The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its “2500 scientists” are oft cited as The Authority on climate change science. Yet, this group is a political organization rather than a scientific one. This was signaled by Sir John Houghton, first co-chair of the IPCC and lead editor of the first three Reports, “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”
Considering that global warming hysteria is driving the most dangerous misdirection of effort and resources in human history, it is well to look more closely at the IPCC.
Dr. Timothy Ball, Chairman of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg, has written a series of articles on the IPCC (CanadaFreePress.com). He contends that UN structures were designed to prove human CO2 emissions were responsible for global warming, with the political purpose of causing the demise of industrialized nations. In the following, unless otherwise noted, quotes are from Ball’s articles.
“Science creates theories based on assumptions that are then tested by other scientists performing as skeptics. The structure and mandate of the IPCC was in direct contradiction to this scientific method. They set out to prove the theory rather than disprove it.”
“The IPCC made sure the focus was on human caused change and CO2 as the particular culprit. They’d already biased the research by using a very narrow definition of climate change in Article 1 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a treaty produced at that infamous ‘Earth Summit’ in Rio in 1992. Climate Change was defined as ‘a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over considerable time periods.’” This makes the human impact the primary purpose of the research and predetermines the results. Before one can assess the impact of human CO2 emissions, one must determine the range of natural variations.
“The IPCC is a political organization and yet it is the sole basis of the claim of a scientific consensus on climate change. Consensus is neither a scientific fact nor important in science, but it is very important in politics. There are 2500 members in the IPCC divided between 600 in Working Group I (WGI), who examine the actual climate science, and 1900 in working Groups II and III who study ‘Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’ and ‘Mitigation of Climate Change’ respectively. Of the 600 in WGI, 308 were independent reviewers, but only 32 reviewers commented on more than three chapters and only five reviewers commented on all 11 chapters of the report. They accept without question the findings of WGI and assume warming due to humans is a certainty. In a circular argument typical of so much climate politics the work of the 1900 is listed as ‘proof’ of human caused global warming. Through this they established the IPCC as the only credible authority thus further isolating those who raised questions.”
“The manipulation and politics didn’t stop there. The Technical Reports of the three Working Groups are set aside and another group prepares the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM). A few scientists prepare a first draft, which is then reviewed by governments and a second draft is produced. Then a final report is hammered out as a compromise between the scientists and the individual government representatives. It is claimed the scientists set the final summary content, but in reality governments set the form. The SPM is then released at least three months before the science report. Most of the scientists involved in the technical or science report see the Summary for the first time when it is released to the public. The time between its release to the public and the release of the Technical Report is taken up with making sure [the Technical Report] aligns with what the politicians/scientists have concluded. Here is the instruction in the IPCC procedures. ‘Changes …made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) or the Overview Chapter.’ Yes, you read that correctly. This is like an Executive writing a summary and then having employees write a report that agrees with the summary.”The IPCC’s much touted “2500 scientists” are actually mostly bureaucrats rather than scientists. MIT professor Richard Lindzen, former member of the IPCC said, “It is no small matter that routine weather service functionaries from New Zealand to Tanzania are referred to as ‘the world’s leading climate scientists.’ It should come as no surprise that they will be determinedly supportive of the process.” The IPCC’s emphasis was on getting people from 100 countries to pad the numbers rather than on getting qualified scientists.
Lindzen summarizes the IPCC process: “It uses summaries to misrepresent what scientists say; uses language that means different things to scientists and laymen; exploits public ignorance over quantitative matters; exploits what scientists can agree on, while ignoring disagreements, to support the global warming agenda; and exaggerates scientific accuracy and certainty, and the authority of undistinguished scientists.”
Ball continues: “The Wall Street Journal of June 12th 1996 contained an article by Professor Fredrik Seitz, former chairman of the American Science Academy identifying interference with the process, to raise the scare level. He pointed the finger directly at IPCC co-chair Bert Bolin. This was the first major public scandal to strike the IPCC process and occurred over the Second Assessment Report. Not surprisingly it involved changes to the Technical Report to make it accommodate the statements and sentiments of the Summary for Policy Makers.
“In 1995, to the consternation of many and as disclosed by Seitz, Chapter 8 lead author Benjamin Santer made changes to accommodate the SPM rule that says, ‘Changes …made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) or the Overview Chapter.’ What became known as the ‘Chapter 8 controversy’ involved the most important part of all IPCC reports, namely, the evidence for implication of a human signal. Chapter 8 didn’t have specific evidence or even strong indirect evidence. The original draft submitted by Santer said, ‘Finally we have come to the most difficult question of all: When will the detection and unambiguous attribution of human-induced climate change occur? In the light of the very large signal and noise uncertainties discussed in the Chapter, it is not surprising that the best answer to this question is, We do not know.’ So Santer was asked to change his comment. He made the change claiming it was not a significant change: ‘The body of statistical evidence in Chapter 8, when examined in the context of our physical understanding of the climate system, now points toward a discernible human influence on global climate.’ It is a very significant change. Also notice it is statistical evidence not actual evidence, but that is a subtlety the media and most of the public would miss. Compare it with the comment in the 1990 IPCC report before the political manipulating became dominant: ‘…it is not possible at this time to attribute all, or even a large part, of the observed global-mean warming to (an) enhanced greenhouse effect on the basis of the observational data currently available.’ The issue hadn’t changed in 5 years and that is still true today, but that wasn’t what was needed.”
Seitz wrote in reference to the 1995 report, “I have never before witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.”
The IPCC’s Third Assessment Report of 2001, also had its problems. This was the report which contained the now infamous “Hockey Stick Graph.” That graph showed global temperatures as relatively level for 1,000 years suddenly spiking in the last half of the 20th century, a very scary scenario. It failed to show the well-documented Medieval Warm period of 1,000 years ago nor the Little Ice Age. A few years later, independent researchers showed that both the data and the computer algorithms used to construct the graph were wrong. The Hockey Stick did not appear in the Fourth Assessment report of 2007.
Again from Ball’s articles:
“While the Hockey Stick was exposed and rejected, it drew attention away from a more insidious piece of ‘human signal’ evidence in the 2001 IPCC. This was the claim by P.D. Jones, Director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that the global average annual temperature increased 0.6 C ± 0.2 C in some 130 years. It was claimed the increase was beyond any natural increase with the strong implication it was caused by humans. The data are simply not adequate to make this conclusion. The first problem is the huge error factor of ± 0.2 C or 66%, which essentially makes the number meaningless. Imagine a political poll saying it was accurate plus or minus 33%. Besides, there are so many problems with the global data, many consider it impossible to calculate the global temperature. Some of the problems explain why.”
“There are very few records of 130 years, indeed, few over 100 years.”
“The number of these stations is not representative of the world; they were even less so as you go back in history. Most stations are still concentrated in eastern North America and Western Europe as the Global Historical Climate Network shows. This was even truer as you go back in time. Then, whole continents were excluded or at best represented by a single station. There are virtually no measurements for the oceans, the forests, deserts, mountains or Polar Regions.”
“Most of the older stations are the ones most affected by the Urban Heat Island Effect. This is an artificial increase in temperatures as a city expands around a weather station. There is considerable disagreement over how much adjustment is necessary.”
“There are serious questions and proven limitations of many of the stations.”
“Two US authorities, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) produced different global annual averages for the year 2007. GISS claimed it was the second warmest year on record while NOAA said it was the seventh warmest year, both ostensibly using the same data.”
“In 1999, the US National Research Council Report, expressed serious concern about the data: ‘Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality and continuity of the records place serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results.’ In response to the report, Kevin Trenberth [head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research] said, ‘It’s very clear we do not have a climate observing system…This may be a shock to many people who assume that we do know adequately what’s going on with the climate, but we don’t.’ It has not improved. In fact, there are fewer global weather stations now than in 1960.”
Dr. Roger Pielke Sr (of Climate Science and the University of Colorado) tested the IPCC’s 2007 Report, “To evaluate the IPCC’s claim to be comprehensive, we cross-compared IPCC WG1 references on near-surface air temperature trends with the peer-reviewed citations that have been given in Climate Science.” Pielke found, “the IPCC WG1 Chapter 3 Report clearly cherry-picked information on the robustness of the land near-surface air temperature to bolster its advocacy of a particular perspective on the role of humans within the climate system. As a result, policymakers and the public have been given a false (or at best an incomplete) assessment of the multi-decadal global average near-surface air temperature trends.”
The Fourth Assessment Report published by the IPCC in May, 2007, claimed they were 90% certain that human CO2 emissions were causing unprecedented warming. That statement was based on computer models which made the following assumption: as CO2 increased, it produced more atmospheric water vapor (a much more powerful greenhouse gas) which enhanced the warming effect. The IPCC models assumed a positive feedback. However, real-world data show that increased water vapor produces a negative feedback because more water vapor produces more clouds which reflect solar radiation back into space.
According to the computer models, temperature trends (rate of warming, not absolute temperature) should increase by 200-300% with altitude, peaking at around 10 kilometers – a characteristic “fingerprint” for green house warming. However, the data from weather balloons and satellites show the opposite result: no increasing temperature trend with altitude. In other words, the model-predicted “fingerprint” of anthropogenic, greenhouse warming is absent in nature.
The IPCC’s “science” is crumbling under the weight of real-world data, and so is its supposed consensus. The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine announced that more than 31,000 scientists have signed a petition rejecting claims of human-caused global warming. The purpose of the Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of “settled science” and an overwhelming “consensus” in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climate damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists. As indicated by the petition text and signatory list, a very large number of American scientists reject this hypothesis.
The Petition states simply:
The climate hysteria is based on the smoke and mirrors of computer models. There is no physical evidence that human carbon dioxide emission play a significant role.