Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Vincent Gray and the Final Final IPCC AR5 WG1 Report.


by IPCC Expert Reviewer Dr Vincent Gray

FEBRUARY 19th  2014


The Fifth Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change WGI Report  Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis has at last appeared on the IPCC website at http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/

The Last Fifth Report which was received at Stockholm in September 2013 approved the Summary for Policymakers but merely accepted the rest of the Report, pending further amendment. They published the entire “accepted” Report in a form that claimed it was merely a Draft with the  claim “Do not Cite Quote or Distribute”. 

The “Final Final“ Report was published on  the 30th January with a press statement at https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/press/press_release_wg1_full_report.pdf

It still appears to be incomplete. There is a front page cover but no introductory page with the Editors on it. However there is a separate front cover for the Summary for Policymakers and an introductory page which lists the Editors.

The Co Chairs were Thomas F Stocker, University of Bern, Switzerland and Qin Dahe,  China Meteorological Administration, with eight more Editors.

There is no Index, which makes it difficult to read since some of the topics are in unexpected places.

Besides the Summary for Policymakers and the Technical Report there are the following Chapters and Annexes

1.    Introduction
2.    Observations: Atmosphere and Surface
3.    Observations: Ocean
4.    Observations: Cryosphere
5.    Information from Paleoclimate Archives
6.    Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles
7.    Clouds and Aerosols
8.    Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing
9.    Evaluation of Climate Models
10. Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional
11. Near-term Climate Change: Projections and Predictability
12. Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility
13. Sea Level Change
14. Climate Phenomena and their Relevance for Future Regional Climate Change
Annex I: Atlas of Global and Regional Climate Projections
Annex II: Climate System Scenario Tables
Annex III: Glossary
Annex IV: Acronyms
Annex V: Contributors to the WGI Fifth Assessment Report
Annex VI: Expert Reviewers of the WGI Fifth Assessment Report

There are now 14 Chapters and 6 Annexes instead of the 15 Chapters and 3 Annexes of the September Final. We now get lists of Contributors and Reviewers.

We get the Drafting Authors and the Draft Contributing authors, but  as usual, no mention of the Government Representatives who decided what they should draft.


Clicking the ”Reviews and Responses” panel on the main website reveals a complete list of all the reviews and responses for both the drafts of the Report which had been circulated to reviewers.

This is a major achievement. I have been a Reviewer for every one of the Reports since the Supplement to the First Report in 1991. I had become used to the fact that review comments and the responses to them were confidential. Neither the comments themselves nor the responses from any Report were published. I carried out an analysis of the changes in the final 1992 Supplement as the only way to find whether they had taken any notice of my comments.

I made an effort to make a large number of comments on the 4th Report, but I never expected to find out what had happened to them. To my surprise a number of people demanded that they should be published through the Official Information Act and they were actually published at http://hcl.harvard.edu/collections/ipcc/. I had supplied 1,898 comments, 6% of the total, mainly rejected.

This time I assumed that they would have to publish them so I took a little more care; but time was pressing and the total number of my comments on the Second Draft was only 108. I sent them around on my Newsletter No 322. Now the whole lot has been published. There are said to be 31,422 from the Second Draft and I am beginning to feel overwhelmed. They are absolutely fascinating and I encourage all of you to have a look.

This time the champion commentator was John McLean in Australia,. There are also other people I knew to be critical like Christopher Monckton, Fred Singer, Jack Barrett, Ross McKitrick , Alec Rawls, Marcel Krok but I have been surprised at the volume of criticism by so many others, which even includes the Governments of Germany and Australia.  Besides those that  are “Rejected” others are “Noted” or “Taken into Account”.

I made 21 comments to the Summary for Policymakers, but for this Chapter they have only published comments from Governments and have not given any responses.

Of the remaining 87 they seem to have excluded two of my five general comments, so I thought I might quote the last one.
You have failed once more to show that the climate is influenced in any way by changes in emissions of trace gases. I have already shown that your model is defective.  You have never subjected it to the necessary discipline of validation which requires successful prediction of a range of future climate properties. Mere simulation of past climate does not constitute evidence. Evaluation, Detection and Attribution is an excessively complex  system of organised guesswork where the  series of likelihoods and confidences are made by people  who are paid to produce them and have a conflict of interest.
The rest were largely rejected, but the reasons were sometimes illuminating.
I will therefore make use of them in my general comments on the whole Report.


From their comments and from reading the report I am now convinced that their models are incapable of providing a plausible description of global climate.. Climate is essentially local Each locality has specific local characteristics which must be considered in order to supply a local forecast but they are surrounded by  features that are less local.

The Global Climate is an array of the climate properties at each individual locality, as influenced by more general features. It is portrayed to us every day by the TV weather forecasts.

Mathematical models that could portray or summarise the array of influences on the entire climate are currently elusive and meteorologists have found it necessary to rely on numerical models which can be modified to include specifically local influences and  by their past success in forecasting.


Modelling the climate is handicapped by the necessary second order differential equations needed to describe the properties of fluids. This means that even the slighted error in an initial value is subsequently magnified. Even a small error in the energy chosen for a butterfly’s wing would prevent long term forecasting.

 “Frequently Asked Questions” No 2 in Chapter 1 of “Climate Change 2007” has the following statement:
“A common confusion between weather and climate arises when scientists are asked how they can predict climate 50 years from now when they cannot predict the weather a few weeks from now. The chaotic nature of weather makes it unpredictable beyond a few days. Projecting changes in climate (i.e., long-term average weather) due to changes in atmospheric composition or other factors is a very different and much more manageable issue”.

This has been elaborated in Chapter 11 of the Fifth Report

FAQ 11.1   If You Cannot Predict the Weather Next Month, How Can You Predict Climate for the Coming Decade?
The chaotic nature of the atmosphere means that even the tiniest error in the depiction of ‘initial conditions' typically leads to inaccurate forecasts beyond a week or so. This is the so-called ‘butterfly effect’. Climate scientists do not attempt or claim to predict the detailed future evolution of the weather over coming seasons, years or decades. There is, on the other hand, a sound scientific basis for supposing that aspects of climate can be predicted, albeit imprecisely, despite the butterfly effect. For example, increases in long-lived atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations tend to increase surface temperature in future decades. Thus information from the past can and does help predict future climate.

What they are saying here is that while “natural variability” is chaotic and cannot be predicted, the greenhouse effect is free from chaos so it can be used for prediction. But you have to use this travesty of a climate model.
It is useful for purposes of analysis and description to consider the pre-industrial climate system as being in a state of climatic equilibrium with a fixed atmospheric composition and an unchanging Sun.

They calculate the abundances of all the gases and their forcings for every five years until 2100. They then calculate the temperature increase for each decade since then from the resulting radiative forcing. The detailed figures are given in Annex II. Atmospheric concentrations assumed to be globally uniform,  of carbon dioxide,  (to one place of decimals in ppm), Methane and other gases are listed for every two years. Radiative forcing is calculated for every year since 1750.

The results are in the following diagram

The diagram is accompanied with the usual opinions of  the reliability of the figures, High, Low or Medium -  none of which has any estimate of reliability.

They have  in this way “managed” chaos” by ignoring it altogether and they have erected a mythical greenhouse effect which can be guaranteed to be devoid of chaos.

The  basic climate model from the 5th IPCC Report is. However, as follows

The caption  reads
Figure 2.11: |  Global mean energy budget under present-day climate conditions. Numbers state magnitudes of the individual energy fluxes in Wm-2, adjusted within their uncertainty ranges to close the energy budgets. Numbers in parentheses attached to the energy fluxes cover the range of values in line with observational constraints. (Adapted from Wild et al., 2013.)

The comments on this model in Chapter 2 of the final draft displayed sharp disagreement about what figures should be chosen from several of their “experts" even for the “uncertainty ranges”.

They admit that the choice of figures is not made because they have any confidence in their accuracy but only to “close” the energy budget. Even these ones lead to an imbalance of 0.6Wm-2.

Other choices would give positive or negative figures greater than the supposed net forcing since 1750  of 2.3Wm-2

This would seem to make it impossible to calculate the effects of increases in greenhouse gases, but they seem to go ahead regardless.

The figures have been changed several times since the diagram first appeared in the Second Report so the calculations for 2100 seem to be moving target.

It would seem obvious that their actual model is afflicted by chaos, just like the rest of the climate.


This term is deliberately misleading from the beginning  because it suggests that the chaotic behaviour of the climate is merely “variable” and so perhaps  capable of prediction if the causes of this “variability” were known.

in  FAQ 11.1. it says
 Some types of naturally occurring so-called ‘internal’ variability can—in theory at least—extend the capacity to predict future climate. Internal climatic variability arises from natural instabilities in the climate system. If such variability includes or causes extensive, long-lived, upper ocean temperature anomalies, this will drive changes in the overlying atmosphere, both locally and remotely. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon is probably the most famous example of this kind of internal variability. Variability linked to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation unfolds in a partially predictable fashion. The butterfly effect is present, but it takes longer to strongly influence some of the variability linked to the El Nino-Southern Oscillation
We are already seeing the result of their “partial predictability” in the “Long Range “Forecasts” that have resulted from this excess of “confidence’. The UK Met Office repeatedly forecasts  warm winters which do not happen, and recently a dry period which has become the wettest in history.

The Accuracy of Weather Forecasts NZ

It is pertinent to ask here how an IPCC “Forecast” compares with weather forecasting services who do not try to pretend to “manage “chaos” or to be concerned with greenhouse gas emissions.

There is precious little evidence on this subject but a great deal of folklore. It is commonly believed that a forecast is good enough which assumes that tomorrow will be the same as today or the same as the same day last year.

However, I have found the following reference.

  E. A. Ripley, O. W. Archibold December 2002 Accuracy of Canadian short- and medium-  range  weather forecasts Weather Volume 57, Issue 12, pages 448–457, D

         Article first published online: 12 JAN 2007DOI: 10.1256/wea.245.01

 They found that temperature forecasts  had a bias of ±1ºC and were rarely better than ±2ºC.

 The British Met Office -at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/who/accuracy/forecasts
  comes to a similar conclusion.

This means that a global assembly of such forecasts is unlikely to be more accurate than this which makes any  IPCC “trends" of decimals of a degree to be of negligible value.


The Fifth Report continues to claim
Warming  of the  climate  system is unequivocal, and since  the  1950s,  many  of the  observed changes are  unprecedented over  decades to  millennia”.
Global mean surface air temperatures over land and oceans have increased over the last 100 years. 
It is certain that Global Mean Surface Temperature has increasedsince the late 19th century.
There is no way that you can measure the Global Mean Surface Temperature. The series they use was always previously referred to as an ANOMALY record. The word anomaly is now not mentioned. Even as an anomaly record it cannot be accepted, as every point is a multiple average of a different set of unstandardised unrepresentative samples based on an initial average between a maximum and minimum  temperature reading, upwardly biased by urban, instrumental and personnel changes.

When I pointed this out their reply was
 This has been much discussed and it is robust and meaningful”
which does not make it right.

The periods mentioned ("since the 1950s”, “The last 100 years”)   are chosen so as to eliminate the much more reliable temperature records from weather balloons and satellites which have only been available since 1978.
 “The  globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature data as calculated    by a linear trend, show a warming of 0.85 [0.65 to 1.06] C, over the period 1880 to 2012, when multiple independently produced datasets exist. The total increase between the average of the 1850-1900 period and the 2003-2012 period is 0.78 [0.72 to 0.85] °C, based on the single longest dataset available".
These “trends” are below the accuracy with which you can make a single forecast.


Box 9.2 |  Climate Models and the Hiatus in Global Mean Surface Warming of the Past 15 Years (It is now 17 years) says
The observed recent warming hiatus, defined as the reduction in GMST trend during 1998–2012 as compared to the trend during 1951–2012, is attributable in roughly equal measure to a cooling contribution from internal variability and a reduced trend in external forcing (expert judgement, medium confidence).
This “explanation” is a confession that they have seriously underestimated “natural variability” up to now, and if it were to be included retrospectedly it could explain previous warming better than the supposed greenhouse effective.

One aspect of it they feature is “ocean warming”.

Since their confidence limits are only 90% the supposed warming would be less convincing if they chose the more usual confidence limits of 95%.

They have also recommended judging temperature trends in  decadal fashion.

If the models are compared with the satellite temperature record you get the following diagram

This ought to rule out the greenhouse effect altogether.


Carbon dioxide is NOT “Well mixed” in the atmosphere. Beck (2007) has documented some 90,000 measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide which have been made, using chemical methods, since 1812. All of these were in respectable, peer-reviewed scientific journals, and some of the authors were Nobel prize winners. They indicate that the concentration is highly variable. Beck, E-G, 2007. 150 Years of Atmospheric Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods, Energy and Environment  18 259-281.

Methane and especially water vapour are even further from being “well-mixed” than carbon dioxide. Since all these gases are not "well-mixed”, calculations which assume they are are useless.

There is a complete mismatch between emissions which take place almost exclusively over land and atmospheric concentrations, which are measured almost exclusively over the sea. Such few measurements as are available show that concentrations are higher where there are emissions and lower where they are not.

Governments who limit  atmospheric concentrations of the gases never measure them over their own country to see whether their efforts are effective.

The following graph provides evidence that carbon dioxide concentrations were much higher without apparently affecting the temperature


Their Chapter 13 is mainly concerned with satellite measurements of sea level of the open ocean, risen because of melting ice.  Their “Trends” in tide gauge measurements exaggerate past errors instead of the most modern measurements. Take for example all these quoted examples which are not currently rising but they say they are.

My comment on the Second Draft was that most people are more interested in what is happening to the sea level near to our coast than in theoretical calculations based on satellite measurements of the open ocean. Their reply was very revealing:
We emphasize throughout the chapter that one cannot derive a global record of sea level from individual records, and that regional variability can strongly modulate the global signal. 
So they agree with what I have said right at the beginning, It is impossible to obtain any average climate parameter from the many individual determinations. Therefore a plausible model of the entire climate is impossible.