Thursday, January 28, 2010

More IPCC improprieties says BBC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change purports to be a scientific body, or at least wants people to see them that way. In reality they are a very political body which uses science to justify specific political agendas. And, in my opinion, the political agenda comes before the science.

We have already reported on the IPCC's use of material from a political lobby, reporting it as if it were peer-reviewed science. That was the World Wildlife Fund's report that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. (Actually the trail is more convoluted than that, so read the original post on the matter here and here.) As a BBC column noted: "This turned out to have no basis in scientific fact, even though everything the IPCC produces is meant to be rigorously peer-reviewed, but simply an error recycled by the WWF, which the IPCC swallowed whole."

That same column now describes "another howler" from the IPCC.
Then at the weekend another howler was exposed. The IPCC 2007 report claimed that global warming was leading to an increase in extreme weather, such as hurricanes and floods. Like its claims about the glaciers, this was also based on an unpublished report which had not been subject to scientific scrutiny -- indeed several experts warned the IPCC not to rely on it.
One has to wonder precisely how much material the IPCC uses which openly violates their own claim that they only use peer-reviewed material for their reports. Instead, it appears they use any report that bolsters their political agenda, whether peer reviewed or not.

This blog has previously reported that leading experts on hurricanes have specifically repudiated the IPCC claims in the past. But now it appears that the author of the material, quoted by the IPCC to bolster their extreme scenario, himself repudiates the IPCC's use of his material. The BBC column says: "The author, whod didn't actually finish his work until a year after the IPCC had used his reasearch has now repudiated what he sees as its [the IPCC's] misuse of his work."

So the IPCC took a partially done study, that had not gone through peer-review and used it to try to whip up fear about more severe hurricanes. The author of the report, when he finished it, concluded: "There is insufficient evidence to claim a statistical link between global warming and catastrophe loss." Ooops, the IPCC jumped the gun. Of course, according to their own PR and protocol they shouldn't have even used the report in the first place.

The BBC piece notes that the British government spent millions on account of the unsubstantiated, and now repudiated, claim by the IPCC.
Yet it was because of this -- now unproved -- link that the British government signed up to a $100 billion transfer from rich to poor countries to help them cope with a supposed increase in floods and hurricanes. It was also central to many of the calculations in Britain's Stern Report, which might now need to be substantially revised. Now after Climate-gate, Glacier-gate and Hurricane-gate -- how many "gates" can one report contain? -- comes Amazon-gate. The IPCC claimed that up to 40% of the Amazonian forests were risk from global warming and would likely be replaced by "tropical savannas" if temperatures continued to rise.
The column says the claim about the Amazon is "backed up by a scientific-looking reference but on closer investigation turns out to be yet another non-peer reviewed piece of work from the WWF." It notes that the authors of the piece, cited by the IPCC as scientific proof, are not scientists at all. One is "an Australian policy analyst" and the other "a freelance journalist" for the left-of-center Guardian and a "green activist." The author of the BBC column, Andrew Neil, writes:
Every time I have questioned our politicians about global warming they have fallen back on the mantra that "2,500 scientists can't be wrong", referring to the vast numbers supposedly behind the IPCC consensus. But it is now clear that the majority of those involved in the IPCC process are not scientists at all but politicians, bureaucrats, NGOs and green activists. They may -- or may not -- still be right or wrong but what has become clear in the past couple of months is that, contrary to what many leaders have claimed, the science as promulgated by the IPCC is very far from "settled" and that there are important questions still to ask. The mainstream media has been slow to do this. The bloggers, too easily dismissed in the past, have set the pace with some real scoops -- and some of the mainstream media is now rushing to catch up.
All I can say is: "Amen." Whether or not you think man-made global warming is melting the glaciers, I can say that they credibility of the IPCC is melting away even faster.

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