by Judith Curry
If you had the opportunity to ask 5 critical questions for the IPCC, what would you ask?
Mike McGrath of the BBC asks the following questions:
1. The IPCC – weren’t they the ones who said the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035? How can we trust what they say this time?
2. Hasn’t global warming stopped since 1998?
3. Am I going to get flooded?
4. And what about the polar bears?
5. Does the IPCC have a future?
Marcel Crok provides the following list:
1) The increase in the global average temperature between 1900 and 1950 is almost indistinguishable from the warming between 1950 and 2010. However the increase in anthropogenic forcing was much higher in the most recent period than in the period of the so-called ‘early warming’. What is the explanation of the early warming?
2) There is evidence that there are still warm biases in the global average temperature series. Apart from the Urban Heat Island-effect there is now solid evidence that the trends in the minimum temperature are not a good indicator for climate change because they are related to disturbances in the nighttime boundary layer. The global trend in minimum temperature is twice as high as the trend in maximum temperatures. Do you agree that it’s better to use only the maximum temperature as a climate metric and do you accept that by doing that the increase in global temperature is actually between 0.1 and 0.2 degrees lower than the generally accepted 0.8 degrees of warming?
3) Models seriously overestimate the warming of the real climate in the past 25-30 years, not only globally (see here and here) but also in the tropical troposhere where a pronounced hotspot is expected seehere. What is your explanation for this? A follow up question would be: why would we trust claims of the IPCC that it’s very likely that most of the warming since 1950 is due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases, since these claims are based on the same models?
4) Several recente papers (Aldrin et al, Ring et al, Lewis, Otto et al) show that based on the observed climate of the past one and a half century, climate sensitivity is considerably lower (between 1.5 and 2 degrees) than the best estimate of three degrees that has been generally accepted by the climate science community for over thirty years. The CMIP5 models, run for the upcoming AR5 report, have a climate sensitivity of 3 degrees on average. How do you explain this large difference between estimates for climate sensitivity based on models and observations?
5) My last question is adopted from a recent blog post by Roger Pielke jr: “A difficult question for the climate science community is, how is it that this broad community of researchers — full of bright and thoughtful people — allowed intolerant activists who make false claims to certainty to become the public face of the field?”
JC comment: The idea of asking the IPCC questions is an interesting one. It seems to me that there somewhat of a disconnect between what the public/policy makers want to know, and the way that the IPCC frames it’s conclusions.
In the past, I’ve criticized and made recommendations regarding the IPCC. But I’ve never thought about asking them questions. Well, at the top of my list would be:
How have you responded to the IAC recommendations? If you have not yet implemented the IAC’s recommendations, then why not?
Update from the front lines: In the last month I’ve become a twitter afficionado (follow me @curryja). It is proving indispensible for updates these week regarding what is going on with the IPCC, MSM, etc.
Mat Collins, IPCC author that is in Stockholm, tweets: We are not allowed to tweet anything of substance. I can only perhaps say that progress is slow. Seems like there is a press/twitter embargo/blackout. Waiting to hear something feels like waiting for the papal enclave.
Those of you in the UK are in for some BBC treats. Ed Hawkins tweets: Large climate piece on
@BBCNewsnight tonight, featuring Myles Allen, Emily Shuckburgh, Anastasios Tsonis, Nick Stern and yours truly. Gulp.
FABULOUS to see new voices getting heard, especially Ed Hawkins, Anastasios Tsonis, and Tamsin Edwards.