Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, the weather forecast for next century is still “uncertain” [updated]

As we already know, while the weather forecasters have trouble predicting the weather next Tuesday they pretend to all kinds of certainty about the weather a century from now.

For most warmists, the holy font for their predictions and catastrophising are the roughly five-yearly various reports produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Yet those predictions for even the few decades since their predictions began have been dramatically overstated, as this comparison of their 1990 predictions with reality confirms.


Oddly enough, the IPCC has quietly recognised this, becoming increasingly sober with every new report even as warmists have become more alarmist and ever-more shrill in their claims for certainty (“the science is settled!” they scream) and increasingly catastrophic in their scaremongering (“we’re all gonna die!” they catastrophise). To put it bluntly, each new report that emerges from the IPCC offering their latest weather forecast for a Tuesday one-hundred years from now has become increasingly riddled with “the language of uncertainty.”

Indeed, as The Australian summarises the IPCC’s latest Report released last Friday, on “extreme weather” and climate, “the language of uncertainty … is littered throughout the IPCC summary.”  Which tends to

throw the spotlight onto those who have drawn attention to themselves or their cause through emotional or dogmatic language. Former US vice-president Al Gore has probably been the worst offender with his proselytising about the "terrible catastrophes" that global warming has in store. His documentary An Inconvenient Truth had a significant impact on the international debate, but he has had plenty of willing accomplices.

The willing accomplices everywhere have followed Gore’s scaremongering anti-scientific lead, claiming for years that if the world doesn’t end by the failure of Gore to be re-elected then we are all certain to die anyway because of (pick one) floods, droughts or various other extreme weather events.

The scientists, however, disagree.

For example, speaking after the devastating floods in Pakistan, local scaremonger Gareth Renowden said “as the years go by and the warming continues, those extremes are only going to get worse.” Yet the IPCC report 4, released last Friday, says:

PROJECTED precipitation and temperature changes imply possible changes in floods, although overall there is low confidence in projections of changes in fluvial floods (from a river or stream). [Emphasis mine.]

Get that? “Low confidence,” i.e., the science is not settled.

And on droughts, Chapter 8 in Climate Change Adaptation in New Zealand written by academics from the Department of Public Health at the Universities of Otago and Victoria and relied on by politicians and planners, says that droughts and forest fires “will increase in severity and frequency.”  Yet the IPCC report 4, released last Friday, says

THERE is medium confidence that droughts will intensify in the 21st century in some seasons and areas. Elsewhere there is overall low confidence because of inconsistent projections of drought changes. [Emphasis mine.]

Get that? “Medium confidence” only in droughts in certain areas and seasons, and “low confidence” everywhere else.

On extreme weather events, local lunatic Jim Salinger claimed recently he had inside knowledge after Australia’s floods and fires that “because of global warming the frequency of these extreme weather events is only going to increase.”  And ginger whinger Russel Norman from the Green Party says “the flood in Queensland is the kind of extreme weather event that we can expect more of with climate change … these kind of extreme weather events will happen more frequently because of climate change.” Yet the IPCC report 4, released last Friday, says

LONG-TERM trends in normalized economic disaster losses cannot be reliably attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change.


PROJECTED changes in climate extremes under different emissions scenarios generally do not strongly diverge in the coming two to three decades, but these signals are relatively small compared to natural climate variability over this timeframe. Even the sign of projected changes in some climate extremes over this timeframe is uncertain. [Emphasis mine.]

For those with some sense of perspective on their side, the phrase “projected changes … are relatively small compared to natural climate variability” means “we don’t expect anything man does to the climate to be noticed.” And for those who’ve had the benefit of primary school arithmetic, the phrase “the sign of projected changes” means “ we don’t even know whether things will get better or worse anyway.”

Hence their use of the world “uncertain.” Which is, perhaps, the best word to describe the evidence supporting the hypothesis of man-made global warming.

The Australian editorialises:

The IPCC summary report will do the global warming cause a great deal of good if its frank assessment of the uncertainties of climate science helps to eliminate emotional and political exaggerations from public debate. It talks, for instance, about medium confidence that anthropogenic influences have led to some regions experiencing more frequent and intense droughts, but notes that some regions have experienced less frequent and shorter dry spells. It suggests medium confidence that extreme rainfall events have increased, and says it is likely coastal inundations have increased due to higher mean sea levels, but it has low confidence about any changes to tropical cyclone activity… [T]he variability of the data and modelling about the most likely scale of the impact should lead us to adopt a cautious approach, rather than one founded on panic. And especially with prospects for a new global agreement at Durban later this month looking so slim, Australia must not take steps that do us economic harm for no environmental benefit.

That conclusion holds for New Zealand as well.

[Hat tip Andrew Bolt, who presents examples of failed Australian apocalypticians.]

UPDATE: James Delingpole: “Uh oh, global warming loons: here comes Climategate II!

Breaking news: two years after “Climategate,” a further batch of emails has been leaked onto the internet by a person – or persons – unknown. And as before, they show the "scientists" at the heart of the Man-Made Global Warming industry in a most unflattering light. Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Ben Santer, Tom Wigley, Kevin Trenberth, Keith Briffa – all your favourite Climategate characters are here, once again caught red-handed in a series of emails exaggerating the extent of Anthropogenic Global Warming, while privately admitting to one another that the evidence is nowhere near as a strong as they'd like it to be.
In other words, what these emails confirm is that the great man-made global warming scare is not about science but about political activism…
    I particularly like the emails expressing deep reservations about the narrative put about by the IPCC:

/// The IPCC Process ///

<1939> Thorne/MetO:

Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical
troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a
wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the
uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these
further if necessary [...]

<3066> Thorne:

I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it
which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.

<1611> Carter:

It seems that a few people have a very strong say, and no matter how much
talking goes on beforehand, the big decisions are made at the eleventh hour by
a select core group.

<2884> Wigley:

Mike, The Figure you sent is very deceptive [...] there have been a number of
dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC [...]

Read more  here.


  1. Mr.s Key and Smith, can we have our money back, the goods you forced upon us broken, and their forceful supply reason more so.

    Now that the chief AGW proponents are found to be emperors with no clothing, you cannot go on with the charade
    Repeal the deceit that is the ETS as your first action on sitting in the new Parliament post election. If you had any credibility at all you would call parliament to sit in December to do this action.
    We await your actions, in Early December to see whether you really care about getting NZ back into top 20 OECD nations by what your actions are on this front alone.


    I think you need to ask yourself which emperor has no clothes?

  3. What a fantastic game-player that Foia "person" is! Waiting two years to dump more emails is masterfully patient. The whitewash "investigations" by various institutions will now look pretty silly, and there they were thinking that it was all over and done with a year ago. But now, two whole years later... this person sends another torpedo, lovingly saved for two years, directly amidships below the waterline just before Durban.

    And there are even thousands more emails in the encrypted archive that is now stored safely on thousands of PCs around the world waiting for whatever is the next trigger for release.

    Will be interesting to see how the usual suspects around here spin this, they managed to comfort themselves with thinking it was a nasty "hacker" who "stole" emails taken "out of context" and that the "investigations" exonerated all involved. But now what? The overall venality and virtual conspiracy to ruin private individuals by the team is unavoidably obvious now.

    At the moment the good ship UnrealClimate is taking on water and going in cirlces with a damaged rudder. One more hit with the release of that password and it's going down with all hands.


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.