Monday, April 26, 2010

More IPCC failure, but carbon taxes still a-comin’

The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, the report on which the world’s governments are relying to sell carbon taxes and emissions trading scams to their subjects, took yet another hit at the end of last week with news of another failure on the Indian sub-continent.

    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), already under fire for errors in its key 2007 report, said a one-metre (three-foot) rise in sea levels would flood 17 percent of Bangladesh and create 20 million refugees by 2050.
    “But the prediction ignored the role that at least one billion tonnes of sediment, carried by rivers into Bangladesh every year, will play in countering sea level rises, a study by the Dhaka-based Center for Environment and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) said.”

This comes on the back of a host of problems revealed in the IPCC’s report, which it turns out is not even good enough for government work, and in the tinkered-with temperature records maintained and manipulated by government scientists. 

The steady unravelling of the IPCC and its so-called science is bringing more and more real scientists out of the closet to decry the whole politically-driven process. The latest is Judith Curry, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, wrote last week that “the corruptions of the IPCC process, and the question of corruption (or at least inappropriate torquing) of the actual science by the IPCC process, is the key issue”—a comment that garnered much attention around the traps.

Asked to back up her claim of corruption, she outlined just a few of the problems to the Collide-a-Scape blog:

“Corruptions to the IPCC process that I have seen discussed include:
•    lead/contributing authors assessing their own work – (e.g. von Storch criticism in 2005), in some cases resulting in an overemphasis on their own papers written by themselves and their collaborators;
•    tailoring graphics and not adequately describing uncertainties ostensibly to simplify and not to “dilute the message” that IPCC wanted to send;
•    violations of publication (in press) deadlines for inclusions of papers in the IPCC report;
•    inadequacies in the review process whereby lead/contributing authors don’t respond fairly to adverse criticism; this inadequacy arises in part to the authors themselves having ultimate authority and in part to cursory performance by the Review Editors;
•    evasiveness and unresponsiveness by the IPCC regarding efforts to investigate alleged violations occurring in the review process;
•    IPCC Review Editors and authors using the IPCC to avoid accountability under national FOI legislation.”

So problems aplenty, yet despite the IPCC’s falling credibility our own politicians still proceeds apace to impose new taxes on us on the basis of the IPCC’s politically-driven pseudo-science.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous singularian said...

It's just going to get worse.

IPCC used the un-peer reviewed Stern report 26 times over 12 chapters of AR4 even though it was released after the cut off date.

None of the expert reviewers noticed. Go figure.

4/26/2010 10:28:00 am  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Dr. Curry is one of a few climate scientists who have depth of knowledge in modeling of climate system using feedback control theory. This is an area where the majority of the disputes in modeling can be traced to. This is the domain of engineers and not climate scientists and no wondered that is little or no progress at all in researches relating to climate feedback control, since the last NASA organized conference on the topic about 5 years or so ago.

4/26/2010 10:31:00 am  
Anonymous matt said...

I have nearly finished reading the Hockey Stick Illusion by Andrew Montford. It is absolutely superb. An understated and highly readable demolition of the hockey stick, peer review, and in particular Michael Mann. Can't recommend this highly enough. Read it.

Some points to come out of it:

a) peer review is no protection against fraud: replication is. Peer review is only a relatively recent innovation in Western science, and peer review does not audit or check background calculations.

b) peer review by likeminded people is no protection against anything. Mann's famous 1998 paper first showing the hockey stick put him at the top of the climate community, and he was given awards and gained tremendous prestige. Nobody had actually checked his calculations until Steve McIntyre sat down in 2003 to try and do it. He eventually found, under pressure if not outright abuse from most of the climate science community, that the Mann paper had error after error after error, and had no explanatory power at all.

c) lead climate scientists have been strikingly dishonest, and either misunderstand or knowingly misrepresent statistical inference. Leading climate scientists openly say cherry picking is accepting - peeking at the data before deciding which data to put in your model.

d) the entire field of climate science has been hopelessly corrupted by politics and money. Nobody gets paid to say there's no problem, and so nobody does it. Selection bias is everywhere: in its most modest form, studies that find medieval warm periods are quietly published, studies that do not are trumpeted. More seriously, most climate studies rely on a few data series that have been repeatedly shown to not be sensitive to temperature but which produce hockey sticks. And then, within studies that use all kinds of series, methodologies that select for and heavily weight the hockey-shaped time series are used. This is outright fraud.

e) Steve McIntyre is a hero.

Those are the main points. What a great read. Get it.

4/26/2010 11:51:00 am  

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