A New Climategate?! ‘UN IPCC Stands Accused Of Misleading World Leaders & The Public’ — ‘Did The IPCC ‘Fix The Facts’? ‘Discrepancy between climate models & observations was systematically hidden’


By: - Climate DepotOctober 1, 2013 9:35 AM

 Via the Global Warming Policy Foundation

The full text of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report has been out for less than 24 hours and the tales of malfeasance are flowing already. Steve McIntyre has already blogged about some misleading behaviour by senior scientists involved in the review, but his post this morning is amazing, revealing how the discrepancy between climate models and observations was systematically hidden between the final review of the draft and the report issued to the public. –Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 1 October 2013For the envelopes from the first three IPCC assessments, although they cite the same sources as the predecessor Second Draft Figure 1.4, the earlier projections have been shifted downwards relative to observations, so that the observations are now within the earlier projection envelopes. You can see this relatively clearly with the Second Assessment Report envelope: compare the two versions. At present, I have no idea how they purport to justify this. None of this portion of the IPCC assessment is drawn from peer-reviewed material. Nor is it consistent with the documents sent to external reviewers. Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, 30 September 2013

 

Since 1997, there has been no significant increase in global average surface temperature, and some areas — notably the Northern Hemisphere — have actually cooled. The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has limited the hiatus to 10-15 years. Anastasios Tsonis, distinguished professor at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, believes the pause will last much longer than that. He points to repeated periods of warming and cooling in the 20th century. “Each one of those regimes lasts about 30 years … I would assume something like another 15 years of leveling off or cooling,” he told Fox News.  –John Roberts, Fox News, 30 September 2013

 

[At the Stockholm IPCC meeting] participants debated extensively the SPM text dealing with simulated and observed trends in global mean surface temperature in the long and short term. Co-Chair Stocker emphasized the need to address discussions currently taking place among policy makers regarding the past 10-15 years and said that “now is the time for the IPCC to make a statement to the outside world.” The US said that a period of 10-15 years is too short for model evaluation. The most contentious point concerned differences between simulated and observed short-term trends. The US, Austria, Saudi Arabia, the Russian Federation, Germany, Belgium and others supported reference to 10-15-year periods in general. China maintained that reference should only be made to the past 15 years. On the explanation of the observed reduction in the surface warming trend over the period 1998-2012, Saudi Arabia strongly urged incorporating language from the Technical Summary on models overestimating the warming trend. The CLAs advised against including this statement in the SPM, noting that: the research is currently inconclusive; overestimation of the models is too small to explain the overall effect and not statistically significant; and it is difficult to pinpoint the role of changes in radiative forcing in causing the reduced warming trend, with Co-Chair Stocker referring to this issue as an “emerging science topic.” —Earth Negotiations Bulletin, 29 September 2013

 

1) IPCC Stands Accused Of Misleading World Leaders & The Public – Bishop Hill, 1 October 2013

2) Steve McIntyre: IPCC – Fixing The Facts – Climate Audit, 30 September 2013

3) Global Warming Standstill May Last 30 Years, Climate Scientist Predicts – Fox News, 30 September 2013

4) Summary By Policymakers: How Governments Write Climate Science – Earth Negotiations Bulletin, 29 September 2013

 

1) IPCC Stands Accused Of Misleading World Leaders & The Public

Bishop Hill, 1 October 2013

Andrew Montford

The full text of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report has been out for less than 24 hours and the tales of malfeasance are flowing already. Steve McIntyre has already blogged about some misleading behaviour by senior scientists involved in the review, but his post this morning is amazing, revealing how the discrepancy between climate models and observations was systematically hidden between the final review of the draft and the report issued to the public.

“For the envelopes from the first three assessments, although they cite the same sources as the predecessor Second Draft Figure 1.4, the earlier projections have been shifted downwards relative to observations, so that the observations are now within the earlier projection envelopes. You can see this relatively clearly with the Second Assessment Report envelope: compare the two versions. At present, I have no idea how they purport to justify this.

None of this portion of the IPCC assessment is drawn from peer-reviewedmaterial. Nor is it consistent with the documents sent to external reviewers.”

Read the whole thing.

 

2) Steve McIntyre: IPCC – Fixing The Facts

Climate Audit, 30 September 2013

Figure 1.4 of the Second Order Draft clearly showed the discrepancy between models and observations, though IPCC’s covering text reported otherwise. I discussed this in a post leading up to the IPCC Report, citing Ross McKitrick’s article in National Post and Reiner Grundmann’s post at Klimazweiberl. Needless to say, this diagram did not survive. Instead, IPCC replaced the damning (but accurate) diagram with a new diagram in which the inconsistency has been disappeared.

Here is Figure 1.4 of the Second Order Draft, showing post-AR4 observations outside the envelope of projections from the earlier IPCC assessment reports (see previous discussion here).

figure 1.4 models vs observations annotated
Figure 1. Second Order Draft Figure 1.4. Yellow arrows show digitization of cited Figure 10.26 of AR4.

Now here is the replacement graphic in the Approved Draft: this time, observed values are no longer outside the projection envelopes from the earlier reports. IPCC described it as follows:

Even though the projections from the models were never intended to be predictions over such a short time scale, the observations through 2012 generally fall within the projections made in all past assessments.

figure 1.4 final models vs observations
Figure 2. Approved Version Figure 1.4

So how’d the observations move from outside the envelope to insider the envelope? It will take a little time to reconstruct the movements of the pea.

In the next figure, I’ve shown a blow-up of the new Figure 1.4 to a comparable timescale (1990-2015) as the Second Draft version. The scale of the Second Draft showed the discrepancy between models and observations much more clearly. I do not believe that IPCC’s decision to use a more obscure scale was accidental.

figure 1.4 final detail
Figure 3. Detail of Figure 1.4 with annotation. Yellow dots- HadCRUT4 annual (including YTD 2013.)

First and most obviously, the envelope of AR4 projections is completely different in the new graphic. The Second Draft had described the source of the envelopes as follows:

The coloured shading shows the projected range of global annual mean near surface temperature change from 1990 to 2015 for models used in FAR (Scenario D and business-as-usual), SAR (IS92c/1.5 and IS92e/4.5), TAR (full range of TAR Figure 9.13(b) based on the GFDL_R15_a and DOE PCM parameter settings), and AR4 (A1B and A1T). ,,,

The [AR4] data used was obtained from Figure 10.26 in Chapter 10 of AR4 (provided by Malte Meinshausen). Annual means are used. The upper bound is given by the A1T scenario, the lower bound by the A1B scenario.

The envelope in the Second Draft figure can indeed be derived from AR4 Figure 10.26. In the next figure, I’ve shown the original panel of Figure 10.26 with observations overplotted, clearly showing the discrepancy. I’ve also shown the 2005, 2010 and 2015 envelope with red arrows (which I’ve transposed to other diagrams for reference). That observations fall outside the projection envelope of the AR4 figure is obvious.

figure 10.26 global mean temperature A1B annotated
Figure 4. AR4 Figure 10.26

The new IPCC graphic no longer cites an AR4 figure. Instead of the envelope presented in AR4, they now show a spaghetti graph of CMIP3 runs, of which they state:

For the AR4 results are presented as single model runs of the CMIP3 ensemble for the historical period from 1950 to 2000 (light grey lines) and for three scenarios (A2, A1B and B1) from 2001 to 2035. The bars at the right hand side of the graph show the full range given for 2035 for each assessment report. For the three SRES scenarios the bars show the CMIP3 ensemble mean and the likely range given by -40% to +60% of the mean as assessed in Meehl et al. (2007). The publication years of the assessment reports are shown. See Appendix 1. A for details on the data and calculations used to create this figure…

The temperature projections of the AR4 are presented for three SRES scenarios: B1, A1B and A2.

Annual mean anomalies relative to 1961–1990 of the individual CMIP3 ensemble simulations (as used in AR4 SPM Figure SPM5) are shown. One outlier has been eliminated based on the advice of the model developers because of the model drift that leads to an unrealistic temperature evolution. As assessed by Meehl et al. (2007), the likely-range for the temperature change is given by the ensemble mean temperature change +60% and –40% of the ensemble mean temperature change. Note that in the AR4 the uncertainty range was explicitly estimated for the end of the 21st century results. Here, it is shown for 2035. The time dependence of this range has been assessed in Knutti et al. (2008). The relative uncertainty is approximately constant over time in all estimates from different sources, except for the very early decades when natural variability is being considered (see Figure 3 in Knutti et al., 2008).

For the envelopes from the first three assessments, although they cite the same sources as the predecessor Second Draft Figure 1.4, the earlier projections have been shifted downwards relative to observations, so that the observations are now within the earlier projection envelopes. You can see this relatively clearly with the Second Assessment Report envelope: compare the two versions. At present, I have no idea how they purport to justify this.

None of this portion of the IPCC assessment is drawn from peer-reviewed material. Nor is it consistent with the documents sent to external reviewers.

 

 

3) Global Warming Standstill May Last 30 Years, Climate Scientist Predicts

Fox News, 30 September 2013

John Roberts

An enormous U.N. report on the scientific data behind global warming was made available Monday, yet it offers little concrete explanation for an earthly oddity: the planet’s climate has hit the pause button.

Since 1997, there has been no significant increase in global average surface temperature, and some areas — notably the Northern Hemisphere — have actually cooled. The 2,200-page new Technical Report attributes that to a combination of several factors, including natural variability, reduced heating from the sun and the ocean acting like a “heat sink” to suck up extra warmth in the atmosphere.

One problem with that conclusion, according to some climate scientists, is that the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has limited the hiatus to 10-15 years. Anastasios Tsonis, distinguished professor at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, believes the pause will last much longer than that. He points to repeated periods of warming and cooling in the 20th century.

“Each one of those regimes lasts about 30 years … I would assume something like another 15 years of leveling off or cooling,” he told Fox News.
Description: Description: Description: C:\GlblWrm\Web\SixtyYearCycle_files\image005.jpg
The AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) cycle is very close to the global temperature cycle in terms of cycle length and occurrence of maxima / minima.

That goes well beyond the window the IPCC has acknowledged, which Tsonis and other scientists believe will significantly change the predictions for temperature rise over the next century.

“I know that the models are not adequate,” Tsonis told Fox News. “There are a lot of climate models out there. They don’t agree with each other – and they don’t agree with reality.”

In fact, the IPCC’s massive, complex new report acknowledges that none of the models predicted the hiatus. The authors write that it could be due to climate models over-predicting the response to increasing greenhouse gases, or a failure to account for water vapor in the upper atmosphere.

The bottom line – no one saw it coming.

“Almost all historical simulations do not reproduce the observed recent warming hiatus,” the report states.

Full story

 

4) Summary By Policymakers: How Governments Write Climate Science 

Earth Negotiations Bulletin, 29 September 2013

Summary of the 12th Session of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Thirty-Sixth Session of the IPCC – 23-26 September 2013

The 12th session of Working Group I (WGI) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the 36th session of the IPCC were held from 23-26 September 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. The meeting was attended by more than 400 participants, including representatives from governments, the United Nations, and intergovernmental and observer organizations, and drew worldwide media attention….

During the four-day meeting, delegates met in plenary, informally and in contact groups to consider the WGI contribution to the IPCC AR5 titled, “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis.” Delegates were assisted by short informal presentations by the Coordinating Lead Authors (CLAs) on various sections and topics of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM). At the end of the meeting, WGI approved the SPM and accepted the underlying report including the Technical Summary and annexes.

Subsequently, the IPCC convened to formally adopt the work by WGI. The approved SPM can be found on the IPCC website http://ipcc.ch.

[…]

B. OBSERVED CHANGES IN THE CLIMATE SYSTEM: This section was addressed in plenary from Monday to Thursday, with some issues, such as the global temperature increase, also taken up in informal consultations.

On the headline statement, which states that warming of the climate system is unequivocal and, since 1950, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia, Saudi Arabia said the statement was “alarmist,” urged qualifying the terms “unequivocal” and “unprecedented,” requested using the year 1850 instead of 1950, and called for a reference to slowed warming over the past 15 years.

Germany, Australia, Chile, Spain, Fiji, New Zealand, the US, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Mexico, Slovenia, the UK and others supported the statement as presented, with Germany pointing out that AR4 concluded almost the same. Canada pointed out that factors other than warming will be the emphasis in the future. The Russian Federation proposed “changing,” rather than warming of the climate system. After some discussion, Saudi Arabia agreed to accept the statement as presented.

Atmosphere: Addressing the keynote statement to the sub-section, Germany, supported by Belgium and Ireland, argued for an opening sentence singling out the fact that the first decade of the 21st century has been the warmest decade since 1850. The WG Co-Chairs and CLAs suggested focusing on 30-year time periods due to the multi-decadal nature of global warming. Canada proposed adding the word “successively” for the sentence to read that: “Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.” This language was supported by the CLAs, Slovenia, the US, Austria, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Trinidad and Tobago, and eventually accepted.

Extensive discussion took place throughout the week on text on global temperature increase both in plenary and informal consultations. The text initially referred to both: global mean temperature increase during the period 1901-2012, and temperature change between 1850-1900 and 1986-2005. Debate revolved around, inter alia: reference years used; whether to discuss these two concepts in a single bullet point, which, some said, would lead to confusion among policy makers; placement of text on temperature change; and use of the term “pre-industrial.” The US cautioned against mixing information from trends with information from differences between time periods, and suggested two separate bullet points. While some countries called for using the period 1850-1900, the CLAs clarified regional trends were sparse prior to 1901, and noted the availability of three datasets for the period 1880-2012, and one going back to 1850 for global temperature.

On temperature change between 1850-1900 and 1986-2005, Canada, supported by Belgium and the US, proposed providing context for the two time periods, referring to the former as the early instrumental period, and the latter as the AR5 reference period used for projections. Delegates debated at length whether to place this text in the observations or in the projections section. Delegates also discussed whether to use the term “pre-industrial” for the period 1850-1900, with some countries suggesting this would lead to confusion as in other places, “pre-industrial” refers to 1750.

After a series of informal consultations, compromise text was introduced, which included two bullet points in the observations section, one relating to a linear trend in global temperature increase of 0.85°C over the period 1880 and 2012, when multiple datasets exist, and another, on regional trends for 1901-2012. The group also agreed to insert text into the chapeau of the section on future climate change, which, among other things, clarifies that considering observed changes between different periods is necessary to place projections in historical context.

On lower rates of warming in the last 15 years, there was broad agreement on the underlying science as well as on the importance of addressing the phenomenon in the SPM, given the media attention to this issue. A lengthy discussion occurred regarding how to communicate the underlying scientific explanation clearly and in an accessible manner to policy makers to avoid sending a misleading message.

Germany, supported by Belgium, Luxembourg and others, suggested adding that the rates of warming were higher in the preceding 15-year period. Norway noted that only periods of 30 years are sufficient to draw conclusions about rates of temperature change as defined in the glossary of the report. The US, with Belgium, Luxembourg and others, proposed adding that the rate of warming since the late 1990s is very sensitive to the choice of a start year, referring to a strong El Niño effect in 1997-1998. The latter suggestion was taken on board in a slightly modified form. […]

Evaluation of Climate Models: Participants debated extensively the text dealing with simulated and observed trends in global mean surface temperature in the long and short term. Co-Chair Stocker emphasized the need to address discussions currently taking place among policy makers regarding the past 10-15 years and said that “now is the time for the IPCC to make a statement to the outside world.” The US said that a period of 10-15 years is too short for model evaluation. The most contentious point concerned differences between simulated and observed short-term trends. The US, Austria, Saudi Arabia, the Russian Federation, Germany, Belgium and others supported reference to 10-15-year periods in general. China maintained that reference should only be made to the past 15 years. Informal consultations did not result in agreement, and the Co-Chair proposed, and China accepted, a compromise to include in parenthesis “e.g., 1998-2012.”

On the explanation of the observed reduction in the surface warming trend over the period 1998-2012, Saudi Arabia strongly urged incorporating language from the Technical Summary on models overestimating the warming trend. The CLAs advised against including this statement in the SPM, noting that: the research is currently inconclusive; overestimation of the models is too small to explain the overall effect and not statistically significant; and it is difficult to pinpoint the role of changes in radiative forcing in causing the reduced warming trend, with Co-Chair Stocker referring to this issue as an “emerging science topic.”

Switzerland proposed including the language suggested by Saudi Arabia, together with an explanation of the level of confidence. Germany questioned the adequacy of that language. The suggestion by Saudi Arabia was incorporated in the SPM text.

On Thursday morning, Germany and the UK said that their objections were not noted the previous evening when a sentence on overestimates in some models introduced by Saudi Arabia was adopted. Saudi Arabia, supported by Sudan, expressed grave concerns in opening up agreed text, emphasizing that “we are in dangerous waters,” while Sudan added that opening up agreed text raises the issue of equal treatment of countries. No changes were made to the text.

Full story

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