For nearly a week, a leaked draft of next year’s “Fifth Assessment Report” on climate change, by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has been burning up the blogosphere. Since it’s everywhere, I’ll take my liberties and join the party.
The most impressive figure [see above] shows how badly one of their most-cited series of predictions is faring. Explanation follows.
The colored shading shows the projected range of global annual average surface temperature change from 1990 to 2015 for models used in the succession of IPCC assessment reports, labeled “FAR” (First Assessment Report, 1990), SAR (1995), TAR (2001) and AR4 (Fourth, 2007). The “emissions scenarios” generally cover the range from each report during the period from 1990 to 2015, and the changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration that have been observed pretty much fall within this range. The very large grey zone is irrelevant to the forecasts that were made.
The three small black rectangles each year are the observed global temperature histories in common use. For every year except the last one (2011), the black “whiskers” are an estimate of the 90% confidence range for the observed temperature. Since the three records pretty much use the same data, I wouldn’t have a lot of faith in the reality of those whiskers. Data were not fully available for 2011, so any whiskers would not be comparable to the others. Quite obviously, for more than a decade, the observations have fallen near or below the lower end of the IPCC projected range. Houston, we have a problem.
Will this chart will be altered or disappear completely in the final IPCC report due in 2013?
When politicians want evidence to back up their belief that mankind is heating up the planet, they turn to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Nobel Prize-winning organization was responsible for the famous hockey-stick graph used to demonstrate the purported warming effect of man-made carbon dioxide. IPCC’s notoriety has turned out to be a two-edged sword, as leaks continue to undermine the group’s core message.
In a statement Friday, IPCC officials confirmed the authenticity of a leaked draft of the forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report on climate. Skeptics seized upon a chart within the document that compares past IPCC predictions with actual temperature readings. The scientific models of 1990’s First Assessment Report forecast temperatures would rise fast, reaching alarming levels by 2010. The mercury refused to cooperate with the warming hypothesis that year. In 2012, temperatures also were frostier than the generous assumptions in each of the group’s four previous reports.
The environmentalist movement has gone off the deep end. It's bad enough that the courts have allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to declare carbon dioxide, one of the essential components of life on this planet, to be a pollutant. Now the same bureaucratic zealots are going after water itself.
On Friday, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II appeared in federal district court in Alexandria to contest the EPA's use of the Clean Water Act to punish Virginia and Fairfax County for sending too much water into a watershed. "These regulations are expensive, cumbersome and incredibly difficult to implement," Mr. Cuccinelli said. "And if we can't stop this from happening in Fairfax County, it's bound to happen across the state over and over again and at a huge price tag to the taxpayers of the commonwealth."
The EPA's latest action is a classic example of how Washington agencies constantly expand their purpose. Congress first adopts legislation bearing a title nobody could reasonably oppose -- who's against clean water? Over time, the courts and bureaucrats systematically extend the meaning of formerly innocuous definitions. Now instead of keeping lead out of drinking water, the agency is keeping water out of creeks.
John reported here the other day about the leaked portion of the forthcoming report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which admits the possible role of cosmic radiation in cloud formation. This may be the first time the IPCC has acknowledged this as a possible factor, even though the hypothesis has been around for more than 20 years. But the big ball game all along in climate science has been whether estimates of climate sensitivity to greenhouse gas levels would change in future IPCC reports. Here’s what I wrote about the matter in the Weekly Standard in 2010:Eventually the climate modeling community is going to have to reconsider the central question: Have the models the IPCC uses for its predictions of catastrophic warming overestimated the climate’s sensitivity to greenhouse gases? . . . The next wave of climate revisionism is likely to reopen most of the central questions of “settled science” in the IPCC’s Working Group I.
For more of each item, click on the title for the original source.
Also take note that Lord Christopher Monckton (see tour outline) recently listed 450 papers that the IPCC SHOULD consider for their report - pdf here.