So, I have made it at last! There have been two previous occasions in my life when I was close to a Nobel Prize (thereby hangs a tale), now it has arrived. I expect the cheque in the post any time, plus an invitation to the awards ceremony.
I am one of the 35,000 scientists who contributed to the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report. I wrote no less than 1,878 comments on the Draft for the first Report, many of which were rejected. It is a little puzzling as to what the IPCC can contribute to world peace, since much of its influence encourages unnecessary economic damage, and thus conflict. But at least it is good that the prize is not for Physics as, in my opinion, much of the science is unsound.
The “globe” is simply not “warming”, for all of eight years. This year it will probably cool. Since all of the IPCC’s models “project” the “likelihood” of a steady warming over this period, all of them must be wrong, and we can expect similar failures for all the other “projections”.
The IPCC was set up by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in 1988 to assess scientific information on climate change and its impacts and mitigation.
The Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) 1992 defined “climate change” as changes in climate caused by human interference with atmospheric composition. All the signatories to that Convention (which included NZ) accept this definition.
The task of the IPCC, therefore, has been to accumulate evidence to support this belief that all changes in the climate are caused by human interference with the atmosphere. Studies of natural climate change have largely been used to claim that these are negligible compared with “climate change”.
The reports of the IPCC are closely controlled by representatives of the Governments who have signed the FCCC and accepted its definition of “climate change”. They have to approve the entire Reports, they choose or approve the Lead Authors and approve line-by-line a “Summary for Policymakers”, which is really a “Summary by Policymakers”.
No evidence that greenhouse gas emissions are harming the climate has been found from the extensive studies of the IPCC, but a series of scientific arguments which appear to support it have been assembled. If examined closely, these are found to be based on unsound scientific and mathematical foundations.
The IPCC has always been reluctant to reach firm conclusions, using ambiguous pronouncements such as, “The balance of the evidence suggests a discernible human influence on the climate”.
A statement such as this is eagerly interpreted by some to imply support for the greenhouse theory, but it does not actually say so.
The IPCC Reports depend crucially on the absurd assumption that the climate is exclusively controlled by atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, and that this can be successfully simulated and forecast by mathematical models.
None of these models has been subjected to a “validation” process of rigorous testing, which must include evidence of capability of future prediction to a satisfactory level of accuracy. Without such testing no model is suitable for future prediction.
The IPCC accept that their models cannot “predict” the future by claiming only that their models provide “projections” not “predictions’. They then violate this principle by estimating the reliability of the “projections” solely on the “expert opinions” of those providing the models.
The “projections” and their levels of “likelihood” and even “probability” associated with them, have no scientific basis. They are merely the opinions of so-called “experts” with a conflict of interest, since most of them have a financial interest in continual funding of the work on models.
Much emphasis is placed on the “Annual Global Mean Surface Temperature Record” which is used to claim that the globe has “warmed” by a measly 0.6 ºC between 1978 and 1998 (but not after). No actual average temperature measurements of any place on the earth’s surface are used for this record. Instead they use the average of the maximum and minimum temperature, taken only once a day, which any statistician will tell you is biased, by an amount which could exceed the measly 0.6ºC.
Then, they do not have a representative sample. It is like judging the next election from results in only one town. The temperature measurement is almost always near towns where urban change causes a rise.
When you try to “correct” the errors in this system, as has been done for the USA and for China, “Global Warming” all but disappears. It does also when you make more reliable measurements in the Lower Atmosphere and even when you have a well kept local station.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide is supposed to be a constant and “well-mixed”. But this is only because they suppress the results that show it is variable, such as the 90,000 measurements that were made before 1958. This is so that when they calculate the radiation effects of carbon dioxide, using a logarithmic formula, they can get a higher figure by using an “average”, than from a range.
Most people do not realise that a correlation, however convincing, does not prove causation. By adjusting the poorly-known parameters in the models, it is sometimes possible to fit them into certain climate sequences. But this does not prove that the model is right.
We are told that the sea level is rising and will soon swamp all of our cities. Everybody knows that the Pacific Island of Tuvalu is sinking. Al Gore told us that the inhabitants are invading New Zealand because of it. Around 1990 it became obvious that the local tide-gauge did not agree – there was no evidence of “sinking”. So scientists at Flinders University, Adelaide, were asked to check whether this was true. They set up new, modern, tide-gauges in twelve Pacific islands, including Tuvalu, confident that they would show that all of them are sinking.
Recently, the whole project was abandoned as there was no sign of a change in sea level at any of the twelve islands for the past 16 years. In 2006 Tuvalu even rose.
But all was not lost. There was a Pacific hurricane in 1998 which depressed the sea level for all of the islands, so you can draw a straight line through the lot which gives a spurious rise; provided you do not start from 1999 after which the sea was level. So it looks like we are safe, so far, for ocean invasion in New Zealand.
There is widespread panic because the globe is not warming, so the phrase “global warming” is no longer used by the scientists, the Governments or the journalists. Instead you must use “Climate Change”. Every last drought, flood, hurricane, ice melt, heat wave, is assailed by hordes of Reporters and scientists asserting that it is “unprecedented”, and caused by “Climate Change” – provided you do not look too closely at how often these things have happened in the past.
The entire IPCC process is one of seeking to support a prior foregone conclusion. They do not follow normal accepted scientific procedures as free discussion of their conclusions is not permitted. There are no scientifically established “predictions”, so it is inevitable that sooner or later we will know that their models do not work. The absence of “global warming” is just a beginning. The reputation of the IPCC as a promoter of Peace, let alone Science is sure to decline but much harm may have been done to the world economy before this happens.
This comment originally appeared as a weekly commentary published by the New Zealand Centre for Political Research (www.nzcpr.com), October 20, 2007