IPCC: the warmists' club


Frakking good stuff

Kevin Rudd used to prattle on about the “4000 guys in white coats who run around and don’t have a sense of humour” who kept telling him that man-made emissions were to blame for dangerous global warming. You’d be lucky to get to 4000 even if you included all the rent-seeking hangers-on – and there were plenty of those.

John McLean analysed chapter 9 of Working Group 1 (Understanding and Attributing Climate Change) and concluded:

“More than two-thirds of all authors of chapter 9 of the IPCC’s 2007 climate-science assessment are part of a clique whose members have co-authored papers with each other and, we can surmise, very possibly at times acted as peer-reviewers for each other’s work. Of the 44 contributing authors, more than half have co-authored papers with the lead authors or coordinating lead authors of chapter 9.

The IPCC appointed as review editor for chapter 9 a person who was not only a coordinating lead author for the corresponding chapter of the previous assessment report but had also authored 13 of the papers cited in chapter 9 and had co-authored papers with 10 authors of chapter 9 including both coordinating lead authors and three of the seven lead authors.” (source, PDF at p18)

I have called the IPCC a “coterie of warmists” on several occasions in the past, dismissively excluding criticisms from highly respected scientists that don’t fit the pre-conceived agenda, whilst welcoming with open arms sheaves of suspect grey literature from environmental advocacy groups – because they do fit the agenda. Now the redoubtable Donna Laframboise of No Frakking Consensus exposes more of the seedy mutual backscratching that passes for normal scientific practice down at IPCC Mansions, and the name of an ACM favourite pops up:

Cynthia Rosenzweig is a research scientist who works at James Hansen’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. Once I might have described her as a senior Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) author. But she’s actually more than that.

It turns out Rosenzweig is a member of a small clique of people who wore multiple hats during the writing of the 2007 climate bible. When I hear that thousands of the world’s best scientists participate in the IPCC I envision each of them making a focused contribution in the narrow field in which they possess exceptional research expertise. But that’s not how it works.

Rosenzweig, for example, served in six distinct capacities. She was:

  • one of the two most senior authors for a chapter titled Assessment of Observed Changes and Responses in Natural and Managed Systems
  • contributing author for a chapter titled Assessment of Adaptation Practices, Options, Constraints and Capacity
  • lead author of the Working Group 2 Technical Summary document
  • drafting author of the Working Group 2 Summary for Policymakers document
  • a member of the core writing team for the Synthesis report
  • and an expert reviewer for Working Group 2

In other words, certain names pop up again and again in IPCC reports. If shadowy interests were trying to “control the message” in these documents, entrusting key tasks to a small group of people might be an effective strategy.

Like Rosenzweig, Australian meteorologist David Karoly filled six separate IPCC roles. He served as a lead author and as a review editor. Along with Rosenzweig he was a lead author of a Technical Summary, a drafting author of a Summary for Policymakers, a member of the core writing team for the Synthesis Report, and was also an expert reviewer.

How anyone can take this politicised and integrity-challenged organisation seriously any more is beyond comprehension… And we can expect more of the same (only worse) with AR5 in 2013/14.

There’s much more. Read it all.

Desperation as alarmists sense the battle is lost


The fate of a sceptic in Kruddistan

The more desperate the quotes, the more tragic the arguments, the more it reveals that the alarmists realise that not only is the planet not complying with their incomplete and worthless climate models, but also that the penny [Wong? – Ed] has dropped in the public mind. The public realises now that the IPCC is a politicised advocacy group, spinning the science to fit an agenda conceived back in the 1980s to regulate CO2. Witness the outpouring of vitriol on Tony Abbott for daring to suggest that school pupils be sceptical (see here for original story). Heaven forbid. In Kruddistan we don’t want any of that, they should just uncritically believe whatever Chairman Rudd and the Wongbot say.

So it is with a wry smile that I read this piece in the Sydney Morning Herald.  It shows utter desperation in the face of a lost cause, even down to the headline, “Climate scientists cross with Abbott for taking Christ’s name in vain“, which once again tries (and fails) to portray Abbott as some religious nutcase:

TONY ABBOTT is under pressure to justify telling students it was considerably warmer when Jesus was alive after leading scientists said his claim was wrong.

He urged year 5 and 6 pupils at an Adelaide school to be sceptical about the human contribution to climate change, saying it was an open question.

In a question-and-answer session on Friday, the Opposition Leader said it was warmer “at the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth” than now.

Leading scientists said there was no evidence to suggest it was hotter 2000 years ago.

The president of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Kurt Lambeck, said true scepticism was fine, but required looking at published data with an open mind. “To make these glib statements to school students, I think, is wrong. It’s not encouraging them to be sceptical, it’s encouraging them to accept unsubstantiated information.” Tas van Ommen, who as principal research scientist with the Australian Antarctic Division collects climate data from ice cores, said any definitive statement about temperatures 2000 years ago was “completely unfounded”.

He cited the 2007 report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which found the available data from climate records was too sparse to make clear statements beyond about 1000 years ago. Dr van Ommen said the confidence that global warming was linked to greenhouse gas emissions was based on multiple lines of evidence.

Yawn. We’ve heard it all before. As soon as you quote the IPCC, it’s time to switch off. And then they wheel out Fairfax’s alarmist in chief:

David Karoly, a Melbourne University federation fellow and climate panel lead author, said Mr Abbott’s statement appeared to be based on Heaven + Earth, a 2009 book by the geologist and climate change contrarian Ian Plimer. It has been embraced by sceptics, but criticised by scientists working in the fields it covers. [Ah yes, of course, Plimer isn’t “working in the fields it covers”, right? – Ed]

Professor Karoly said: “It seems strange to me that the leader of a political party would be seeking to disagree with Australia’s chief scientist, the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, the overwhelming majority of climate scientists and Australia’s support of the work of the IPCC. He obviously knows better.” (source)

Probably right. The public have an innate common sense which Sackett (raving alarmist), the Bureau, CSIRO (all on the climate gravy train) and the IPCC (ditto) all lack. They can smell a rat – and it’s a dead, rotting, carcass of a rat with a stench that could strip paint. One letter writer in The Australian gets it right:

CLIMATE Change Minister Penny Wong says she was disappointed in Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for encouraging climate change scepticism in the classroom, which she claimed was “irresponsible”, (“Climate change natural”, 8-9/5).

Since when was scepticism in science a bad thing? Mr Abbott was quite right to point out it is an open question as to why the climate changes, and what role man plays in that change.

Surely we want our children to grow up with open and questioning minds and not to accept unthinkingly any proposition put to them in the classroom.

The irony in all this is that Mr Abbott is presented as something of a hardliner, as being inflexible. But it now appears the boot is on the other foot. It is Senator Wong who is the dour, inflexible one as she constantly refuses to accept there is a valid scientific position on climate change apart from her own doomsday alarmist scenario.

It is irresponsible not to present the full range of scientific views on climate change to young, inquiring minds — indeed the general public, and individuals should be allowed to make up their own minds, without fear of being labelled or ostracised.

Alan Barron, Grovedale, Vic (source)

Keep it coming, SMH. Just more evidence that climate hysteria, like Rudd, is on the skids.

Butterfly study hijacked by AGW


Ever felt used?

Here’s an innocent little story about butterflies [which is now plastered all over the ABC and will no doubt be on the 7 o’clock News and 7.30 Report and Lateline and every ABC web site under the sun – Ed]. Apparently they are getting impatient and are now emerging from their cocoons ten days earlier than 65 years ago. But who does the ABC choose to interview on The World Today? Firstly Michael Kearney, biologist from Melbourne University, but then, oddly, David “Asteroid” Karoly, who is a fully paid up climate alarmist (link to audio and transcript here):

Professor David Karoly of the University of Melbourne, says the study breaks new ground on the impact climate change has on the natural environment.

“Butterflies and many other natural systems are responding to warming both in Australia and around the world,” he said.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to link the change in a natural system, like a butterfly, to regional warming and then link that regional warming to increase in green house gases as a result of human activity.”

Why would they interview Karoly? So I did a bit of research, and tracked down the original home page at Monash for the study here. Firstly, it should be noted that this is a research project within the school of Biosciences (not Earth Sciences or Climate Change) and there is no mention of Karoly as part of the project. Here is the project summary from a project update dated August 2008 :

Climate change and habitat fragmentation are together a major threat to the continued survival of a vast number of species. Correlative bioclimatic models are often used for predicting future suitable habitats, but currently do not take into account whether species are able to colonise new regions, nor the mechanisms by which they interact with and adapt to their environment. We will use a butterfly model species to investigate the relationship between genetic polymorphisms, physiological capacity for dispersal, and environmental constraints at the landscape scale. This will allow truly mechanistic and more accurate predictions of how novel climatic environments will affect species distributions. (source – PDF)

Again, no mention of anthropogenic climate change or greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide (or Karoly). They are simply looking at how butterflies react to increasing temperatures – you only need to read the PDF to see that. But wait, look what’s happened. Suddenly there is a “final step”, oddly not mentioned in any of the project’s earlier documentation, where Karoly steps in and neatly links the whole thing to human caused climate change:

The final step taken by the researchers was to link the regional temperature changes with human-induced global warming.

Team member [since when? – Ed] climatologist, Professor David Karoly applied global circulation models to the Melbourne region, taking into account local factors that influence climate.

This suggested that the regional temperature changes observed over the decade were unlikely to be observed without the influence of human greenhouse emissions, says Kearney. (source)

And hey presto, an avowed climate alarmist manages to show that Melbourne’s temperature rise can only be cause by human factors [because we don’t know what else could have caused it – brilliant – Ed]. What a surprise. So somebody, at present unknown, had the brilliant idea “if we can tie this butterfly study into AGW, we might get some air time from the ABC,” and that somebody was dead right, because it fits the ABC’s unashamedly alarmist agenda.

UPDATE: The Australian Research Council lists the grants made for this study (a total of $240,000 over three years), and it too mentions nothing about Karoly or the anthropogenic nature of the climate change in question. Here is the extract from the ARC’s PDF for funding grants made to Monash (not Melbourne) in 2006 for research commencing in 2007:

Extract from ARC's funding

So Karoly has simply been wheeled in to add the alarmist perspective. The difficult questions to ask would be:

  • When did Karoly become part of the project?
  • On whose instigation?
  • Were all the funding bodies notified of the change in emphasis of the study towards human-induced climate change?
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