Monday, 5 February 2007

Global warming: "The Panic is Officially Over."

"The Panic is Officially Over." That's the assessment of Christopher Monckton, former scientific advisor to Margaret Thatcher and arch-debunker of Nicholas Stern's exaggerated and economically incoherent report, in his ten-page analysis of the UN/IPCC's new report on global warming. That is, his analysis of the summary of their report (the report itself -- the one written by scientists instead of political flunkies -- isn't being released until May). Here's just a few of the highlights of Monckton's analysis:
  • Sources at the center of the drafting [of the IPCC's report on global warming] say that, though the now- traditional efforts are being made to sound alarmist and scientific at the same time, key projections are being quietly cut.
  • One says: "Stern is dead. The figures in the final draft of the UN's Fourth Assessment Report makes the recent report of [the British] Treasury's chief economist on the cost of climate change look like childish panic."
  • The Summary for Policymakers was issued February 2, 2007, but the report on which the Summary is based will not be published until May. This strange separation of the publication dates has raised in some minds the possibility that the Summary (written by political representatives of governments) will be taken as a basis for altering the science chapters (written by scientists, and supposedly finalized and closed in December 2006).
  • Figures in the final draft of the UN’s fourth five-year report on climate change show that the previous report, in 2001, had overestimated the human influence on the climate since the Industrial Revolution by at least one-third.
  • Also, the UN, in its 2007 report, has more than halved its high-end best estimate of the rise in sea level by 2100 from 3 feet to just 17 inches. It suggests that the rate of sea-level rise is up from 2mm/yr to 3mm/year – no more than one foot in a century.
  • UN scientists faced several problems their computer models had not predicted. Globally, temperature is not rising at all, and sea level is not rising anything like as fast as had been forecast. Concentrations of methane in the air are actually falling.
  • The draft of the science chapters, now being circulated to governments for last-minute comments, reveals that the tendency of computers to over-predict rises in temperature and sea level has forced a major rethink.
  • The report’s generally more cautiously-expressed projections confirm scientists’ warnings that the UN’s heavy reliance on computer models had exaggerated the temperature effect of greenhouse-gas emissions.
  • Previous reports in 1990, 1995 and 2001 had been progressively more alarmist. In the final draft of the new report there is a change in tone. Though carbon dioxide in the air is increasing, global temperature is not.
  • The 2007 draft concludes that it is very likely that we caused most of the rise in temperatures since 1940. It does not point out that for half that period, from 1940 to 1975, temperature actually fell even though carbon dioxide rose monotonically – higher every year than the previous year.
  • Of the UN’s six modeled scenarios, three are extreme exaggerations. Two assume that population will reach 15bn by 2100, though demographers say population will peak at 10bn in 40 years and then plummet. The UN’s high-end temperature projection to 2100, up from 5.8C to 6C, is based on these extreme and unrealistic scenarios.
  • The new report confirms the finding of the 2001 report that global warming will have little effect on the number of typhoons or hurricanes, though it may increase the intensity of some storms a little.
  • The UN’s models ... did not predict the timing or size of the El Nino which hiked temperature in 1998. Without it, the satellite record shows little or no greenhouse warming. Land-based temperature records may accordingly overstate the problem.
  • Even if a country the size of Britain were to shut down and cease using energy or cars altogether, the growth in carbon emissions in China would more than make up for our sacrifice long before the Kyoto agreement expires in 2012.
  • Even if the US were to shut down its entire economy, growth in emissions from fast-emerging new polluters such as China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Brazil would replace the US emissions within the next quarter of a century.
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the UN will approve the complete report for publication at its 36th session, in Bangkok, Thailand, in May 2007. In the meantime, there will be continuing pressure from a small but vociferous body of politicized
    scientists, bureaucrats, and lobby groups to suggest that the 2007 report is more alarming than its predecessors. However, the sharp downward revisions in the values of the two central variables – the human contribution to warming compared with 1750 and the projected rise in sea level to 2100 – indicates that the UN has come to appreciate the dangers that would have arisen if it were to have persisted in its former exaggerations.
  • The “consensus” clique are displeased at the UN’s new-found moderation, particularly in its halving of its upper-bound projection of the rise in sea level to 2100. But it was they who formerly insisted that the UN, with 2,000 participating scientists, represented the very heart of the “consensus”. Accordingly they find themselves unable convincingly to repudiate the findings of a body whose work they have hitherto represented to us as sacrosanct.
  • Though the mass media are now well-programmed to focus on the more alarmist aspects of the report, the halving of the sea-level projection is in effect a declaration, from the heart of the “consensus”, that the consequences of warmer worldwide weather will be minor and may be beneficial, that the worst scenarios are no longer probable, and that the panic is officially over.
The full ten-page summary can be found here: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, 2007. Analysis and Summary - Center for Science and Public Policy [PDF].

RELATED: Global Warming, Science, Politics-World


  1. "..that the worst scenarios are no longer probable, and that the panic is officially over."
    Will somebody please let the bloody media know? Please?

  2. ...especially The Guardian, which had the headline "Worse than we thought" on Saturday.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.