Thursday, 1 February 2007

IPCC: Report tomorrow, but no science until May!

Oh to be in Paris now that Friday is nearly here: Friday in Paris sees the release by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of their Fourth Assessment Report. Assessment Reports have been issued by the IPCC every five years, and it is these reports that are considered by most warmists and many skeptics to be authoritative, and are much quoted.

Expect scare stories from Friday's release to be all over the press come the weekend.

To be fair, a clarification is needed here. What is much quoted is not so much the science behind the reports, as the so called 'Summary for Policymakers' -- which have in the past tended to stray a little from the science itself, not least in their peddling of the now notorious 'Mann hockey stick.' NZ scientist Dr Vincent Gray, an IPCC reviewer himself, explains the difference between the science and the summary:
The "Summary For Policymakers" which appears in all the Reports is an openly political document compiled by the Governments sponsoring the report. It is actually a Summary BY Policymakers as it is agreed line-by-line by Government representatives. It is compiled by a panel of senior scientists, but there is no reason to suppose that it is agreed by any other contributing scientists... Although a few scientists who are openly critical of "Climate Change" participate in the IPCC process (examples are Richard Lindzen, J.R. Christy) choice of the lead authors usually falls on sympathisers.
So just to clarify, what is being released tomorrow and what you'll see all over the media this weekend and beyond, is not in fact the science. It is not the Fourth Assessment Report itself, but the 'Summary for Policymakers,' with all the inaccuracies thereof. The science itself -- that is, the "WG1 report" that contains the science -- that won't be made public until, wait for it, May.
Thus [as computational mathematician Steve McIntyre reports], there will be no possibility for external readers to verify what IPCC insiders say will be an “iconic statement” against the actual WG1 report during that period. By making access available only to insiders, IPCC has created a structure where IPCC insiders will try to shape perceptions of the WG1 report for 3 months before any critical appraisal of the final report (available since October 2006) is possible.
It gets worse. McIntyre, who with his colleague Ross McKittrick was chiefly responsible for discrediting the Mann hockey stick by examining the mathematics behind it, points out [the emphasis is his own]:
If you’re wondering about this procedure which, to my knowledge, is unprecedented in public commission reporting, here’s what IPCC procedures (section 4) say about Technical Report acceptance:
Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers or the Overview Chapter.
So the purpose of the three-month delay between the publication of the Summary for Policy-Makers and the release of the actual WG1 is to enable them to make any “necessary” adjustments to the technical report to match the policy summary. Unbelievable. Can you imagine what securities commissions would say if business promoters issued a big promotion and then the promoters made the “necessary” adjustments to the qualifying reports and financial statements so that they matched the promotion. Words fail me.

Concludes McIntyre, "IPCC insiders should not be allowed to change a comma of the WG1 Report after Feb 2, 2007 to “ensure consistency” with the Summary. If the two are inconsistent, let the chips fall where they may."

LINKS: IPCC Schedule: WG1 Report available only to insiders until May 2007 - Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit
NZ Climate Truth Newsletter, No. 74 - Dr Vincent Gray
Breaking the 'Hockey Stick' - David R. Legates, NCPA

RELATED: Global Warming, Science, Politics-World


  1. It's probably significant that the lights will be turned of in Europe this Friday. One wonders how many will see the connection.

  2. I hope that the new IPCC report will republish the correction to the original 'Hockey-Stick' graph, with the version that discredit Michael Mann's original claim. This is the problem with jumping to conclusion too soon. IPCC jumped and fully endorsed the hockey stick and it found out later, that Mann, et al, used wrong principal components and hence eigen-values for the reconstruction (regression). This is a classic case of wrong model formulation ending up in a wrong conclusion. This sort of thing is littered in the history of science especially Physics. Eg, Neil Bohr developed his 'theory of atom' model by treating the electrons as solid spherical hard object going around the nucleus of the atom exactly the same as the planets going around the sun. His model works well in predicting the emission spectra of hydrogen-like atoms (atoms & ions which contain only a single electron), but failed completely when applied to atoms which contain more than one electron (multi-electrons). The wrong formulation was his treatment of electron-nucleus interaction as planet system therefore he applied Newton Physics. That failure led to the development of Matrix Mechanics (known today as Quantum Mechanics or Quantum Physics) in which Bohr was a founding member. Bohr had been trying to improve over a ten year period his mathematical model; however it was still useless in explaining or predicting the spectral emission of multi-electron atoms. One lesson to learn, if you are persistent with a wrong model to start with, it does not matter how long you try to improve the mathematics of the model to model the real physics, it deemed to fail and climate science modeling is no different.

    When Matrix Mechanics were developed in the 1920s, the theory was able to generalize and explained the emission spectra of single-electron atoms plus multi-electron atoms, this means that the Physics has been correctly modeled. It took into accounts that electrons are not little hard-balls as envisioned by Bohr therefore misleading him to apply Newton Physics, but an entity that has a probabilistic distribution which smeared out in space (electron clouds as known by chemists). Quantum mechanics also explained that in multi-electron atoms, there are coupled-interactions that are taken place between each electron and the rest and also between each electron and the nucleus. In Bohr's original model using Newton Physics, coupling was not taken into account, because Newtonian planetary motions are not coupled. That is Mars will revolve independently with little effect here on Earth. In multi-electron systems, it is a different story.

    One thing that Bohr expected when he found out that his model fitted perfectly with the hydrogen-atom-type spectra, was that he had established a fundamental law of nature that will apply to all atoms. He was disappointed when it was revealed later after the success of single-electron atom, that his model was useless in trying to apply for multi-electron atoms. Climate scientists should be very cautious as well in jumping to declare a conclusion too soon. Climate modeling is vastly mathematical modeling where they can't have a monopoly on the subject anymore. They must admit that other related disciplines have also a stake in the debate. There is no one in this world that doesn't love the planet, but when alarmists tried to suppress opposition views, that is where I see that it is wrong. Steve McIntyre who discredited the hockey-stick is not a climate scientist, but a mathematical modeler (or computational mathematicians), where his background had been attacked saying that he has no authority. This is wrong, because mathematics is a universal language, and it is irrelevant whether you're a nuclear physicists, economists, statistician, etc,...) they all speak in the same language and that common language is mostly linear algebra. I do know some authors who published papers in non-climate-related journals (see link) but because they know mathematics, it is irrelevant whether they have been to the Antarctic or not to do experiments, data is analyzed via mathematics.

    "Weather Data Mining Using Independent Component Analysis"


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