, depending on the chosen start-points for the added trend-lines. Dr. Pachauri did not have this error corrected when asked.
4. Comment #4: Ch. 0, from page 0, line 0, to page 0, line 0
To limit politicization of Assessment Reports, all material from non-peer-reviewed sources, such as environmental lobby groups, is to be excluded.
Reason: 30% of all references listed in AR4 were not from reviewed papers in the learned journals but from the “gray literature”: e.g. media handouts from environmental groups. While this practice continues, I cannot recommend the IPCC’s reports as scientifically credible to the governments I advise. The Inter-Academy Council was asked to ban this practice but failed to do so.
Example: For six months the IPCC’s climate-science chairman, Dr. Pachauri, asserted that anyone who doubted the conclusion in AR4 that all the ice in the Himalayas would be gone within 25 years was “anti-science”. Yet the conclusion had no scientific basis. It came from a polemic by a travel journalist. The lead author of the relevant chapter said he had known of the error but had decided not to correct it.
5. Comment #5: Ch. 0, from page 0, line 0, to page 0, line 0
To make explicit the magnitude and sign of any revisions to central climate-change projections compared with previous Assessment Reports, projections on all six original SRES emissions scenarios should be included.
Reason: In the AR5 draft the goalposts have been moved by the use of scenarios incompatible with the original SRES scenarios. Yet governments need to have a clear idea of how fast the models’ key projections are changing, and in which direction. For backward compatibility, projections similar to those in Fig. 10.26 of the Fourth Assessment Report should be made under each of the six original scenarios.
6. Comment #6: Ch. 0, from page 0, line 0, to page 0, line 0
To respect the scientific method by enhancing the replicability of results shown in AR5, the data underlying all graphs in AR5, whether taken from cited learned papers or generated during the drafting, should be properly archived, with their data structures made explicit, and made available online to all.
Reason: The credibility of the IPCC has been damaged by its failure to verify that material it has cited had been properly archived.
Examples: The key projections on all six SRES emissions scenarios in AR4 were encapsulated in small-scale graphs at Fig. 10.26 (IPCC, 2007, p. 803). However, the data that underlay the graphs do not appear to have been archived. Also, the graph in TAR (IPCC, 2001) that purported to demonstrate the absence of the medieval warm period and the little ice age was withheld from researchers attempting to verify it for some considerable time after TAR was published.
7. Comment #7: Ch. 0, from page 0, line 0, to page 0, line 0
To clarify the process for determining climate sesitivity, the derivation and central estimate of the Planck or zero-feedback climate-sensitivity parameter should be made explicit.
Reason: The Planck parameter is that quantity in Kelvin per Watt per square meter by which, where temperature feedbacks are non-existent or have not yet begun to act or sum to zero, a radiative forcing is multiplied to give the resultant temperature change. The magnitude of the contribution of feedbacks themselves to warming is separately dependent upon it. It is, therefore, a crucial quantity.
Example: The only mention of the value of the Planck parameter in any previous Assessment Report is in a footnote on p. 631 of AR4, where its derivation is not made as clear as is desirable. It should also be expressed in Kelvin per Watt per square meter as an element in the climatic reference frame, rather than in Watts per square meter per Kelvin as though it were itself a feedback (Roe, 2009).
8. Comment #8: Ch. 0, from page 0, line 0, to page 0, line 0
To demonstrate the projected impact of temperature feedbacks over time, central estimates, with error-bars, of the evolution of the value of the climate-sensitivity parameter over the period from the instant when a forcing is applied to the time when equilibrium is attained should be evaluated, discussed, and presented as a graph.
Reason: The impact of temperature feedbacks on the fundamental equation of climate sensitivity is expressed via increase over time in the value of the climate-sensitivity parameter (~0.3 K W m – 2 in the absence of feedbacks or where they sum to zero; ~0.9 K W m–2 at equilibrium after 1000-3000 years following a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration). A graph of the evolution of the value of the climate-sensitivity parameter over time is necessary to make explicit the rate at which the IPCC considers global warming will increase.
9. Comment #9: Ch. 0, from page 0, line 0, to page 0, line 0
To clarify the method modelers use to determine climate sensitivity, AR5 should contain a table of temperature feedbacks, linearizing non-linear feedbacks where possible, providing a central estimate and error bars for each feedback, and making explicit the magnitudes of the respective contributions to forcing at equilibrium from direct forcings and from the feedbacks they trigger.
Reason: Almost twice as much of the projected warming at CO2 doubling comes from feedbacks as from CO2’s direct forcing.
Example: Though it is generally accepted that the direct warming from CO2 is <1.2 K, the multi-model mean central estimate that equilibrium warming at CO2 doubling is 3.3 K (AR4, p. 798, box 10.2), implies an overall temperature feedback gain factor >2.8, near-tripling the direct warming caused by atmospheric CO2 enrichment. Yet it is only in the Fourth Assessment Report that the principal feedbacks the IPCC considers climate-relevant are quantified for the first time, and then only by reference to a single paper. For credibility, it is essential that feedback projections be put on an explicitly quantitative footing, with multiple sources for each feedback.
10. Comment #10: Ch. 0, from page 0, line 0, to page 0, line 0
To increase credibility, the IPCC must tackle explicitly the fact that there has been no statistically-significant increase in global mean surface temperature for 16 years, and that this prolonged stasis in global warming notwithstanding record increases in CO2 concentrations does not fall within the intervals projected either by the models or by the IPCC in previous Assessment Reports.
Reason: Researchers with the courage to question the official projections have long predicted that – though some warming from CO2 enrichment is to be expected – not very much warming will occur. The 16-year temperature stasis that has now occurred must be explicitly faced.
Example: The world’s leading modelers wrote in 2008 that a stasis of15 years or more would establish a discrepancy between what is modeled and what is predicted. To explain that discrepancy one might argue that the relatively weak warming signal from CO2 has been overlain by three recent natural influences: in late 2001 we entered a ~30-year cooling phase of the ~60-year cycle of the ocean oscillations; the current ~11-year solar cycle displays near-unprecedentedly weak solar activity, implying the possibility of a Dalton or even Maunder minimum in the coming decades; and there has recently been a double-dip La Niña.
11. Comment #11: Ch. 0, from page 0, line 0, to page 0, line 0
To reduce the near-certainty that governments will ignore the IPCC’s reports as irrelevant in current economic circumstances, a chapter should be added comparing the economic merits of mitigation and adaptation.
Reason: When the IPCC was established, mitigation and adaptation were assigned to separate working groups in a manner calculated to prevent direct economic comparison between them. It is now clear that adaptation would be one or even two orders of magnitude more cost-effective than mitigation.
Example: The Stern and Garnaut reports purported to set the costs of mitigation against the benefit in climate-related losses abated by focused adaptation. However, both reports were produced for governments aiming to justify substantial new sources of tax revenues. A more objective approach is now necessary. An economic chapter appropriately belongs to a physical-science assessment, since it is only when the IPCC’s physical projections are combined with the standard economic methodologies of inter-temporal investment appraisal that a mature conclusion on the cost-effectiveness of mitigation can be reached.
(Read the full PDF for the other 93 comments)