UN Climate Report – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sparks controversy (again) – but what’s the climate skeptics and Global warming denialists agenda?

Global Warming

The last penguin survivors? http://uwglibrary.wordpress.com/…/global-warming global-warming-image-purchased-from-istockphoto-12-13-2011.jpg

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. In the same year, the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) and representatives of 195 member nations met in Stockholm, Sweden, on September 27, to approve the release on this roughly 30-page summary of the scientific evidence for climate change aimed at policymakers worldwide. The former report came in 2007. A second report looking at the impacts of climate change worldwide and a third one examining steps to lessen future effects will come in 2014. Still being written, these massive reviews of the climate science literature will require the work of some 831 scientists and editors, with additional input from other scientists, and result in 7,000 pages of scientific writing.

Moments after the release of the summary of the over 1000 pages report, some climate scientists, experts and main stream media were already reading through it and trashing the methods, findings, claims, and more. In fact, based on leaked drafts of the controversial report, critics had been debunking and ridiculing the UN’s climate claims for weeks prior to the official release. Once the summary report was officially released in Stockholm, the deluge of criticism accelerated, where some non-top scientists calling for the UN IPCC to be disbanded entirely.

The global warming denialists

So what are these global warming denialists agenda? Let’s first take a look on some of these “spin doctors”: Judith Curry is a climatologist at Georgia Tech, infamous for flirting with the denier community on the basis that some of them have «good ideas» and can’t get their contrarian papers published. Global warming denialism refers to claims that global warming: a) Isn’t happening, b) Isn’t caused by humans, or c) isn’t significant. A contrarian is often someone who holds extremely unorthodox views on a subject and is often very vocal about these opinions. They will usually maintain their viewpoint despite, or perhaps because of, evidence to the contrary. The contrarians are usually amateurs in the field they are arguing against, but sometimes individuals with expertise in that field can become denialists. Sometimes these contrarian papers are published for personal gain, which is ironic because contrarians often accuse rational people of being driven by personal gain. Do Curry have any gains from her unmovable attempt to discredit global warming issues? Well, she has embarrassed herself by using refuted denier talking points (which is a point refuted a “thousand” times) and defending the Wegman Report, eventually admitting she hadn’t even read it in the first place. This report came in 2006 where notorious deniers tried to demolish a scientific report on a 1000 Year Temperature Comparison period with reconstructions of mean temperature changes during the 2nd millennium.

Curry has said: “Maybe the Heartland Institute isn’t so bad after all!” The Heartland Institute is a stock-issue conservative/libertarian «think tank» based in Chicago and founded by Joseph L. Bast. It has ties to Richard Mellon Scaife (a billionaire heir to the Mellon family fortune made on oil, banking, and aluminum businesses), Exxon, and Philip Morris (the usual suspects). Heartland concentrates especially on «free market environmentalism,» which is Newspeak for denialism. «Smoker’s rights» is one of their favorite issues, which comes as no surprise as a Philip Morris executive once sat on their board of directors. They have consistently denied the link between second-hand smoke and cancer. They are also a font of global warming denial, publishing «research» by notorious deniers Anthony Watts and S. Fred Singer (85-year-old physicist). No surprise, once again, that an Exxon executive, Shell friend and Philip Morris helper, once sat on their board as well.

Here’s some other things Curry has been wrong about:

The BEST team tried to «hide the decline,» because there has been «no warming since 1998.» (This was widely quoted in a Daily Mail article.)

(From the same Daily Mail article) «The models are broken.» She later backed down about this on her blog, saying she was misquoted and «had no idea where it came from.»

Murry Salby is right about CO2 and every other scientist is wrong. Salby is a former professor of Environmental Science at Australia’s Macquarie University who has a well-documented history of deception and financial chicanery/trickery that got him debarred from Federal funding in the USA. In 2011, he proclaimed a recent rise in CO2 to be natural, not human-caused, which if true, would qualify for Galileo level. What Galileo level?

This list could actually go on for much longer — just go to Curry’s blog for more info.

Judith Curry has posted some of her contrarian papers on Anthony Watts» blog, as well as Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit. Her denialist friend Anthony Watts is a former radio and TV weatherman and notable global warming denier. He claims to have subscribed to AGW (Global Warming) years ago before he saw the light and became a denier. He also claims that he is (otherwise) an environmentalist. This makes him something of an AGW concern troll (A concern troll visits sites of an opposing ideology and offers advice on how they could «improve» things, either in their tactical use of rhetoric, site rules, or with more philosophical consistency).

Another concern troll and denialist friend of Judith Curry is Steve McIntyre, a former statistician and minerals prospector and currently a prominent global warming denier. He is the proprietor of the Climate Audit blog (or, more accurately, «Climate Fraudit» blog), somehow the co-winner of the 2007 Best Science Blogs award and prime source for deniers. McIntyre is guilty of the same shenanigans as most deniers: distortion of facts, egregious use of quote mining, statistical trickery, conspiracy theorizing, excessive whining, gross hypocrisy, and general stupidity. He is also a Canadian who hates hockey sticks. The 1000 Year Reconstructed Temperature Comparison (shown below) is also called “the hockey stick”. This is the great agony for denialista like McIntyre, which they hate so much.

The last Scandinavian?

Let’s end this edition of the “denialist crank society” by mentioning a Scandinavian super-denier, Bjørn Lomborg. He is a Danish academic, controversial because of his writings on environmental issues. Lomborg is frequently cited as an economist, though his doctorate is in political science and he was a professor of statistics before turning his eye toward environmental economics.

The Lomborg fallacy

With respect to climate change mitigation, Lomborg presents the same false dichotomy in much of his output: There are limited resources, so we must choose between dealing with global warming or what Lomborg has decided are «more important problems.» He considers AIDS and other diseases, starvation, malnutrition, and poverty to be more important problems than global warming. His framing of the issue treats global warming as a discrete issue, ignoring the fact that it will actually exacerbate the other problems he considers to be more important. Strangely, Lomborg spends most of his time and effort debunking these «unimportant» environmental concerns, writing tendentious books and setting up bullshit forums titled in such a way as to confuse the ignorant – he has done little to nothing to encourage greater spending on what he considers the really great problems.

The skeptical environmentalist, or denier

Lomborg is best known as the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and his cynicism concerning current approaches to environmental issues. While the book met with generally gushing reviews in the popular media, it was not so well received in the scientific press. But the book has over 3,000 footnotes, so it must be thoroughly researched and authoritative, and fantastic, right?


This image is a comparison of 10 different published reconstructions of mean temperature changes during the 2nd millennium. More recent reconstructions are plotted towards the front and in redder colors, older reconstructions appear towards the back and in bluer colors. An instrumental history of temperature is also shown in black. The medieval warm period and little ice age are labeled at roughly the times when they are historically believed to occur, though it is still disputed whether these were truly global or only regional events. The single, unsmoothed annual value for 2004 is also shown for comparison. (Image:Instrumental Temperature Record, below, shows how 2004 relates to other recent years).

Based on the instrumental record of global average temperatures as compiled by the NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The data set used follows the methodology outlined by Hansen et al. (2006). Following the common practice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,

Image created by Robert A. Rohde / Global Warming Art


This image shows the instrumental record of global average temperatures as compiled by the NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The data set used follows the methodology outlined by Hansen et al. (2006). Following the common practice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the zero on this figure is the mean temperature from 1961-1990.

Image created by Robert A. Rohde / Global Warming Art


This figure shows the difference in instrumentally determined surface temperatures between the period January 1999 through December 2008 and «normal» temperatures at the same locations, defined to be the average over the interval January 1940 to December 1980. The average increase on this graph is 0.48 °C, and the widespread temperature increases are considered to be an aspect of global warming. Based on the NASA GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP), which combines the 2001 GISS land station analysis data set (Hansen et al. 2001) with the Rayner/Reynolds oceanic sea surface temperature data set (Rayner 2000, Reynolds et al. 2002).

Image created by Robert A. Rohde / Global Warming Art


In contrast to the denialist – The panel of IPCC’s and other’s message to the world

«The world is awaiting the outcome of this session with great expectation,» IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri said in a speech on opening the final review of the summary in Stockholm. Pachauri cited the report’s «obvious significance in respect of the current status of global negotiations and the ongoing debate on actions to deal with the challenge of climate change.»

In draft versions of the report, scientists said they are «virtually certain» that humanity’s fossil-fuel-related emissions drove the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere by about 1.44 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) from 1901 to 2010. This 99 percent or better confidence estimate represents a further increase in scientific certainty over the previous IPCC reports released six years ago.

Questions about the IPCC’s relevance in the face of rapid scientific progress and extreme weather events worldwide have come ahead of the report’s release. A recent BBC news story suggested that politicians want a better explanation of a slowdown in the rate of increase in warming seen in the last 15 years. (See «Does «Global Warming Pause» Debate Miss Big Picture?»)

Complaints about a mistaken reference to shrinking Himalayan glaciers in the Nobel Prize-winning 2007 reports triggered a painful review of editorial processes for these latest reports, Pachauri noted in his speech. Some researchers, notably Columbia University’s James Hansen, have criticized past IPCC reports for exhibiting a «scientific reticence» or cowardice in their refusal to confront the risks of sudden sea-level rise from melting Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets. In draft versions at least, the new IPCC report does tackle the question of ice sheet loss, finding it «very likely» that melting ice and the expansion of the ocean due to its heating will lead to sea-level rise exceeding that of the last century.

This time, complaints about the summary have already started before its release, with Arthur Petersen, chief scientist at the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, accusing IPCC reports of underplaying both the worst-case and best-case estimates of future warming. «As a result, policymakers and the public are not being fully informed of the worst potential consequences of climate change,» he wrote last year.

«I don’t see any evidence of that,» said climate scientist Gavin Schmidt of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which Hansen formerly headed. «IPCC makes predictions, and those are imperfect. Some are going to be under; some are going to be over. That’s the best that you can hope for.» «Just because there are more alarmist things out there doesn’t mean that they are credible,» Schmidt said, citing concerns about catastrophic releases of methane from melting permafrost that sparked scientific disagreement this summer. «Just because someone is an outlier doesn’t mean that it will be credible and convincing to other people.»

Deadlines for considering research in the IPCC reports—a six-month limit—renders them out of date before they are published, noted David Victor of the University of California, San Diego, and the author of Global Warming Gridlock. The deadline for research to be considered for the September reports, for example, came in March of this year. That was too early to pick up recent findings that link the slowdown in warming’s increase seen over the last 15 years to a naturally occurring «cool spot» in the eastern Pacific, he said.

«All this comes at a tremendous cost. A tremendous number of scientists have essentially the report as a second job at great cost to their research,» Victor said. «Frankly, I have gone back and forth about it for a long time, and I have come to see that there is a tremendous value in having a central statement on how the scientific world sees climate change.» Without the IPCC report, a cacophony of national assessments would compete for relevance in debates about climate change, said David Victor, an editor on next year’s IPCC climate change mitigation and adaptation report.

Victor expresses sympathy for the IPCC’s goal of producing average estimates of global warming’s effects. Draft reports, for example, foresee a «likely» increase of global temperatures by 0.7 to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.4 to 1.0 degrees Celsius by 2035. Such estimates obscure the worst-case scenarios that Petersen warned about.

«The extreme «low-tail» events are becoming more important for policymakers to think about,» Victor said. Some of the scientific literature going into IPCC reports has actually increased uncertainty about our understanding of worst-case scenarios for sea-level rise and other effects. «That means more worry over the extreme situations,» he said. He calls for future reports to focus more on «what’s new» in climate research rather than restating what is known.

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See article also on Gjesteside

An example on research on climate change in Germany from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)


Klimaet, kapitalismen og menneska

I april i år sette arten «mennesket» ein rekord, ein svert farleg rekord!


About ivarjordre

painter, aktivist, writer, revolutionary, human
Dette innlegget vart posta under Environment, Politic&Society og merkt , , , , , , , . Bokmerk permalenkja.

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