by Judith Curry
The Interim Report of the Nongovermental Panel on Climate Change has been released: Climate Change Reconsidered.
From the Press Release:
New Report on Global Warming Contradicts U.N.’s IPCC
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), already under severe criticism for violating the requirements of academic peer review and relying on secondary sources, comes under attack again in a new report co-produced by three nonprofit research organizations.
According to the new report, “natural causes are very likely to be [the] dominant” cause of climate change that took place in the twentieth and at the start of the twenty-first centuries. “We are not saying anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) cannot produce some warming or have not in the past. Our conclusion is that the evidence shows they are not playing a substantial role.”
The authors of the new report go on to say “the net effect of continued warming and rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere is most likely to be beneficial to humans, plants, and wildlife.”
Both conclusions contradict the findings of the widely cited reports of the IPCC. Click here for an executive summary of the book. Click here to review the book chapter-by-chapter.
The report was produced by The Heartland Institute,Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), three national nonprofit organizations based in Chicago, Illinois, Tempe, Arizona, and Arlington, Virginia, respectively.
The 430-page report was coauthored and edited by three climate science researchers: Craig D. Idso, Ph.D., editor of the online magazine CO2 Science and author of several books and scholarly articles on the effects of carbon dioxide on plant and animal life; Robert M. Carter, Ph.D., a marine geologist and research professor at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia; and S. Fred Singer, Ph.D., a distinguished atmospheric physicist and first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service. Seven additional scientists and one policy expert on sustainable growth made contributions to the volume.
The book is titled Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report because it precedes a comprehensive volume that is expected to be released in 2013. It focuses on scientific research released since publication of Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).
Key findings, as outlined in the interim report’s executive summary, include:
“We find evidence that the models over-estimate the amount of warming that occurred during the twentieth century and fail to incorporate chemical and biological processes thatmay be as important as the physical processes employed in the models.”
“More CO2 promotes more plant growth both on land and throughout the surface waters of the world’s oceans, and this vast assemblage of plant life has the ability to affect Earth’s climate in several ways, almost all of them tending to counteract the heating effects of CO2’s thermal radiative forcing.”
“The latest research on paleoclimatology and recent temperatures [finds] new evidence that the Medieval Warm Period of approximately 1,000 years ago, when there was about 28 percent less CO2 in the atmosphere than there is currently, was both global and warmer than today’s world.”
“New research finds less melting of ice in the Arctic, Antarctic, and on mountaintops than previously feared, no sign of acceleration of sea-level rise in recent decades, no trend over the past 50 years in changes to the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC), and no changes in precipitation patterns or river flows that could be attributed to rising CO2 levels.”
“Amphibians, birds, butterflies, other insects, lizards, mammals, and even worms benefit from global warming and its myriad ecological effects.”
“Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations, by increasing crop yields, will play a major role in averting hunger and ecological destruction in the future.”
“The latest research suggests corals and other forms of aquatic life have effective adaptive responses to climate change enabling them to flourish despite or even because of climate change.”
“Global warming is more likely to improve rather than harm human health because rising temperatures lead to a greater reduction in winter deaths than the increase they cause in summer deaths.”
“Even in worst-case scenarios, mankind will be much better off in the year 2100 than it is today, and therefore able to adapt to whatever challenges climate change presents.”
Link to the full report [here].
The chapter headings from the Table of Contents:
1. Climate Models and Their Limitations
2. Forcings and Feedbacks
3. Paleoclimate and Recent Temperature
4. Observations and Projections: Cryosphere, Ocean Dynamics, and Hydrology
5. Observations and Projections: Extreme Weather
6. Terrestrial Animals
7. Terrestrial Plants and Soils 8. Aquatic Life
9. Human Health Effects
10. Economic and Other Policy Implications
Bart Verheggen is first off the block with a critique of the NIPCC Interim Report.
JC’s comments: I’ve taken a quick look at this. The press release seem less hyperbolic than the hype surrounding the previous report, so I was optimistic that this could be better than the previous report. My optimism was temporarily dashed upon reading the Foreward, where the first subheading is “Recanting Alarmists, Climategate.” The Foreward is a turnoff for anyone prepared to read this with an open mind.
The Executive Summary is more carefully written than the previous NIPCC Report. Their main conclusion:
On the most important issue, the IPCC‘s claim that ―most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations [emphasis in the original],‖ we once again reach the opposite conclusion, that natural causes are very likely to be dominant. Once again, we stress we are not saying anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) cannot produce some warming or have not in the past. Our conclusion is that the evidence shows they are not playing a substantial role.
IMO, this statement has the same problem as the IPCC statement: “very likely” reflects too much confidence. The fact that we have two opposite conclusions, both with “very likely” confidence levels, is a classic situation of competing uncertainties, with the likelihood that both groups are not sufficiently accounting for the uncertainties.
I haven’t read the individual chapters. The Chapter headings and general emphasis are quite different from the IPCC AR4 and forthcoming AR5.
Chapter 3 on Paleoclimate and the Medieval Warm Period promises to generate much discussion.