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Unleashed: Monckton releases his AR5 reviewer comments
Posted By Joanne Nova On December 18, 2012 @ 3:03 am In Global Warming | 66 Comments
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:
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.
(Read the full PDF for the other 93 comments)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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)
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