IPCC "wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters"

Times Online

What shall we call this one? Hurricanegate? Not content with basing claims in an IPCC report on factoids about glaciers found on the back of matchboxes, it now appears that the IPCC has also wrongly linked global warming to increasing frequency and severity of disasters such as hurricanes and floods. The only thing that is increasing are the floods of misinformation and spin being discovered in supposedly “settled science”:

It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report’s own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.

The claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is already affecting the severity and frequency of global disasters, has since become embedded in political and public debate. It was central to discussions at last month’s Copenhagen climate summit, including a demand by developing countries for compensation of $100 billion (£62 billion) from the rich nations blamed for creating the most emissions.

The new controversy also goes back to the IPCC’s 2007 report in which a separate section warned that the world had “suffered rapidly rising costs due to extreme weather-related events since the 1970s”.

It suggested a part of this increase was due to global warming and cited the unpublished report, saying: “One study has found that while the dominant signal remains that of the significant increases in the values of exposure at risk, once losses are normalised for exposure, there still remains an underlying rising trend.”

The Sunday Times has since found that the scientific paper on which the IPCC based its claim had not been peer reviewed, nor published, at the time the climate body issued its report.

When the paper was eventually published, in 2008, it had a new caveat. It said: “We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses.”

Despite this change the IPCC did not issue a clarification ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit last month. It has also emerged that at least two scientific reviewers who checked drafts of the IPCC report urged greater caution in proposing a link between climate change and disaster impacts — but were ignored.

Typical. Just like buses, you wait ages for an IPCC scandal, and then two come along at once. In fact, I will wager that there is a whole fleet about to exit the bus station, as thousands of independent scientists and bloggers tear AR4 apart.

Read it here.


  1. JennyinOz says:

    Strike 2!

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