The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Has Achieved Its Goal: It’s Time To Repair The Damage.

by Dr. Tim Ball on June 27, 2011

in Atmosphere,Data,Government,History,Politics,Solar,Theory

Climate science was hijacked for a political agenda that is now achieved. Amazingly, it was done in full view. It was achieved because most people – including skeptics and deniers – still don’t understand even the most basic elements of the science. All the efforts of the so-called skeptics or deniers had little effect. It was achieved because most people only look at one piece of a very extensive and complex system. The IPCC are able to publish the incredible claim that…

Another unusual aspect of recent climate change is its cause: past climate changes were natural in origin (see FAQ 6.1), whereas most of the warming of the past 50 years is attributable to human activities…

…without raising red flags. How can they make such a claim when albedo change alone exceeds the entire change due to CO2?

Global albedo change from 1984-2004

Figure 1: Global albedo change 1984 – 2004. Error bars due to seasonal variability of 15-20%. The red line is the IPCC estimated GHG forcing for 100 years. Source: Skeptical Science

Or consider Dr. Rao’s findings about cosmic rays that the IPCC don’t even consider.

In fact, the contribution of decreasing cosmic ray activity to climate change is almost 40 per cent, argues Dr. Rao in a paper which has been accepted for publication in Current Science, the preeminent Indian science journal. The IPCC model, on the other hand, says that the contribution of carbon emissions is over 90 per cent.

IPCC’s success in achieving their goal is because of the deliberate process and methods put in place to direct and control their work. It is also due to the generalist nature of climatology in an age of specialization. I spoke of this in my presentation to the First Heartland Conference. The result is the IPCC was able to focus on individual components and present them out of context. They were able to put and keep the focus on CO2 so that most people still don’t know it is less than 4 percent of the greenhouse gases or even that water vapor is the most abundant and important greenhouse gas.

It is true that concern about warming has diminished, overridden by economic issues and cold weather. The problem is the switch from the term global warming to climate change transferred the concern. It was further amplified by the term “climate disruptions” publicly used by John Holdren, Obama’s science czar. This reinforced the practice of implying or stating that current natural climate change events are unnatural. Holdren was a co-researcher and publisher with Paul Ehrlich. His book The Population Bomb was pivotal in the debate central to the Club of Rome claim that overpopulation amplified by industrialization was destroying the planet.

The world is still focused on CO2, although most now incorrectly refer to it as carbon. Most governments have policy for CO2 reduction; many impose direct and indirect taxes and other forms of legislation restricting CO2 production. They reinforced this policy with subsidies to alternate energies because they produce less CO2. This almost single focus was the objective of the IPCC. Despite a steady flow of scientific challenges to its role in weather and climate, coupled with exposure of corrupt activities, it continues to dominate global energy and environmental policies. Private industry has seized the opportunities created by the focus to produce and promote products and to improve their public image. The meaningless term “Carbon Footprint” is now part of common language.

This is not surprising because it was the objective of the IPCC from the start. A simple illustration of the point is that in the great complexity of weather and thereby its average, climate, the focus was on very few variables. Within those few it was specifically on CO2. Figure 2 shows a systems display of just the Atmosphere and Oceans portion.

Areas of Forcing

Figure 2 : Areas of Forcing

Areas of Forcing chosen and displayed in the 2001 and 2007 IPCC Reports provide further evidence of this focus. (Figures 3 and 4)

It is important to note that only two of the variables are rated high and those are self-serving and very questionable.

In the political climate engendered by environmentalism and its exploitation some wanted a new world order and believe this is achieved by shutting down the industrialized nations. It was a major theme of the Club of Rome driven by studies like Limits to Growth and Paul Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb. Maurice Strong was a senior member of the Club and speculated in 1990,

What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude the principal risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? …In order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?

IPCC assessment of radiative forcing levels

Figure 3: Radiative Forcings Diagram from 2001 IPCC Report

Radiative forcing of climate between 1750-2005

Figure 4: Radiative Forcings Diagram from IPCC Report

An ambitious plan, but how is it implemented? Maurice Strong is most responsible for political implementation of the ill-defined concept of sustainable development and subsequent creation of the IPCC. Neil Hrab wrote in 2001 he achieved this by

…mainly using his prodigious skills as a networker. Over a lifetime of mixing private sector career success with stints in government and international groups…

This really began with the 1977 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment Stockholm Conference. Berry says the Conference

“was simply a success.” As he notes: The three specific goals set out by the Secretary General of the Conference, Maurice F. Strong, at its first plenary session – a Declaration on the human environment, an Action Plan, and an organizational structure supported by a World Environment Fund – were all adopted by the Conference. (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September, 1972. p.17)

Hrab also noted,

What’s truly alarming about Maurice Strong is his actual record. Strong’s persistent calls for an international mobilization to combat environmental calamities, even when they are exaggerated (population growth) or scientifically unproven (global warming), have set the world’s environmental agenda.

Elaine Dewar, author of The Cloak of Green (that relates in detail Strong’s involvement) was so overwhelmed by the extent of his involvement and machinations that she labeled it “The Global Governance Agenda” (p. 249). Fossil fuels are the principal energies that drive the engines of industry, including the internal combustion engine. CO2 is a byproduct of the combustion process. If you show the byproduct is causing possibly irreparable global damage, you can argue for cessation of its use, or at least for a complete replacement. This became the objective of the organization of the IPCC set up by Strong. It began with direction to use the definition of climate change approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Article 1 of the UNFCCC, a treaty formalized at the “Earth Summit” in Rio in 1992, defined Climate Change as

a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over considerable time periods.

This makes the human impact the primary purpose of the research. The problem is that you cannot determine that – unless you know the amount and cause of natural climate change.

Properly, a scientific definition would put natural climate variability first, but at no point does the UN mandate require an advance of climate science. The definition used by UNFCCC predetermined how the research and results would be political and produce pre-determined results. It made discovering a clear ‘human signal’ mandatory, but meaningless. It also thwarted the scientific method. Although the definition was set out in 1992 the IPCC was already formed at the initial meeting in Villach, Austria in 1985 then formalized in 1988. Strong had two objectives: create the science needed to prove human CO2 was the problem, and then convince the public that if we didn’t act, the outcome would be catastrophic. He needed control of selecting participants, especially Lead Authors. This was done through the World Meteorological Organization. It is no coincidence that the Chair of the 1985 meeting was Assistant Deputy Minister of Environment Canada. As Richard Lindzen explained,

“IPCC’s emphasis, however, isn’t on getting qualified scientists, but on getting representatives from over 100 countries,” said Lindzen. The truth is only a handful of countries do quality climate research. Most of the so-called experts served merely to pad the numbers.

Using Weather Departments gave the bureaucrats ascendancy over politicians because to challenge put them in contradiction with their own experts. This controlled the flow of information in each country. Again Lindzen from his direct involvement with the IPCC wrote,

It is no small matter that routine weather service functionaries from New Zealand to Tanzania are referred to as ‘the world’s leading climate scientists.’ It should come as no surprise that they will be determinedly supportive of the process.

A political bias made a few of them especially supportive. More important than the political control through bureaucracies was control of research funding in each country. Joanne Nova documented the commitment of $79 billion between 1989 and 2009 by the US government. However, the amount is not the critical scientific issue. Virtually all the funding was directed to research and researchers proving the AGW hypothesis. This further thwarted the scientific method that tries to disprove the hypothesis. It resulted in the disproportionate number of papers on one side of the debate, which was then used as another consensus argument. Other parts of their mandate illustrate the political nature of the entire exercise. Its own principles require the IPCC

“shall concentrate its activities on the tasks allotted to it by the relevant WMO Executive Council and UNEP Governing Council resolutions and decisions as well as on actions in support of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.” (From Principles Governing IPCC work, approved at the 14th Session, Vienna 1-3 October 1998 and amended at the 21st Session, Vienna 6-7 November, 2003.)

The role is also to

…assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy…

The direction to consider the socio-economic impacts provides further bias by taking the research further away from climate science and was built in to the structure. It became apparent when the “consensus” argument was advanced. Consensus is neither a scientific fact nor important in science, but it is very important in politics. There are 2500 members in the IPCC divided between 600 in Working Group I (WGI) who produce a Science Report and 1900 in working Groups II and III (WG II and III) all studying impacts. Of the 600 in WGI only 308 worked on the science part of the report and only five reviewed all 11 chapters. The 1900 in the other groups accept without question the findings of WGI and assume warming due to humans was a certainty. In a circular argument typical of so much climate politics the work of the 1900 is presented as ‘proof’ of human-caused global warming. Working Group II speculated on the negative impacts of a warming world. None of the benefits were considered. Worse, the speculations become facts in the sensationalist media.

The cynicism of the sentence, “IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy…” underscores the deception in the entire process. They cannot be neutral because the Science is deliberately not neutral. They then corrupt and distort neutrality by producing the Summary for Policymakers (SPM), the most important part of the IPCC work, which is always dramatically different than the Science Report. It is impossible to believe that any intelligent person participating in the IPCC process can read the Science Report of Working Group I and the SPM and not realize they are completely different assessments.

Part of the procedure to ensure that people (especially the media) would read the SPM and not the Science Report was to ensure its release months before the Science Report.

It is likely very few have read the Science Report. It is more logical to produce the Science report first and then the SPM. There is only one explanation for it being produced first. The final product achieved the result of deception in full daylight because as David Wojick, IPCC expert reviewer, explained,

Glaring omissions are only glaring to experts, so the “policymakers” — including the press and the public — who read the SPM will not realize they are being told only one side of a story. But the scientists who drafted the SPM know the truth, as revealed by the sometimes artful way they conceal it. What is systematically omitted from the SPM are precisely the uncertainties and positive counter evidence that might negate the human interference theory. Instead of assessing these objections, the Summary confidently asserts just those findings that support its case. In short, this is advocacy, not assessment.

It is worse because the Summary does not identify the degree of difference between the Science Report and SPM. Perhaps the most egregious example is the Chapter on Climate Models. IPCC Report 2007, generally known as the Fourth Assessment Report (FAR), claims the models are much improved. IPCC computer models are one of the weakest links. It was no accident that the person who leaked the emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) also leaked computer codes. Not many have examined them, but all who do say they are a mess and as one person said,

…the emails are only about 5 percent of the total. What does examining the other 95 percent tell us? Here’s the short answer: it tells us that something went very wrong in the data management at the Climatic Research Unit.

Beyond the management there are problems with the limited amount of data and the number of variables omitted. As Manfred Egan said,

A theory has only the alternative of being right or wrong. A model has a third possibility; it may be right, but irrelevant.

Limitations of the models were manifest in the switch from making forecasts to producing scenarios. It was forced by the consistent failure of the forecasts. By leaving out very important components of the climate system they increase the likelihood of a human signal being the cause of change. Consider these comments on some of the variables in the 2007 Science Report.

  • Despite the many improvements, numerous issues remain. Many of the important processes that determine a model’s response to changes in radiative forcing are not resolved by the model’s grid. Instead, sub-grid scale parameterizations are used to parametrize the unresolved processes, such as cloud formation and the mixing due to oceanic eddies.
  • Nevertheless, models still show significant errors. Although these are generally greater at smaller scales, important large-scale problems also remain. For example, deficiencies remain in the simulation of tropical precipitation, the El Niño- Southern Oscillation and the Madden-Julian Oscillation (an observed variation in tropical winds and rainfall with a time scale of 30 to 90 days).
  • Models continue to have significant limitations, such as in their representation of clouds, which lead to uncertainties in the magnitude and timing, as well as regional details, of predicted climate change.
  • Issues remain over the proper treatment of thermobaricity (nonlinear relationship of temperature, salinity and pressure to density), which means that in some isopycnic coordinate models the relative densities of, for example, Mediterranean and Antarctic Bottom Water masses are distorted. The merits of these vertical coordinate systems are still being established.
  • Since the TAR, there have been few assessments of the capacity of climate models to simulate observed soil moisture. Despite the tremendous effort to collect and homogenise soil moisture measurements at global scales (Robock et al., 2000), discrepancies between large-scale estimates of observed soil moisture remain.

But  it isn’t just the soil moisture.

The climate models employed in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment are clearly deficient in their ability to correctly simulate soil moisture trends, even when applied to the past and when driven by observed climate forcings. In other words, they fail the most basic type of test imaginable; and in the words of Li et al., this finding suggests that “global climate models should better integrate the biological, chemical, and physical components of the earth system.” (Li,H.,Robock, A. and Wild, M. 2007. “Evaluation of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment soil moisture simulations for the second half of the twentieth century.” Journal of Geophysical Research 112)

Just one more example, although there are many more, is sufficient to illustrate how the IPCC modelers know their models don’t work, but also why they can’t work. Section 8.2.5 covers “Aerosol Modelling and Atmospheric Chemistry” and says,

The global Aerosol Model Intercomparison project, AeroCom, has also been initiated in order to improve understanding of uncertainties of model estimates, and to reduce them (Kinne et al., 2003).

It is inconceivable that any understanding of the minor effect of CO2 can be isolated so certainly when so little is known about aerosols. As William Kinninmonth, meteorologist and former head of Australia’s National Climate Centre explains,

…current climate modeling is essentially to answer one question: how will increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2 (generated from human activity) change earth’s temperature and other climatological statistics? Neither cosmology nor vulcanology enter the equations. It should also be noted that observations related to sub-surface ocean circulation (oceanology), the prime source of internal variability, have only recently commenced on a consistent global scale. The bottom line is that IPCC’s view of climate has been through a narrow prism. It is heroic to assume that such a view is sufficient basis on which to predict future ‘climate’.

Kinninmonth is understating the situation. There is nothing heroic about the assumption or the view. The narrow prism was deliberately chosen and the science, bureaucratic structure and propaganda designed to ‘prove’ CO2, particularly the human portion was causing catastrophic warming and then climate change. They kept almost everyone focused on the CO2 because few understand climatology and they were outmaneuvered by the propaganda. On June 9, 2011 the Indian Express reported,

Declaring that “science is politics in climate change; climate science is politics,

Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday urged Indian scientists to undertake more studies and publish them vigorously to prevent India and other developing countries from being

led by our noses by Western (climate) scientists who have less of a scientific agenda and more of a political agenda.

This statement is only necessary because despite disclosure of leaked emails, the malpractice of the ‘hockey stick’, failure of ‘predictions’, and many other serious problems, the IPCC has achieved its goal.

It is also necessary because in achieving its goal the IPCC, aided and abetted by national weather agencies, has blocked climate science research for almost 30 years. Ironically, a review of the seminal work Climate, Present, Past and Future Volume 2 (1977) of the founder of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), Hubert Lamb, illustrates the point. Herman and Goldberg’s 1978 book Sun, Weather, and Climate is even more evidence. In fact, they have made it worse by eliminating data sets, stopping or reducing data collection, and not funding research to recreate historic records.

The Indian Minister’s direction to the scientists’ borders on the type of political interference he complains about. It is why government must be removed from climate research completely. Government agencies were used to create and perpetuate corrupted science through the IPCC, so it must be disbanded. The WMO and all government weather agencies must be restricted to data collection and dissemination – no research. Bureaucrats doing research almost guarantee it will be political. Once the Weather bureaucracies adopted the IPCC Reports as gospel, they worked to block research that disproved the AGW hypothesis, thus defeating the scientific method. Weather and climate research funding can come from government – but only through arms-length agencies.