by Judith Curry
The UK House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee has invited submissions to an inquiry on the IPCC 5th Assessment.
The Committee requested submissions that address the following questions:
- How robust are the conclusions in the AR5 Physical Science Basis report? Have the IPCC adequately addresses criticisms of previous reports? How much scope is there to question of the report’s conclusions?
- To what extent does AR5 reflect the range of views among climate scientists?
- Can any of the areas of the science now be considered settled as a result of AR5’s publication, if so which? What areas need further effort to reduce the levels of uncertainty?
- How effective is AR5 and the summary for policymakers in conveying what is meant by uncertainty in scientific terms ? Would a focus on risk rather than uncertainty be useful?
- Does the AR5 address the reliability of climate models?
- Has AR5 sufficiently explained the reasons behind the widely reported hiatus in the global surface temperature record?
- Do the AR5 Physical Science Basis report’s conclusions strengthen or weaken the economic case for action to prevent dangerous climate change?
- What implications do the IPCC’s conclusions in the AR5 Physical Science Basis report have for policy making both nationally and internationally?
- Is the IPCC process an effective mechanism for assessing scientific knowledge? Or has it focussed on providing a justification for political commitment?
- To what extent did political intervention influence the final conclusions of the AR5 Physical Science Basis summary?
- Is the rate at which the UK Government intends to cut CO2 emissions appropriate in light of the findings of the IPCC AR5 Physical Science Basis report?
- What relevance do the IPCC’s conclusions have in respect of the review of the fourth Carbon Budget?
The submissions are posted publicly on the internet [link]. A total of 41 submission are posted, ranging from UK government organizations, professional societies, and individuals, and including some foreign contributions.
Submission from UK organizations included Met Office, Royal Society, Royal Meteorological Society, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Natural Environment Research Council, University of Reading, Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. These all pretty much recite the ‘party line.’ Of those, I found the submission by the Royal Meteorological Society to be the most thoughtful and interesting.
Submissions from well-known skeptical organizations include:
Several submissions focused on the IPCC organization and process itself, each of these is worth reading:
- Dr. Ruth Dixon presents a thorough examination of the IPCC Review Process, including the IAC’s recommendations and the IPCC’s response
- David Holland addresses the question “Is the IPCC process an effective mechanism for assessing scientific knowledge? Or has it focussed on providing a justification for political commitment?” His response includes a history of the 5 Assessment Reports, and controversies associated with each.
- Donna LaFramboise writes a hard-hitting piece drawing on her two books about the IPCC, arguing that science is the lipstick on a pig of a political organization.
Robin Guenier‘s submission critiques the studies that purport to identify a large consensus.
Other submissions by individuals that I found interesting include
A number of submissions make scientific arguments that they believe refute the IPCC’s conclusions. Of these, Nic Lewis‘ submission is a tour de force. Not surprisingly, his submission is on the topic of climate sensitivity. This is the clearest explanation I’ve seen of the problems with the IPCC’s arguments regarding climate sensitivity.
JC note: I was asked by a Committee member (via email) to submit evidence, but I missed the deadline. I received another email Monday, and quickly submitted something (it has not yet appeared on the site). My submission pulled from other op-eds/testimony that I’ve written, so nothing new that is worth discussing here.
Moderation note: As a prerequisite for commenting on this thread, please read at least one of the submissions. Please keep your comments on topic.