IPCC: fit for its purpose?

The IPCC is showing typical signs of middle age, including weight gain, a growing rigidity of viewpoint, and overconfidence in its methods. It did a great job in the early days, but it’s become ritualized and bureaucratic, issuing big bulk reports that do little to answer the hard questions facing policymakers.  – David Keith, as cited by Fred Pearce

Well, it seems the IPCC is no longer a ‘delinquent teenager.’

Fred Pearce has written an interesting article at Yale Environment 360 entitled Has the U.N. Climate Panel Now Outlived Its Usefulness?  The subtitle  is ‘Some scientists are saying that the latest report from the IPCC is overly conservative and fails to mention some of the more worrisome possible scenarios.   The panel, they contend,  is no longer fulfilling its mission of informing policy makers of the risks of global warming.’

While Pearce is clearly in the camp of ‘our perilous greenhouse future,’ he invariably provides thoughtful and new insights in his writing.  The parts of his IPCC article that I found particularly provocative are excerpted below:

Some of those involved in the report process believe the natural caution among scientists — coupled perhaps with a wish not to repeat some exaggerations that marred some previous IPCC reports, and the effect of politicians looking over their shoulders — has created a report that is overly conservative, even biased, in its conclusions. Rather than lowering its expectations of warming, these scientists say, perhaps the panel should be raising them. 

Some “scary scenarios” arising from possible positive feedbacks — in which nature amplifies man-made warming — have been left out of the model projections on which the IPCC’s headline forecasts are based. Surely, some critics say, it is the scary scenarios that politicians need to know about if they are to do their duty under the UN climate change convention and act together to prevent “dangerous climate change.” Even the U.S. signed that, under George Bush senior in 1992. 

Another contentious topic was how the report should deal with the recent warming hiatus. The draft acknowledged the scientists’ concerns and noted that climate models “do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10-15 years.” This was reportedly met with opposition from some delegates who wanted to remove all references to a slowdown. Some argued that the hiatus had not lasted long enough to be considered a temperature trend. Perhaps they also felt it would be seized on by climate-change deniers. 

“We looked at this very carefully,” said Stocker. There was, he noted, “not a lot of published literature” on the phenomenon. This was a problem, since the IPCC does not do its own research and can only review published literature. But again, the authors of that passage stuck to their guns, and retained most of the message, though the direct statement about the failings of the models does not appear in the report. 

Science is not naturally a consensual process. Reaching agreement is hard for people more used to spending their time refuting each others’ hypotheses. So the question arises: Is the IPCC’s self-imposed task of producing massive consensual documents about every aspect of climate science — and then resisting politicians’ efforts to change them — worth it? 

For one thing, the consensus even among scientists is creaking. In interviews with Yale Environment 360 in recent weeks, a number of past and present IPCC authors have expressed strong dissatisfaction with what they saw as the conservatism of the emerging text for the scientific assessment. (There is, if anything, even more contention over the two companion reports that will be published next year, covering the impacts of climate change and what to do about it.) 

Some researchers are angered about the marginal reduction in predicted warming. They say that may be justified by the outputs of the climate models, but that those models do not include some worrying positive feedbacks that could accelerate warming in coming decades. Other critics say that, even though the report has upped its estimates of sea level rise this century to as much as one meter, the lead authors did not accept findings from reputable researchers suggesting that a rise of as much as two meters was possible. 

The problem, in essence, is that factors that climatologists cannot yet successfully model are left out of the modeling studies that deliver the headline predictions. 

“I agree there can be a conflict between good science and what policymakers and engineers like flood designers want to know,” said Tony Payne of the University of Bristol, England. 

Nicholas Stern of the London School of Economics, author of an influential economic assessment of climate change for the British government in 2006, takes a similar view about the failings of the IPCC and its models. He

The question is now being asked: Is the IPCC still fit for its purpose?

complained at a meeting at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., in April that “the scientific models mostly leave out dangerous feedbacks.” He called for “a new generation of models [that] focus on understanding probabilities of events with severe consequences for people [rather than] those effects that can be modeled more easily.” 

For more than two decades, since it was created by the UN in 1988, the IPCC has done the job politicians asked of it: to synthesise scientific thinking around climate change and deliver a series of consensus assessments to policymakers. In the process, the IPCC won the Nobel peace prize in 2007. But the question is now being asked: Is the IPCC still fit for its purpose? It may do good science, but does it deliver what policymakers need? 

JC comments:  While coming at this from a very different perspective than my own IPCC diagnosis – permanent paradigm paralysis, we reach some similar conclusions.  I particularly like posing this in terms of ‘fitness for purpose.’   Pearce also emphasizes the other side of the two-edged sword of uncertainty, namely that we have failed to focus on articulating the plausible worst case scenarios that could emerge in the 21st and even 22nd centuries associated with a combination of natural and anthropogenic climate change.

With regards to Pearce’s question:

It may do good science, but does it deliver what policymakers need?

I have argued that the IPCC consensus seeking process is getting in the way of doing the science that is most needed to support the needs of policy makers, namely decadal variability on regional scales and also the plausible worst case scenarios.

I don’t think the IPCC can be fixed or reinvented in a way that is useful.

184 responses to “IPCC: fit for its purpose?

  1. “but does it deliver what policymakers need?”
    What policymakers need, according to the warmists, is motivation and ass-coverage for spending more and more good money for climate mitigation.
    The more spent, the better, believe the warmists. It doesn’t matter what the climate is, where the temps are going, or how much emission reduction results from those policies.

    Their mantra is: we need to do more ( doesn’t matter what).

    Seems the IPCC is too “conservative” for their tastes, too much “science oriented” and too little oriented toward scare-mongering.

    But the IPCC is a modern, self perpetuating, political bureaucracy. Such bodies never die, they serve the purpose of job-creating for progressive politicians.

  2. “Some “scary scenarios” arising from possible positive feedbacks — in which nature amplifies man-made warming — have been left out of the model projections on which the IPCC’s headline forecasts are based”

    Made me laugh. Seems the IPCC is getting it from both sides these days. Warmists understand that to keep this thing going, it’s necessary to scare the bejeesus out of everyone. Maybe they should scrap the IPCC and appoint Al Gore global warming czar. Was listening to him the other day on NPR. Something about how the earth is visibly parched in some areas. Something to that effect anyway. My wife had it on. I quickly left the room.

    • Yes I can’t argue with that. Leaving the room becomes an overwhelming urge at the sight of Al Gore on TV.

    • Al Gore is an annoying, elitist hypocrite, no question, but his message is endorsed by thousands of scientists throughout the world and by the scientific bodies of which they are members.

      • “…endorsed by thousands of scientists…”

        What? Like 9 out of ten dentists who chew gum recommend Dentyne?

        In any case, there are many thousands of scientists who see him for the self-serving propagandist he is…

        I’ll call your thousands and raise you thousands…

    • Al’s wife left the room too.

      • He doesn’t have a wife anymore, at least not in his room. Another promise jettisoned.

      • Global warming is a multivariate analysis. Not only does that include
        (1) well mixed global warming gases (including Co2)
        (2) solar variation
        (3) aerosols (stratospheric and tropospheric)
        (4) land use
        (5) snow albedo
        (6) black carbon

        It also includes La Nina and El Nino’s effect on average global temperatures.

        In 2009, the German climatologist, Mojib Latif predicted

        “The strong warming effect that we experienced during the last decades will be interrupted. Temperatures will be more or less steady for some years, and thereafter will pickup again and continue to warm”.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/today/tomfeilden/2009/09/an_inconvenient_truth_about_gl.html

        The right wing pounced on this to declare global warming was over. Latif subsequently wrote in the Guardian how shocked he was to see how his forecasts had been taken out of context to lie about global warming.

        “Mojib Latif, a climate expert at the Leibniz Institute at Kiel University in Germany, said he “cannot understand” reports that used his research to question the scientific consensus on climate change. He told the Guardian: “It comes as a surprise to me that people would try to use my statements to try to dispute the nature of global warming. I believe in manmade global warming. I have said that if my name was not Mojib Latif it would be global warming.”

        He added: “There is no doubt within the scientific community that we are affecting the climate, that the climate is changing and responding to our emissions of greenhouse gases.”

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/11/climate-change-global-warming-mojib-latif

        Add to that 2010 was the hottest year on record

        and 2011 was the warmest on record with a La Nina.

        Here are the 10 warmest years on record (°C anomaly from 1901–2000 mean)

        Year Global
        2010 0.6590
        2005 0.6523
        1998 0.6325
        2003 0.6219
        2002 0.6130
        2006 0.5978
        2009 0.5957
        2007 0.5914
        2004 0.5779
        2012 0.5728

        We have been flat recently because of La Ninas.

        What Latif said in 2009 was that a series of La Ninas would be offset by global warming to make a FLAT trend , but then in the following decade we would flip back again from the La Ninas cycles to El Ninos — and since CO2 is a trend warming the Earth — we would now have a temperature increases WITH A VENGEANCE!

        I see no evidence that Latif nor the IPCC is wrong on global warming continuing. The last decade was still the hottest decade on record.

    • Walter Carlson

      Of course,you wouldn’t want to learn anything about how global warming might be creating larger deserts. Pokerguy, I refer you to book titled A Great Aridness, by William deBuys. I know how you hate to have any researchers diagnose ongoing climate changing, but sometimes they really do report accurately…..even if it isn,t what you want to believe!!!

  3. Schrodinger's Cat

    The IPCC has a political agenda. As we have seen, when science becomes contaminated by politics, it becomes less objective, less honest and eventually less effective.

    Climate science, under the control of the IPCC, has lost credibility, lost direction and has wasted decades chasing a political vision.

    • David Appell

      Of course, no one else has any agendas. Right?

      • Why don’t you come out and say what you mean? As it stands, you’ve said exactly nothing.

      • This is why quality process is so critical. And why the IPCC has failed so miserably. How does garbage like Mann’s homemade code disaster become the face of science? How does Rahmstorf’s ridiculous dependence on pretend data from the future become “science”? How does Monnet’s polar bear fantasy ever become more than a laugh?

        Because science has no quality assurance when it moves to the serious policy level. No one ever replicates anyone else’s work. The IPCC sucks so bad because panels treat fraudulent studies and databases and incompetent studies and databases the same as quality ones.

        Of course, everyone has political agendas. Why doesn’t the scientific establishment make ANY effort to reduce their influence?

      • “no one else has any agendas”

        None that involve squandering 10 Trillion Dollars over the next decades to prevent the flat temperatures from something or other.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Why don’t you come out and say what you mean? As it stands, you’ve said exactly nothing.”

        It is simple. The critics of the IPCC have political agendas.

        Nothing comes of pointing out the mere fact of potential political agendas.
        I’m libertarian and believe that 2+2 = 4. And that C02 causes warming.

        Nothing can be derived from the mere presence of an agenda.
        And further agendas are very poor explanatory variables.
        They can explain everything and therefore nothing.

      • Mosher, you advocate big gubment solutions. You ain’t no stinking libertarian. Rich Matarese is a true libertarian. Remember him?

      • “I’m libertarian and believe that 2+2 = 4. And that C02 causes warming.”

        Not many reasonable people disagree, Steve. Questions remain as to extent and implications. I think you’d agree that for those who are sincerely concerned, the IPCC and the rogues gallery of climate characters like MIchael Mann and Al Gore couldn’t have done a better job of undermining their own cause, had they consciously and deliberately set out to do so…

      • John Carpenter

        Of course everyone has some sort of agenda. Better question… is your agenda the same as mine?

      • Theo Goodwin

        On occasion, I have met a person or two who see all human interaction in political terms only. I cannot imagine a greater curse under which one might live.

      • Steve, I am to the right of Attila The Hun and I believe that an increase in atmospheric CO2 will cause warming.
        I have no problem with AGW, its cAGW proponents I have a problem with.

      • DocM, that is an interesting distinction. Do you consider 4 C over pre-industrial by 2100 possible, but not catastrophic enough to qualify for cAGW?

      • Bob
        The important people are the rabid libertarian nobodies that do drive-bys on this blog’s commenting section.
        Now I understand, why did not someone tell me this sooner?

      • Webster, I surmise my comment went completely over your head.

      • Yep, Jim D; still well within the Holocenic range.
        =======

      • To DocMartyn, a value of 1.7C for TCR is AGW but a value of 2C is cAGW.

      • Web, you make Al Gore look both smart and even-handed.

    • How do you avoid politics when policy has to be made based on scientific information?

      • johnfpittman

        Policy does not have to be made on scientific information or basis. It can be made on moral grounds, legal grounds, past decisions, monetary grounds, minimizing danger, maximizing thru-put, etc.

        The truth is that you can’t avoid politics whenever policy is to be made.

    • Around the world in less than eighty minutes untrurhs morph
      into IPCC certainties.

  4. Matthew R Marler

    Let the public debates continue!

    Some argued that the hiatus had not lasted long enough to be considered a temperature trend.

    That didn’t bother them before, in 1988 for example. Are they completely unaware of the public impact of their inconsistency on this point? It isn’t a case where the change in public stance is supported by a change in evidence; instead, they reconfirm their earlier belief in the face of contrary evidence.

    Perhaps they also felt it would be seized on by climate-change deniers.

    Again they seem oblivious: people who criticize AGW on technical grounds usually emphasize the fact that the climate is always changing independently of particular causes invoked to explain particular changes. CO2 skeptics are “climate change affirmers”. It’s the CO2 zealots (a subset of AGW supporters) who are “climate change deniers.”

    • Of course the pause is not a trend.

      It is perfectly explained by the bounded red noise described by the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). If the global temperature time series data is compensated by a scaled and lagged SOI series, the pause disappears and much of the variability is reduced.
      http://contextearth.com/2013/10/04/climate-variability-and-inferring-global-warming/

      Skeptics don’t like this model, but of course..

      • Latimer Alder

        @webster

        Does your ritual only work in times of the full moon and with Mercury in Capricorn?

        And do I really have to sacrifice my first-born? Wouldn’t a goat be sufficient?

      • What the heck is LattieBoy jibber-jabbering about now, something to do with his belief in the paranormal?

      • Web, do you know the difference between magic and science?

      • Doc,
        I know the difference between DC and AC.
        I know the difference between signal and noise.

        I don’t understand why you hate the fact I get 2C for a TCR while you get 1.7.

        My R^2 is 0.96 while yours is 0.905.

        You grab cycles out of thin air while I use the physical evidence at hand.

        Amazing the battle we have going on over a measly 0.3C.

        It really boils down to the fact that you must be proven right and the climate scientists proven incompetent. Nothing else will assuage your ego.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Of course the pause is not a trend.

        With less than 1/4 of the effort you have devoted to this, you could have shown in 1988 that the recent warming that so alarmed James Hansen was not a “trend” and was “perfectly explained” by a model that fit the oscillations of the last 400 years. As I wrote, the criteria for identifying a “trend” changed when the warming was reduced. By the 30-year criterion, there was no warming trend. Now that we have a criterion of 17 years, the non-warming is almost a trend.

        As for me, I skeptically admire just about all the models. I look forward to being able to choose one for planning purposes in about 20 years.

      • Marler,
        The recent compensation due to La Nina cooling is bounded in extent and will resume the GHG warming trend if the historical SOI evidence holds true:

        http://contextearth.com/2013/10/04/climate-variability-and-inferring-global-warming/

        Look at the first figure. To support your premise, the La Ninas will have to continue to get stronger and that would mean that the reversion to the mean properties of the SOI will have to be violated.

        Nature is not fooled.

    • WHUT how come you did not use the leading mode of monthly global variability? SAM.

  5. In February 2010 Nature published five views under the title IPCC: cherish it, tweak it or scrap it? The five authors are Mike Hulme, Eduardo Zorita, Thomas F. Stocker, Jeff Price, and John R. Christy. Unfortunately the full text seems to be behind the paywall even now. I pick below a short excerpt from each.

    All five saw some problems in the future of IPCC but, not unexpectedly, their views diverged widely.

    Mike Hulme wrote as one paragraph:

    My suggestion for radical reform is to dissolve the IPCC after the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) in 2014. The work would be split into three types of assessment and evaluation, each rather different to the three existing IPCC working groups.

    Eduardo Zorita discussed the idea of an international climate agency:

    An ICA could be built, for instance, on the IAEA template, encompassing many more countries than the IAEA but with a smaller staff. ICA reports should be independently reviewed in a transparent process, draw only on established, peer-reviewed literature, and highlight research gaps. External reviews would then be incorporated into the reports to form white papers to include possible opposing views in a transparent way.

    Thomas F. Stocker seemed to be happy with smaller changes:

    The IPCC has served as an honest broker in the past and will do so, hopefully, in the future. Now that the problem of climate change is on the radar screen of the world, there are many NGOs and other groups, even groups of scientists and institutions, that provide climate-change information in various forms and quality, often lacking comprehensiveness and proper recognition of uncertainties. There is a strong pressure to provide ‘just-in-time’ scientific updates for policy-makers and stakeholders, as was the case in the preparations for the 2009 climate-change conference in Copenhagen. The IPCC must not yield to this pressure.

    Jeff Price saw a need for more frequent updates:

    Finally, the current period between assessments is too long. One option would be for the IPCC, or another body, to produce an annual review, assessment and synthesis of the literature for policy-makers (for example, three annual review volumes with a synthesis chapter in each volume) prepared by experts in the field. Although the editors of the volumes should ideally be drawn from past IPCC authors and editors, the review articles could be submitted by any author, as they would for a journal, with appropriate peer review and assessment for publication.

    John R. Christy wanted to create open debate in Wikipedia-style

    However, voluminous printed reports, issued every six years by government-nominated authors, cannot accommodate the rapid and chaotic development of scientific information today. An idea we pitched a few years ago that is now worth reviving was to establish a living, ‘Wikipedia-IPCC’. Groups of four to eight lead authors, chosen by learned societies, would serve in rotating, overlapping three-year terms to manage sections organized by science and policy questions (similar to the Fourth Assessment Report). The authors would strike a balance between the free-for-all of true science and the need for summary statements.

    These comments influenced also my thinking. I wrote a review on them in Finnish and later continued to discuss the problems of IPCC as I see them on my site. All these comments are already pretty old, but not necessarily obsolete.

    • I agree that a big problem is that these are so far apart, and have time cut-offs for publications to be included that might lead to rushed results. Also, there are rigorous specifications for model studies that require a lot of coordination and work, but the centers may be able to better spend their time on their own more flexible studies. I like the solution of just annual reviews of the latest publications handled by some specialist coordinating committees. I guess it is hard to keep these committees both small and representative, so that selection is the tricky part. The other thing is how to summarize these for policymakers without going through the major diplomatic wordsmithing efforts that we have seen prior to these SPMs.

      • Jim,

        Perhaps it’s an illusion that preparing the SPMs has a significant influence on decision making. There was a fight on a few sentences in Stockholm, but perhaps that was only symbolic. Each of the governments has already some views on these issues, the SPM or anything else in AR5 WG1 report is unlikely to have much influence on those views.

        The gradual learning on the climate change affects equally gradually the opinions of some influential people, and thorough them also governments. The views in 20 years from now will surely be different from the present ones, but all that happens without IPCC as rapidly as with IPCC in my judgment.

        At the time of two or three first assessment reports climate science had been a small research area. Bringing the existing knowledge to wider audience and getting more people rapidly involved required processes different from those typical of other sciences, but in that respect the situation has changed. Climate science has now the volume and spread of knowledge where processes like writing the WG1 report is not needed any more. More normal scientific reviews and other standard processes of science are sufficient and more flexible.

        There are more problems in areas of WG2 and WG3, but those problems seem to require a different approach, because a few issues are covered well by real science. Good coverage requires that many scientists study independently the same issues, because science is dependent on implicit peer review (implicit means that I refer to the scientific process itself, not to the publishing process.)

        The IPCC reports will be referred to, as long as recent enough reports do exist, but other references could be found if they wouldn’t exist.

      • Pekka said, ” WG1 report is unlikely to have much influence on those views.”

        Yep, welcome to the internet age :)

      • Another thing that the IPCC process is not relevant for is regional impacts. With no IPCC, climate science would regionalize more to prognostications for specific areas and types of impact, which in the end is what the policymakers and paying customers want. The IPCC focus on global averages would only suit a purpose of global mitigation and shared payment in a shared problem, which seems idealistic, but did work for getting the global ozone regulations enacted. The problem with carbon is that the mitigation on a global scale would be orders of magnitude more than for CFCs, so I think regional solutions for adaptation are the pragmatic thing to plan for, and therefore to aim the science at.

    • Pekka, don’t stop for paywalls! Just google the title, click on the result. Most paywalls don’t dare block a link that came from google.

  6. John DeFayette

    The IPCC is built for purpose:

    “…[I]t is the scary scenarios that politicians need to know about if they are to do their duty under the UN climate change convention….”

    To-date they have been successful, but apparently this last report was just a big letdown for anybody who is trying to keep the CAGW train on track. They probably should have used 99% or 99.9% confidence level–that would have brought back the Inconvenient Truth reruns.

    This one is a real gem:
    “The problem, in essence, is that factors that climatologists cannot yet successfully model are left out of the modeling studies that deliver the headline predictions.”

    Why don’t they leave in the stuff they know is wrong, as long as it’s scary?

    The solution to that little problem? Throw lots of new money at creative programmers who will not be bothered with such niceties any more:
    “He called for “a new generation of models [that] focus on understanding probabilities of events with severe consequences for people [rather than] those effects that can be modeled more easily.””

    A hunch tells me that the probabilities of those events will be found to be increasingly close to unity as more cash is spent on the new models.

    It’s going to be a tough fight the next few years. Irrelevance is a bitter fruit to swallow.

  7. Steven Mosher

    “The parts of his IPCC article that I found particularly provocative are excerpted below:”

    is that an endorsement? willard will want to know

  8. “Why don’t they leave in the stuff they know is wrong, as long as it’s scary?”

    Just so.

  9. Matthew R Marler

    “I agree there can be a conflict between good science and what policymakers and engineers like flood designers want to know,” said Tony Payne of the University of Bristol, England.

    In Queensland, “good science” predictions of “permanent drought” led to the cancellation of a project to enlarge the reservoir storage and flood control capacity; that produced a calamitous result. Predictions of “permanent drought” for California by Steven Chu have had a like consequence of postponing enlargement/refurbishing of the dam and levee flood control system here. If there is a repeat of the mid 1800s rainfall, CA will experience a calamity analogous to the Queensland calamity.

    There is no conflict between “good science” and engineering requirements. The problem here is the arrogance of the CO2 zealots in asserting that research results that contradict their extreme views is the only “good science.”

    • The real issue here doesn’t get enough discussion; there’s at least as much downside to jumping the gun as there is to waiting until the real tangible effect exposes itself. Nothing is going to happen so precipitously that we can’t wait for it to show itself first. Doing something (or not doing something) because a computer model says that 40 or 50 years from now it might be needed is stupidity on wheels.

      Here in the PNW in the US, the local county wanted to remove a waterfront road nearby me and reroute traffic inland because of sea level rise projected some 50 years out. Even in this ecoloonybin (and the inmates here are as raw vegan/ anti-GMO etc. crazy as they get), the locals made it very clear that they wanted some actual evidence of an actual problem before the county should ‘fix’ it.

      Funny how that works when it’s in your own back yard.

    • Well Matt, the Californians will still have the smelt when they have a dust bowl.

  10. Once again our hostess’s remarks are all I need to read.

  11. Heh, scrutiny has ruined climate science for the purpose of building guilt ridden narratives and frightening the herd into freaking out.
    ==========================

  12. Judith Curry

    The above question: “IPCC: is it fit for purpose?” Unlikely.

    Are the models used/selected by IPCC fit for purpose? Unlikely.

    Are some of the uncertainties in the predictions of future weather, the models used by IPCC do not model the important parameters of sun, clouds, wind and water. Essentially using the wrong tool. As the gridded models may facilitate short term weather forecasts, maybe the assumption that climate change is long term weather and its implicit linearity is fundamentally the wrong tack. IPCC’s continued use of models with linearity and forcing constructs inherent within them, maybe these concepts have outlived their usefulness; hence, IPCC has also outlived it usefulness.

    Tsonis et al use of various oscillations in their models seems to be a construct that would bare more attention as this approach incorporates abrupt changes and seem to be informative.

    Of course, the CO2 catastrophe becomes relegated to a bit role.

    • Steven Mosher

      not even wrong

      • Steven Mosher,
        “not even wrong”
        Sorry, I do not understand. Are you saying the models are not wrong? the IPCC is not wrong? or that all of the above is so wrong that it’s obvious to everyone?

        Thank you for clarifying.

  13. The IPCC encapsulates Post Normal Science. As the IPCC becomes recognised as being unfit for purpose, perhaps Post Normal Science will start to die with it.

    • Unfortunately I think that’s a bit too much to ask for, but it should help to bring it down to manageable levels.

    • Steven Mosher

      Hardly.

      Post normal science is a description first and foremost. you dont even know what it is.

      lets see if you can list the characteristics.

      • Steven:
        Characteristics of Post Normal Science
        Post Normal Science (PNS) is specifically recommended for environmental issues (including “sustainability”?).
        Post Normal Science has these criteria, which can be found in Ravetz, 2001 and more sparsely in other sources:
        · Problem Complexity
        · Uncertainty (facts are uncertain)
        · High Stakes – Dangerous (Climate change warming is inferred harmful; this depends upon feedbacks greater than Arrhenius, 1894))
        · Irreversible – Permanent, Problem will not go away
        · Urgent (decisions urgent)
        · Experimentation – “not best suited” – crucial experiments unavailable
        · Values in dispute; PNS may influence values within research and even statistics (Ravetz, 2004, Ravetz, 2010)
        · It is to extend “democracy” (public debate, politics) (Ravetz, 2004, Ravetz, 2010)
        · Politics/Policy/Regulation – Policy Implications are to guide regulatory work
        · Quality Assurance (Extended Peer Community)
        · Post-Normal approach to Science embodies the Precautionary Principle (Ravetz, 2004, Ravetz, 2010)
        · Trust, Integrity, Truth

  14. The IPCC was never created to do science. Its mission was to gather scientific justification for a pre-formed conclusion. In that, it never really did any good, and has long since outlived its purported purpose.

    It cannot validate a conclusion that is not supported by the data.

    • “It cannot validate a conclusion that is not supported by the data”.

      It’s never stopped them try though. You only need to read the latest SPM to see that.

  15. It reminds me of the amalgam fillings controversy in dentistry. The ADA has always maintained there is no danger. They also use the skeptic label. They go after anyone who disagrees. Since composite filings have pretty much caught up with amalgam most dentists have moved to that. Did the ADA circle the wagons on that one? You decide whose right:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_amalgam_controversy

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-dental-association-objects-to-the-dr-oz-show-segment-on-dental-amalgam-200511641.html

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2813106/

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090402143746.htm

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3766055/

    “Exposure to mercury vapor is a known health risk with no clearly established safe level of exposure. Health Canada has previously acknowledged that dental amalgam is the single largest source of mercury exposure for the average Canadian but assesses that other than for the two to three percent of the population with mercury allergies or hypersensitivity, evidence does not indicate that dental amalgam exposures are high enough to cause illness [21]. Compared to the urinary mercury level associated with clinical mercury poisoning of 100 ug/g-creatinine, our estimates of elevated urinary mercury due to amalgam surfaces are well below that level and would be considered “not harmful” by Health Canada.”

    • Why not compare it to the “tobacco scare”?
      Despite all that rigorous scientific evidence the poor, much-maligned tobacco companies provided, that smoking was not harmful but was actually good for us, we, the great brainwashed herd (to use “kim’s” metaphor) just freaked out and quit smoking.
      Today, the herd just won’t listen to the Heartland Institute or “the Hostess” of this site. Such sheep!

      • The answer is: It’s only compared to the “tobacco scare” by alarmist morons.

      • I guess it’s the old bumper sticker ‘Question Authority’ applies here. In the case of both the ADA and Tobacco they use(d) science to defend their product. In this case the product is the efficacy of AGW or CAGW to be used by governments to determine what if anything should be done about it. It has (it appears to me) come down to what degree of harm CO2 will cause. As with the ADA and Tobacco, I think the IPCC is using science for it’s own purpose. Most of what is behind it in research is probably good although not infallible. Where I see some (possible) tweaking is the measure of confidence they place on their claims. To me it’s not a testing up or down situation that science demands.

        I think there is already evidence enough to do something about it so they should wrap the IPCC up in a few years IMO. Just for clarification, I’m working up a post (my ideas based on source reference ideas) concerning that.

        It does come down to governments using the material to incorporate measures that greatly affect energy use.

    • I work on organo-mercury toxicity, in human brain cells and in cells from Autistic populations.
      I hate mercury and don’t like it dumped in the biosphere or injected into babies.
      However, I have mercury amalgam fillings and am quite mellow as to their potential toxicity. I could probably grow human fetal neurons around mercury amalgam; after this post I might give it a go.

      • That’s good to know, I still have one small one occlusal on a molar. I guess removal is the dicey part. Since mine was a crown repair over a root canal replacement I can just have the whole crown removed no problemo.

      • Don’t forget USGS has proven that the primary source of mercury in our fish (oceans, lakes and rivers) are traceable to the coal plant emissions, and it is growing.

        In another decade, most of us won’t be able to eat fish because of coal plants.

  16. If you were to focus always on “the plausible worst case scenarios that could emerge,” then you would never drive your automobile or even ride a bicycle again.

    • This is what alarmists miss. The Royal Society solemnly opines : “There’s no such thing as safe climate change.”

      It’s idiotic on many levels, but most of all because it forgets that nothing is safe. There’s a risk to getting out of bed in the morning. And a risk to not getting out of bed. The trick to sane living is to identify the risks that can and should be minimized. The massive costs of “climate change” mitigation in combination with the deep uncertainties of how it will play out… if it is in fact a problem or a benefit…or indeed even if it actually exists as a man made phenomenon….clearly argues for a wait and see approach.

      • Or a you can pay me now, or you can pay me later approach.

        I am in favor of pay me now, like how much is Venice worth, should we abandon it or spend billions of dollars protecting it from sea level rise?

        How much are the cities threatened by a meter of sea level rise worth.

        How about all the land that will be under water after 2100, wouldn’t it be prudent to look longer term than just to 2100?

      • Bob: Better a meter of water than a mile of ice. Fortunately, neither is likely.

    • Steven Mosher

      “If you were to focus always on “the plausible worst case scenarios that could emerge,” then you would never drive your automobile or even ride a bicycle again.”

      wrong. It merely changes the ways in which i ride my bike or drive my car.

      With my bike the worst case scenario is probably being hit by a truck. so I

      a) stay off the freeway
      b) wear a helmet
      c) wear bright clothes
      d) have a rear view mirror.

      Focusing on the worst case doesnt prevent action, it allows you to look at a variety of measures, some quite painless, that have a chance of lessing the probability of the worst case

      So, think before you write. If you dont the worst case is that you will look like a fool.

      Also, would you suggest that a military planner not consider the worse case? Do, you back up your hard drive?

      • Steven Mosher,
        That is a good statement. So what kind of actions do you see as relatively useful and not too expensive or difficult like a helmet or bright clothes. I like roof top solar, some wind trubines, solar on parking lot covers and incremental things that can help but not disrupt too much.

        What do you see?
        Scott

      • Wrong. An even worse case is getting shot by an irate driver while on your bicycle and slowly, painfully bleeding to death. Do you wear body armor and a Kevlar helmet?

        Generals who plan based on worst-case scenarios are the McClellans of the world, constantly taking counsel of their fears and too paralyzed to act effectively. If Schwartzkopf had acted that way he never would have used the massive left-hook envelopment move that ended the war so quickly.

        The biggest problem is that the set of outcomes is best modeled as an open set–there is no worst case because the limt points aren’t contained in the set. You can always find something a little worse.

        0 for 3 on this one, Mosh.

      • Steven Mosher

        Scott,

        I try to avoid giving any specific policy suggestions. I’ve done it in the past and its not my cup of tea.

      • Steven Mosher

        Wrong. An even worse case is getting shot by an irate driver while on your bicycle and slowly, painfully bleeding to death. Do you wear body armor and a Kevlar helmet?

        ##########
        huh, how is that different than being hit by a happy truck driver
        and slowly painfully bleeding to near death and then living on
        unable to walk, speak or post on the internet?
        ###########################
        Generals who plan based on worst-case scenarios are the McClellans of the world, constantly taking counsel of their fears and too paralyzed to act effectively. If Schwartzkopf had acted that way he never would have used the massive left-hook envelopment move that ended the war so quickly.

        Wrong. You have no idea of the various plans that we looked at before the Left Hook. As a former threat analyst in t hat time and era I’ll suggest you read some of the literature. You like others seem to conflate CONSIDERING worse case scenarios as a part of your planning with Failing to act because of worst case scenarios.

        #########################

        The biggest problem is that the set of outcomes is best modeled as an open set–there is no worst case because the limt points aren’t contained in the set. You can always find something a little worse.

        Of course you can. Thats not the issue. but a difference that makes no difference makes no difference.

        For example.

        Worst case: I fall. wear a helmet
        no, worse case is hit by car. wear a helmet.
        no worse case is hit by truck. wear a helmet
        no worse case is hit by irate driver and die slow death. wear a helmet
        noo worse case is hit by happy driver and be paralyzed. wear a helmet
        Nooo worse case is hit by driver and wake up as dumb as stevepostrel..
        wear a helmet and pray.

        So yes, I can imagine worse cases. I can imgaine being as dumb as you. But its a difference that makes no difference. One reason we go through worse cases is to discover if there is any worse case that could be handled with a minor adjustment.

        like bomb the command and control, crater their runways, hit the fuel dumps. all sorts of actions that are driven by guys who looked at a wide variety of cases to come up with a plan.

      • Steve, don’t wear a cycle helmet, wear a Water Sports Kayak helmet, like mine

        Much better spec’s than a standard cycle helmet, cost more

        Also get a bright white/red LED light and fix that to the top of your helmet, that way people

      • Now you’re not even trying.

        There is an uncountable number of non-indexed worse cases, so it is impossible for you to consider all of them. Furthermore, you do not in fact consider all of them. You (a boundedly rational pragmatist) did not even consider wearing body armor (or carrying nerve-gas antidote, or a meteor-strike warning system) for your daily bike ride. Just considering things is costly. It takes finite time to do so and there exists an infinity of things to consider.

        I call BS on your purported inside knowledge, beyond all the memoirs, of Schwartzkopf’s thinking. More importantly, what you wrote is irrelevant to my point. At some point you have to stop worrying that you haven’t considered all the stuff that could go wrong and make a decision. Otherwise you get paralysis by analysis. Next up: Drawing a decision tree to decide whether it’s a good idea to use a decision tree.

        No matter how many scenarios you look at, you can be sure that there is an infinite number of unexamined ones that are at least as bad.

        So, unfortunately, you are actually in the worse case of being dumber than I am.

  17. blueice2hotsea

    A few years ago, the IAC submitted formal recommendations for improving the IPCC assessment process. I recall being embarrassed by my cynical prediction – that the IPCC’s changes would maintain the status quo while presenting the appearance of improvement.

    Well, the IPCC elevated the roles of scientists based on their membership in minority status wrt age, gender and nationality. And Pachauri will step down in 2015.

    Anything else? If not, perhaps Pearce is right; the IPCC has out-lived its usefulness.

    • The IPCC now denies Choo-Choo will be gone in any future it projects. So much for even “the appearance of improvement”.

  18. Theo Goodwin

    ‘Nicholas Stern of the London School of Economics, author of an influential economic assessment of climate change for the British government in 2006, takes a similar view about the failings of the IPCC and its models. He complained at a meeting at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., in April that “the scientific models mostly leave out dangerous feedbacks.” He called for “a new generation of models [that] focus on understanding probabilities of events with severe consequences for people [rather than] those effects that can be modeled more easily.” ‘

    Stern wants to shift focus from models that have some hope of getting up to speed someday to models that “focus on understanding probabilities of events with severe consequences but have no hope of getting up to speed in the foreseeable future. His priorities are clear. Chuck the science and scare the hell out of the citizenry.

  19. The IPCC produce the most comprehensive report on the state of the present and future climate and AR5 will be a key reference on the matter for years to come.

    In contrast whatever happens on this thread will be soon forgotten and so is largely a waste of time.

    • If that is your belief, you have no idea what the report is all about. They did no such thing. They merely extracted the work of others that supported their conclusion and then added flowery words to it. They produced nothing except more paper.

    • You’re a very boring fellow, lollywot.

    • It is blogs like this, and coverage of skeptical views in alternative media, that have forced the IPCC to moderate its rabid PR campaign for decarbonization – to the extent that its very supporters now doubt it is “fit for its purpose”.

      The “pause” wasn’t begrudgingly and briefly mentioned in the AR5 because of the IPCC, but because it was afraid of being ridiculed for ignoring something it simply can’t hide. WG 1 did not tone down the C in CAGW because of Real Climate or some peer reviewed articles.

      The AR5 will be remembered by everyone other than the CAGW acolytes as the final confirmation that the IPCC is a purely political entity.

  20. ‘Some scientists are saying that the latest report from the IPCC is overly conservative and fails to mention some of the more worrisome possible scenarios. The panel, they contend, is no longer fulfilling its mission of informing policy makers of the risks of global warming.’

    That NYTimes is one heck of a Right Wing publication isn’t it?

    It’s all laughable but sad that premises like this get play time at all. My conclusion is that Dr. Curry wants to go back to the good old days when science and more importantly scientist were above political suspicion and they could all go along with their bias in place and operating 100% without question quietly. Now we have a whole other set of left-wing orators doing damage control and avoiding everything that is essential about the inception agenda that corrupted the process. The “overly conservative” estimate meme is pathetic given that even the most vague cornerstone claims and predictions are total failures. This is just trash to be passed around left-wing media publications in a face saving exercise for having their body of work laughed at and being exposed for the partisan hacks who corrupted their area of science for an agenda not science at all.

    So all the people who helped turn the IPCC and climate science into a Greenshirt fraud operation get to do the post mortem of the inevitable failure and closer of the IPCC?

    Not likely.

  21. michael hart

    If the IPCC is not fit for purpose, I’m sure they can think of another purpose.

    And the reports will always be useful for breaking the ice at Greenpeace xmas parties.

  22. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\ \text{\sffamily\bfseries  !!! BREAKING NEWS !!!}\ \rule[2ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    It’s simple.

    Steven Mosher got it right!

    `Nuf said. Well done and thank you, Steven Mosher.

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    morediscourse@tradermail.info
    A fan of *MORE* discourse

  23. Does this NOAA paper concur with the new IPCC report?

    “The World Ocean accounts for
    approximately 93% of the warming of the earth system that has
    occurred since 1955.”
    http://data.nodc.noaa.gov/woa/PUBLICATIONS/grlheat12.pdf

    Is it the ocean or is it CO2? I don’t know.

    • Hastings,
      Warming includes the concept of heat retention.
      I would buy into the fact that the ocean can easily retain 93% of the heat, otherwise known as thermal energy.

      The land and atmosphere retain very little in comparison as it is shed as outgoing radiation, thus raising the temperature to compensate for its inability to sink as much heat.

      The GHG theory is quite robust in terms of all these interlocking pieces. You really have to work to find significant holes. I personally have yet to find a back-breaker.

  24. There is the forest. There are the trees. Then there are the branches, twigs, leaves, roots and rootlets. There is further a biochemistry and environmental context to also consider. What part of this hierarchy would IPCC be expected to address? Should there be one prime focus of the hierarchy, or must every category be addressed in comparable detail? What kind of report would be needed to meet the needs of policy makers?

    Ideally, it would be really great if policy makers could absorb, process, and comprehend all levels of the forest hierarchy. But that would be wishful thinking. I am more of the opinion that too much information all at once is both overwhelming and confusing.

    Is getting a simple enough consensus for policy makers to comprehend even feasible given the complexity of the climate system with its different degrees of certainty and uncertainty for different aspects of the global climate change problem? On this I would profess to be a skeptic. When all aspects of global climate change are thrown in together, it is small wonder that the AR5 ‘consensus’ will be criticized as being ‘too conservative’, ‘too liberal’, ‘off target’, ‘incomplete’, or ‘too detailed’ to be useful.

    I have not read any of the AR5 report, so my comments could well be off target, and perhaps directed more at the AR4 report. From my perspective, to be more effective in presenting the climate message is to start first with the basic physics. Perhaps this might be greeted by some climate scientists as being in the category of ‘everybody already knows this stuff – why keep beating on it’. Some people do already know this stuff, but there are many others who don’t.

    That is why I have been trying to make the point that despite the complexity of the climate system, there are basic aspects of our changing climate are straightforward and understandable. Greenhouse physics is what keeps the global temperature some 33 K warmer than simple energy balance with the absorbed solar radiation would permit. This is something very basic that needs to be fully kept in mind. In this category it also needs to be understood that it is the non-condensing greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, CFCs) that sustain the larger water vapor and cloud contribution to the greenhouse effect. Identifying atmospheric CO2 as the principal climate control knob that controls global climate is the first basic step toward getting a clearer picture of how the climate system operates.

    There is the natural variability of the climate system that exhibits interannual fluctuations in global temperature such as El Ninos, La Ninas, and longer period decadal oscillations. These are random looking fluctuations that oscillate about a zero reference point – since in the absence of changes in external radiative forcing, global energy has to be conserved. While this natural variability of the climate system remains to be poorly understood, it is not a driver of the long-term climate trend.

    The growing increase in atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases (e.g., CH4, N2O, CFCs) has been accurately measured and monitored. It is the increase in these non-condensing greenhouse gases that is the immediate cause of human impact on global climate change.

    The non-condensing greenhouse gases are chemically slow reacting, but once injected into the atmosphere, they remain there for decades. They cause the inexorable increase in the strength of the greenhouse effect, which is magnified further by the positive water vapor feedback effect. This is also a matter of global conservation of energy, leaving the climate system no other option but to warm in response to the increase in the non-condensing greenhouse gases.

    The uncertainties associated with natural (unforced) variability, regional climate changes ,and the precise time evolution of the global increase in surface temperature are of second order importance. Geoengineering options, while they should be explored, are a diversion more suggestive of desperation, rather than being a sensible option to counteract the global warming problem.

    • Steven Mosher

      “. From my perspective, to be more effective in presenting the climate message is to start first with the basic physics. Perhaps this might be greeted by some climate scientists as being in the category of ‘everybody already knows this stuff – why keep beating on it’. Some people do already know this stuff, but there are many others who don’t.”

      +1.

      Something in between cartoons and metaphors that get it ‘wrong’
      and 150.00 text books.

      • The issue isn’t what we know from physics, it’s what we don’t know from physics. Knowing all about IR quantum mechanics is lovely, but without the rest of the transport and fluid dynamics and all the chaos theory that falls out from that, it’s like a car with a huge, magnificent engine, and no transmission. You can sit there in your driveway and rev the huge, magnificent engine, and make lots of smoke and noise, and drink lots of gas, but you’re not going anywhere.

        Perfect metaphor for the climate models.

        The known physics are necessary, but nowhere near sufficient. Obsessing about that is just obsessive, and ridiculous.

      • Something in between cartoons and metaphors that get it ‘wrong’ and 150.00 text books.

        Right. There seems to be an arrogant assumption on the part of these “scientists” that they can demand all sorts of policy changes with large prices, while failing to explain their “science” in terms that anywell-informed outsider can understand.

        Then they let their efforts be corrupted by people with political agendas unrelated to the impact of their “science”, and refuse to distance themselves from ignorant fanatics who label anybody who questions anything “deniers”.

        IMO before any “science” is allowed to influence policy, it should be made available to the general public in terms that allow anybody with the requisite mathematics to audit their work. And understand the principles behind it.

      • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if skeptics led that effort? I know Judith started this blog going down that road, but there was a major baulk after the thread on the no-feedback response, and it stopped there, but she had at least sorted out the dragonslayers by then.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if skeptics led that effort? I know Judith started this blog going down that road, but there was a major baulk after the thread on the no-feedback response, and it stopped there, but she had at least sorted out the dragonslayers by then.”

        I will say my attitude changed dramatically when I went from criticizing Hansens and Jones work on the surface record to actually doing it myself.

        That doesnt imply that I approve of every decision they made, but actually doing work and trying to xplain it to others, changes your perspective on the whole process of communicating with the public.

        Of course there are always those who argue that its not their job to come up with explanations, its their job to question. However, I’ve never actually seen a scientist paid to merely question. A philosopher might get that job. A lawyer might get that job.. but not a scientist. In the end you gotta put your understanding on the firing line.

        To date the skeptical explnations consist of … what? nuttin

      • To date the skeptical explnations consist of

        Natural variability.

      • And just what is it you think needs to be explained? No excursion from the b/g variance of the climate or weather has been demonstrated. Are sceptics to explain “all is normal, every spike of every variable quickly regresses to the mean”?

        The vile “one-sided adjustments” ploy to try and create a global emergency are what needs ‘splainin’.

      • Nuttin’ but honeydew lists.
        ===================

      • SM says,
        “Of course there are always those who argue that its not their job to come up with explanations, its their job to question. However, I’ve never actually seen a scientist paid to merely question. ”

        Look harder.

      • You are right that there is no scientist paid ONLY to question. But there have been many cases where experimentalists have disproved hypotheses but not replaced them. You keep going here, but there is no there here.

    • Andy, let’s do a simple thought experiment. 1.Place -Earth, 2. plant and animal life- same as is now, 3. Zero humans. Under these conditions, does temp drive CO2, or does CO2 dive temp?

      • can we have volcanoes?

      • Volcanoes allowed.

      • Then after eruptions CO2 leads warming. See the Permian-Triassic. CO2 reduction from natural sequestration also leads cooling, see the later Eocene. The human effect on CO2 is like the paleoclimate volcanic periods.

      • Bob, you need to keep in mind the relevant time scale. On multi-million year time scales, volcanoes are the principal (temperature independent) source of atmospheric CO2, while the weathering of rocks is the principal sink, with the biosphere participating both as a source and sink. The rate of atmospheric CO2 change on this geological time scale is of order 0.0001 ppm/yr. The inter-glacial rate of CO2 change has been about 0.005 ppm/yr. The causes for inter-glacial CO2 change are complex, involving ocean chemistry and biosphere interactions, all ultimately driven by slow changes in seasonal illumination arising from Milankovic orbital variations. Compare this to the much more extreme rate of 2 ppm/yr that is driven by human driven fossil fuel burning. CO2 is a fundamental non-condensing greenhouse gas. If you inject it into the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect is thereby strengthened, and the global temperature has no option but to increase.

    • In the blogosphere Science of Doom has taken the approach of starting from basic physics and trying to figure out how far one can get without being an actual climate scientist. Unfortunately the host of that site has been so busy with something else that there have been no new posts for several months, but i hope that he can come back soon to revitalize the site.

    • “Identifying atmospheric CO2 as the principal climate control knob that controls global climate is the first basic step toward getting a clearer picture of how the climate system operates.”

      It would be embarrassing if the first basic step was wrong, wouldn’t it?

      (I was going to make a knob joke here, but thought better of it.)

      • James, the first step is to recognize that the world that we live in operates according to the laws of physics. That makes everything more comprehensible.

      • Or you could say it’s CO2 and the other non-condensable green-house gases.

        Could there be a first step in providing evidence that non-condensables are not important? Or someone could show that there is something that correlates with temperature better than the combined non-condensable gases.

        Gotta be more skeptical than just saying “it would be embarrassing to be wrong”

        Yes it would, but that is highly unlikely.

      • Well, I think it is only a matter of time before the physics assumptions of the IPCC come tumbling down.

        Lukewarmers might argue that CO2 effect is limited because of saturation.
        The core physics of the “greenhouse” theory has not been properly described. Whatever core theory it is hasn’t been verified in a physics lab. There is no experimental data quantifying warming of any GHG exposed to IR and free to radiate.

        Apparently, pyrgeometer data has been misinterpreted. According to AlecM on tallboke’s blog http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/discussions-on-pyrgeometers-ir-measurement/
        “AlecM says:
        February 11, 2013 at 3:30 pm
        The pyrgeometer is a pyrometer for which the temperature signal is converted by the S-B equation to give the potential energy flux that the emitter(s) in the field of view would emit to a sink at absolute zero.

        This not a real energy flux. You prove this very simply. Have two pyrgeometers back to back in zero temperature gradient and the net signal is zero. Take one away and the signal jumps to the temperature value.

        Then manufacturers are very specific on this – to measure real energy flux you need the back to back signal.So the signal is an artefact of the shield behind the detector.

        This has been a 50 year mistake by people who don’t know the most basic physics. The Trenberth Energy Budget has in it 100s of man years of wasted effort. Correct the many other mistakes in the physics and there are three separate reasons why there can never be any CO2-AGW.

        This has been a disaster for science.”

        Radiative thermal equilibrium temperature is independent of atomic/molecular composition.

        The core physics can be settled in a physics lab to 5-6 sigma certainty.


      • blouis79 | October 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm |

        The core physics can be settled in a physics lab to 5-6 sigma certainty.

        How certain of that are you?

        Where does Team Denier find these clowns?

      • A Lacis,

        “James, the first step is to recognize that the world that we live in operates according to the laws of physics. That makes everything more comprehensible.”

        Do you generally find it a successful conversational technique to assume that the person you are talking to is an idiot?

        Understanding the physics of some aspects of the climate system is great. Maybe one day our wonderful scientists will understand all of it.

        Then you can say things like “see, we were right – that’s what we said would happen.” That would add greatly to the power of your argument.

        Questioning whether CO2 is the principal climate control knob isn’t questioning the laws of physics. And nor is questioning whether putting the kettle on will give me heat stroke.

    • John Carpenter

      “Geoengineering options, while they should be explored, are a diversion more suggestive of desperation, rather than being a sensible option to counteract the global warming problem.”

      Thank you for noting that.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Both businiess-as-usual and mitigation are forms of global geo-engineering.

        Yet, regional climate change has national security implications in economy and defense. So, for reasons of necessity, some nations are no doubt studying regional geo-engineering and not publicizing the research.

    • “There is the forest. There are the trees. Then there are the branches, twigs, leaves, roots and rootlets.”

      Then there is the cubist monstrosity of the forest painted by the IPCC that bears no relation to reality.

      • That would just be the “skeptic” lenses distorting things. A lot of people only see the science through one or several layers of distorting lenses. Nothing beats seeing the real thing.

      • Nothing beats seeing the real thing.

        Indeed.

    • A. Lacis, did you by any chance have time to have a look at the engineered ecology in Biosphere 2? They completely miscalculated the CO2 release from soil, at one stage they had swings of 800 ppm during the diurnal cycle. They completely got the species choice wrong and were saved by the concrete absorbing CO2.

  25. Andy Lacis,

    My first impressions from reading some parts of AR5 is that it’s even further from the wishes you present than any of the earlier assessments. It’s more than ever an update that covers publications that have appeared since AR4, and it seems to be a heavier read than any of the earlier reports partly, because it has taken in a formal way seriously the criticism presented by IAC. For that reason the text is full of statements on the level of uncertainty of the observations.

    • Steven Mosher

      pekka I think peter Thorne did a wonderful job on observations, at least in my corner of things and I was very critical of the Ar4 effort.

      • Steven,

        With many authors the clarity of the text is surely variable. I hope that there are more of those successes than my first impression promises.

        One factor that may have influenced me is that the layout of the draft is not nearly as good as that of the finished report.

    • Pekka, that is just what I was afraid of. They have been too concerned about fending off all real and imaginable criticisms that their charter objective has become obscured. While it is commendable to be comprehensive, this also runs the risk of becoming too dinosaurian. Perhaps breaking it down into smaller, more digestible hierarchical pieces could make the IPCC concept more manageable. That is why I prefer to think first in terms of the basic physics of the global warming problem, before getting bogged down in second order uncertainties on how various physical processes are parameterized, implemented, and verified.

      • Andy,

        It may be difficult to produce highly readable reports by an international organization (I consider IPCC an organization in this sense) because following some formal rules is unavoidable. Small groups of authors have a a better change in succeeded in that. Having parallel review texts answers the criticism that such texts may be too subjective.

        This kind of considerations are part of the reasons that make me one of those that are ready to move to some other solution. Some others favor that because they thing that IPCC is too alarmistic or too conservative and unwilling to present strong warnings. I’m not in either camp but consider WG1 as balanced as we can realistically hope, but even so it’s perhaps not needed anymore or the best approach.

      • A Lacis | October 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm

        They have been too concerned about fending off all real and imaginable criticisms that their charter objective has become obscured.

        Could you be more specific about which particular “charter objective(s)” has/have become obscured by criticisms – whether in reality or, evidently, as figments of some PR/branding expert’s imagination?

        And while I’m here … In an earlier comment you had also advised us to:

        Compare this to the much more extreme rate of 2 ppm/yr that is driven by human driven fossil fuel burning. CO2 is a fundamental non-condensing greenhouse gas. If you inject it into the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect is thereby strengthened, and the global temperature has no option but to increase.[emphasis added -hro]

        So, first of all, I’m trying to come to grips with the concept of “much more extreme”. And I must confess that I’m having considerable difficulty with this concept.

        I did check the glossary in both AR4 and AR5; but, sadly, while I did find what I would deem to be a significant variance in what the “Lead Authors intend[ed]” by their respective use of “extreme”, there was no mention of “much more extreme”.

        It is interesting to note, however, that while AR4 did not contain any instances of “much more” of anything, the AR5 draft does include 58 instances of “much more” – including six instances of “much more uncertain/uncertainty”. But none (i.e. zero, zip, nada) of “much more extreme”.

        You seem to be suggesting that there is an apparently undocumented continuum of “extreme”. So, unless “extreme” means something completely different in Lacis-speak than in IPCC-speak (please see below), perhaps you would be kind enough to provide your plain language “translation” of “much more extreme”.

        I hope you’ll forgive the fact that due to my pre-post-modernist education, even as an English & Psych major who is the daughter of an engineer (who knows everything, because he said so!) common sense, simple arithmetic, and basic logic 101 are my starting points – along with accuracy, brevity and clarity, particularly the latter.

        Considering the complexity, I do appreciate that “brevity” may be out of the question. But I’d like to think that accuracy and clarity are within your rhetorical grasp!

        Consequently, I am virtually certain (by the relatively recently introduced IPCC definition, standard, guidance, principle, Stockerism™, or whatever the heck they’re calling such metrics this week), that an increase of 2 parts per million per year – added to the <<gasp>> recently reached 460 parts per million leaves the effect/influence of what I perceive as a humongous elephant in the “climate change” room: That of the rate of increase of some stuff or other which constitutes the remaining 999,540 parts per million still present but unaccounted for (to the best of my layperson’s reading of both AR4 [final] and AR5 [final draft].

        In short, do you have any “evidence” (of the pre-post-modernist, plain English, empirical kind – as opposed to the post-modernist foggy and sciencey output of the computer simulation kind) to support your contention that the influence and effects of this purported “much more extreme” rate of increase of 2 parts per million per year outweigh any possible, if not probable, rate of increase in the influence and effects of any of the stuff that constitutes the remaining presumed 999,540 parts per million of our atmosphere?

        Thanks :-)

      • A Lacis said:
        “That is why I prefer to think first in terms of the basic physics of the global warming problem, before getting bogged down in second order uncertainties on how various physical processes are parameterized, implemented, and verified.”

        The basic physics don’t give you a quantitative answer to the question of “how much warming?”. For that you need to check “how various physical processes are parameterized, implemented, and verified.”

        I would like to ask you: do you think that it is possible that the answer to “how much warming?” is: not much. I’m not asking if you think “not much” is “likable” or “probable”, but if possible at all.

      • How do hierarchical pieces represent a chaotic interconnected network?

  26. I am more of the opinion that too much information all at once is both overwhelming and confusing.

    Which is precisely why the Summary for Policy Makers comes first and the full detailed reports are made to conform to the summary and published 3 to 14 months later.

    The IPCC might just as well take a clue from Douglas Adams: “in later aditions of the [Time Traveler’s Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations] all pages beyond this point have been left blank to save on printing costs. “

    • The final draft of AR5 WG1 full report was finalized in June. In Stockholm last week a list of made of the details, where some changes are to be made. This list is openly available on the net. The changes are rather technical like changing the starting year of some graphs or adding a few more numbers in some paragraphs.

      There’s a procedure for correcting actual errors that are found before the technical steps involved in finalizing the layout of the report are over. There should not be any other changes to the manuscript than such corrections of outright errors and changes listed in the list produced in Stockholm.

      • With the changes made to Fig 1.4 in the past couple months prior to the SPM Final, the changes seem to be more than technical.

      • “…. What has been released so far is the approved Summary for Policymakers as well as the final drafts (version 7 June 2013) of the underlying chapters and the Technial Summary (downloadable free of charge from http://www.climatechange2013.org). These drafts are still subject to copy edit, error correction and any necessary changes for consistency with the approved SPM. We anticipate that the full report in its finalised and publication-ready form will be released electronically in January 2014 …. ”
        (IPCC WG1 TSU Oct. 11, 2013)

    • Stephen: “any necessary changes for consistency with the approved SPM”.If AR5 WG1 represents the science, why would the science change based upon the story told to policymakers (SPM)?

  27. Theo Goodwin

    I guess no one cares to do the hard work that must be done if the question posed by Dr. Curry is to be answered.

    To answer that question, we must assign grades to the IPCC. In what areas did they improve? In what areas did they get worse?

    Without doing the work by myself, I can summarize what I expect the findings to be.

    The IPCC is the same old, same old. They improved in no areas. No controversies associated with the IPCC have been resolved. In fact, all are worse than before. For example, has the IPCC managed to find responsible and respectable leadership? Well, Pachauri answers that for us. Grade: F.

    Did the IPCC improve in its communications with the public? Not at all. In fact, its chief representatives are just as arrogant and unresponsive to the public as always. Grade: F.

    Did they improve in educating the public? No. In their latest report, they substitute a spaghetti graph that is wholly unintelligible for an existing graph on model performance against observations. Grade: F.

    Did they improve the process of reporting climate science? In their most recent publication, most of the new and interesting work was published in the last three months and missed the deadline. They cannot be timely. Grade: F.
    .
    .
    .
    I hope my examples will get everyone started on a serious look at the worth of the IPCC.

  28. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    I don’t agree with Keith’s: IPCC “did a great job in the early days”.
    I have the scientific key to understand why climate models “do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10-15 years.”
    I agree with JC’s comment: “I don’t think the IPCC can be fixed or reinvented”.
    More info on: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2VHpYemRBV3FQRjA/edit

  29. The Western Secular, Socialist Government-Education Complex gave wings to the Global Warming Industry and is so fixated on the prospect of using fear of AGW to transfer gobs of transaction capital from the private to the public sector, they cannot see that Western civilization is not only running out of money but is cultivating a population that is powerless to do anything but ride the decline.

  30. “The question is now being asked: Is the IPCC still fit for its purpose?”

    From a perspective point of view, this question makes absolute sense. The IPCC was created to provide scientific PR for the centralization of control of the energy economy. Any deviation from this purpose is anathema to the progressives who rely on the ARs to turn their political goals into “science”.

    A graph that shows how badly models are performing? How dare they?!

    A box showing that the “catastrophes” that are the cornerstone of the movement are virtually all either unlikely, not terribly dangerous, or readily reversible? Scandalous!!!

    Conservatives, skeptics and lukewarmers have zero power over the IPCC. But the IPCC could end up cutting its own throat by putting the salvage of their own diminishing reputations in the scienctific community at large, before their obeisance to their political patrons.

  31. In the absence of a shred of evidence that positive feedbacks, if any, are not squelched and overridden by much more powerful negative feedbacks, the omission of the goofier scare scenarios, whether sea level based or atmospheric, is entirely justified.

    As to the process of consensus-seeking, the disputes now surfacing at last make the whole attempt perverse. In effect, the IPCC is based on the premise that agreement is more important than accuracy or truth. A politician’s POV, not a scientist’s.

  32. It seems to me, there are several important dimensions left out of this discussion.

    Let’s say the warming is not as bad as the IPCC thinks,
    What about the fact that

    #1 CO2 still increases the acidification of the oceans. Wouldn’t that still be a serious problem.

    #2 the fact that the coal plant emissions are literally making our fish unedible (not to mention sick) because of their mercury content.

    http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/mercury-seafood-it-still-safe-eat-fish

    http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/pacific_mercury.html

    This in itself is a reason why the IPCC needs to be around. Can someone tell me why that is wrong, please.

    And these are tied into global warming, because the “solutions” for global warming also are solutions for the above serious problems.

    • Pat

      You argue for a continuation of IPCC because:

      #1 CO2 still increases the acidification of the oceans. Wouldn’t that still be a serious problem.

      #2 the fact that the coal plant emissions are literally making our fish unedible (not to mention sick) because of their mercury content.

      There are no data showing that “ocean acidification” is or will become “a serious problem”. The ocean contains an estimated 40,000 gigatons of carbon. Humans emit around 9 GtC annually, of which around half stays in the atmosphere. The other half “disappears” into the biosphere (plants, soils, etc.) and ocean.

      Coal plant air pollution (sulfur, mercury, black carbon, etc.) should be and is being stopped. This has nothing to do with IPCC.

      Max

    • Ocean acidificaion is not a major problem.
      Mercury emission from coal plants are a problem, but no utility are not likely to build a state of the art, low emission, fossil fuel plants with a 60 year life, if they are uncertain that the EPA will outlaw them on whim or that the coal will be taxed.
      The obvious solution is to replace all base load fossil fuel plants with nuclear, but the Greens stopped that route.


    • Pat | October 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm |

      It seems to me, there are several important dimensions left out of this discussion.

      Exactly. These other dimensions are all part of the “No Regrets” policy for moving off of fossil fuels.

      You kill three birds with one stone.
      1. Guard against the bad outcome global warming
      2. Move to alternative energies as our fossil fuels deplete
      3. Eliminate toxins and pollution in our environment.

      The last is the extra rationale that Pat suggested. This is No Regrets because it will be an overall win even if AGW doesn’t turn out as bad as suggested.

  33. Judith Curry

    The question of whether or not IPCC has outlived its usefulness has been raised by both sides of the debate, as you have pointed out here and previously.

    Fred Pearce believes that IPCC has been too conservative in describing the danger of CAGW as a result of its forced consensus process. There are many who believe that this forced consensus process has done just the opposite by censoring out any scientific opinions or findings that do not support the CAGW premise, as outlined by IPCC, thereby leading to an overly catastrophic prediction of future climate and its impacts.

    In addition to this criticism from both sides, there has been a general loss of confidence in IPCC, resulting from Climategate, the hockey stick fiasco, and the other revelations of exaggerated or fabricated claims in the AR4 report.

    Gone is the reputation of a “gold standard” climate research organization that IPCC enjoyed a few years ago.

    By “jacking up” the (over)confidence level from 90% to 95% without any real substantiation in its new AR5 report, by downplaying the lack of warming over the past decade despite unabated GHG emissions, as well as by failing to acknowledge the many observation-based studies indicating a significantly lower climate sensitivity than predicted by the models in AR4 and lowering the mean estimate accordingly, IPCC appears to be unleashing more skepticism and lack of trust.

    You close your comment to the Pearce essay with the sentence:

    I don’t think the IPCC can be fixed or reinvented in a way that is useful.

    As an interested bystander, I would agree 100%

    IMO, it should be disbanded and replaced with a smaller, less bureaucratic and non-political group representing all scientific viewpoints in the ongoing debate surrounding global warming (not just the “consensus” view). This new group should truly study all causes of climate change – and not fixate only on human-caused greenhouse warming. It should issue frequent, smaller reports on specific new findings as they develop rather than bulky summary reports that tell us nothing new and are outdated before they are published.

    Just my thoughts.

    Max

    PS Thomas Stocker was part of a panel discussion with Swiss politicians on “Climate Change” on Swiss TV tonight. He presented the consensus view faithfully, telling the politicians that they have the choice on what kind of a climate they want in the future. When asked about the current “pause” in warming despite unabated human GHG emissions, he referred to it as a slowdown in the warming rate over the past 15 years that was not anticipated by the models, but is not unusual. When pressed on how long the “pause” would have to last before it became a problem for the models, he stated “around 20 years”.

  34. Asking “Is the IPCC still fit for its purpose?” is the wrong question because (a) it implies that the IPCC has a purpose that is worth preserving; and (b) the “still” presupposes that the IPCC was EVER fit for its purpose. If the purpose was to increase the scientific understanding of the climate system and how human activities might be affecting this system, then creating the organization under a charter that presupposes a particular scientific conclusion was inappropriate and any results of value produced by the organization are totally coincidental to its purpose. Our host (and others) have demonstrated, repeatedly and extensively, the damage that the IPCC has done to objective scientific investigation of climate issues. If the purpose was to provide a marketing arm for the UNFCC and its associated governments, then to cloak this purpose under the guise of scientific investigation was dishonest, at best. When science gets politicized the result is never good, at least for science, and generally for society as well. If there is a bright side, so far the warmists are only talking about sending their scientific critics to prison, whereas, in a previous instance where science was politicized, T.D. Lysenko actually did!

  35. “I don’t think the IPCC can be fixed or reinvented in a way that is useful.”

    Judith, I have to agree. The only time the IPCC was in a position to make a clear assertion, of the truth was for the period 1910 to 1940. Ironically, though, this is a period when they would be least believed. I think the IPCC’s biggest mistake was to think they were dealing with a single gas. From a chemist’s point of view they were, but from a physicist view they were not, because the CO2 molecule provided so many different excitement modes at different temperatures. Had they considered this with the more modern quantum theory, rather than classic thermodynamics, they would have realized their mistake. The predictability of a vibration mode at a particular temperature is vital to the success of any analysis or model. of CO2 in the troposphere.

  36. Mosher said:

    Nothing comes of pointing out the mere fact of potential political agendas.
    I’m libertarian and believe that 2+2 = 4. And that C02 causes warming.

    The problem you and everyone else has is you don’t know what that warming causes and you know you don’t know. That is a critical uncertainty. The fundamental difference between skeptics and hystericals is accepting this simple truth. It has nothing to do with politics – science doesn’t vote.

    There is political alignment based on the opportunities each climate camp brings to the table, but that is the result of the money that has become available to influence the direction of climate politics and that depends who is best at influencing voters. Politics and opportunity are easy bedfellows.

  37. The IPCC was as unfit on it’s first day as it was on its last;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/03/the-2013-ipcc-ar5-report-facts-vs-fictions/

    We could talk about how much in government greenbucks have flowed into Yale the past decade. Sad reminder of the levels of rent-seeking windfalls have been gained by some.

  38. The IPCC has clearly failed. They have failed to convince an increasingly sceptical public that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability. They have failed to establish a guaranteed income for the UN through collection and redistribution of carbon debt under “a framework of UN global governance”. They have failed even engineer an exit for the fellow travellers to “bio-crisis” or “sustainability”.

    The Professional Left will now use the IPCC for one last task. They will throw the IPCC under the bus as a sacrifice to appease the enraged masses. The IPCC will fail at this too. Every activist, journalist or politician who sought to promote or profit by this inane hoax will soon be desperate for an exit strategy. Blaming the IPCC will not work in the age of the Internet. This is not just about a scientific “mistake”, this is also about the behaviour of the fellow travellers. They vilified sceptics to silence them. The record of this is permanent. Sacrificing the IPCC will not erase their burning shame.

  39. “It may do good science, but does it deliver what policymakers need?”

    Huh??

    What science does it do?

    “The IPCC is showing typical signs of middle age, including weight gain”

    Huh?

    What, now that’s it permanent staff has ballooned out to a massive ……10?

    If the IPCC didn’t exist tofday, we’d have people arguing for something like it.

    • Only 10? well they won’t be needing this shiny temple of corruption –

      – now will they?

      The mendacious bovine who posed as Australia’s last prime minister introduced a carbon tax she had no mandate for. 10% of that was paid in extra sovereign taxes to the UN. The UN are in receipt of the proceeds of crime. That shiny tower should now belong to the Australian taxpayer!

      And no, trying to transfer the asset to the WMO won’t work. They’re next on the list. The shell game will not protect the UN.

      Hand over the shiny thing!

  40. Is there an alternative? If you abandon the IPCC, how does (should?) the scientific climate community inform politicians, policy makers and the general public?

    A considerable makeover with much more transparancy, as suggested by GPWF & McKitrick?

    http://www.thegwpf.org/images/stories/gwpf-reports/mckitrick-ipcc_reforms.pdf

    A majority/minority type of reporting, as discussed at WUWT?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/13/a-modest-proposal-in-lieu-of-disbanding-the-ipcc/

    Completely abandon it, as suggested by some Dutch scientist, and let them instead focus on Special Reports like SREX, as IPCC has served its goal (put climate change on the political agenda; Roger Pielke jr.).

    http://www.staatvanhetklimaat.nl/2013/09/21/dutch-scientists-lets-abolish-the-ipcc-climate-reports/

    Something else?

    • Something or other, or else.
      ==============

    • The primary present user of IPCC results is probably UNFCCC. There’s an implied assumption that the outcome of the IPCC assessments provides valid basis for the decisions UNFCCC can make. Related decisions are done also on national and regional level (EU is active in this area).

      I don’t think that any of these organizations really bases their results on the IPCC reports. IPCC reports are certainly referred to, when references are needed, but the distance from the IPCC assessments to decisions is so large that the really influential factors are elsewhere.

      Understanding in the area of WG1 has stabilized so much that changes at a level that really influences decision making accrue very slowly. That additional information can be absorbed without IPCC, and mostly it has probably already been absorbed before the next assessment gets published. Normal reviews and books published by individual scientists and small groups of scientists will take care of that in a natural way. Putting formal stamps on that in the way IPCC does it is not likely to make the outcome more trustworthy.

      Areas of WG2 and WG3 are another matter, but those working groups have suffered all the time from being modeled in the way reasonable for WG1 but not for them. Only WG1 has been able to base it’s work on science that has been scrutinized by peers sufficiently for the outcome to be assessed in the way IPCC does it.

      • Pekka, do you not hear that thin ice cracking under you, particularly nationally and regionally?
        ===============

      • What ice? I see only open water.

        I have known all the time that all policy decisions must be done under great uncertainty. Part of the science is fully solid, but how far that extends can be seen from the range of uncertainty of the climate sensitivity. That’s no secret, that’s the state of matter.

      • Most of the policy decisions made on the basis of ‘settled’ WG1 science are now drowning, nationally and regionally.
        ================================

      • Should what happens with policies affect my (or anybody’s) views on what science tells about climate change?

        Or on what I would hope the policies to be?

      • There is military and commercial planning for an opening Arctic. Even oil companies have seen that their own hired scientists and paid institutes are just spouting a crock of denialism, and proceed anyway disregarding what they say. Follow what they do with their investment money. It shows what they truly believe.

      • Pekka, you have the dilemma in view.
        ====================

      • I have the view that there’s a dilemma.

  41. Some have mentioned a Wikipedia style building of knowledge. Following McIntyre’s lead, I’d suggest a StackOverflow style for the nitty-gritty auditing. Exact quantified questions

    The problem I see most often in cross-domain papers written about CC is the use of 1-2 summary sentences or a quote supported by a citation. However the main problem with building knowledge in climate is it is difficult to arrive at intermediary lemmas – those with decent error bounds on magnitude and frequency parameters. e.g. you can characterize ENSO interestingly, but you can’t model it for predictive value.

  42. I’m afraid I don’t share Dr Curry’s high opinion of Pearce. He says:

    “Some “scary scenarios” arising from possible positive feedbacks — in which nature amplifies man-made warming — have been left out of the model projections on which the IPCC’s headline forecasts are based. Surely, some critics say, it is the scary scenarios that politicians need to know about if they are to do their duty under the UN climate change convention and act together to prevent “dangerous climate change.” Even the U.S. signed that, under George Bush senior in 1992.”

    Firstly, his piece is full of alleged opinions of un-named people. “Some critics say, some scientists say” etc. Who are they? If they believe these things, why won’t he name them? Anyone can write something that claims that “some say” something. It is a common technique of lazy journalists who can’t or won’t find evidence for their assertions.

    Secondly, he seems to think that it is the IPCC’s duty to focus solely on the negatives, such as hypothetical “scary scenarios.” I would have thought that any even handed assessment ought also to address the potential positives of various scenarios. To claim that there aren’t any is just plain dishonest. He also says:

    “The problem, in essence, is that factors that climatologists cannot yet successfully model are left out of the modeling studies that deliver the headline predictions.”

    I had to read that a few times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. It is utterly bizarre to claim that not including things which are not understood properly is a failing, because you don’t get the answer that you want. This is post-normal science in action, folks! And it is supported by Nicholas Stern:

    He called for “a new generation of models [that] focus on understanding probabilities of events with severe consequences for people [rather than] those effects that can be modeled more easily.”

    Disgraceful, whether from a scientific or policy perspective. These people seem to have completely lost any sense of intellectual integrity.

  43. IPCC is suffering from obesity and dementia

  44. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  45. In 2007, the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”.

    In the years since this high point, policymakers seem less willing to pass come to a global agreement to seriously limit emissions of CO2. Given the economic difficulties that have prevailed since 2007, the increased fear of nuclear power following Fukushima, the hiatus in warming, and scandals in climate science. Fracking and other unconventional fossil fuels are making North America energy independent and hurting the economics of renewable energy.

    The “conservative” scientists who wrote AR5 haven’t come up with any NEW scary scenarios that will force policymakers into action. Except for heat waves and extreme precipitation, IPCC scientists have refused to endorse the Green mantra that we are already experiencing CLIMATE DISRUPTION. They have reduced the lower limit on projected future warming.

    For many, the IPCC exists to promote global agreements and legislation to restrict CO2 emission. Since the IPCC apparently not willing to further distort climate science to meet these political objectives, it is time to get rid of the organization.

    Will a group of climate scientists will break away from the IPCC and form a “scientific” organization willing to provide the scary scenarios necessary to promote legislation?

  46. “I once heard that the best thing to do with a dead horse is to stop beating it and bury it with as little fanfare as possible.”

    Comment in: Curry, Judith A. “Agnotology, Agnoiology and Cognitronics.” Scientific. Climate Etc., July 11, 2011. https://judithcurry.com/2011/07/11/agnotology-agnoiology-and-cognitronics/

  47. As a tool for scaring the citizenry into supporting Draconian control of our energy supply, the IPCC / UNFCCC was very fit for purpose. For a while.

    As a scientific tool for anticipating climate effects, reality (observation) has overtaken it.

    This was predictable: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” Mt 6:24