IPCC's abuse of science 2
By John Happs
Dr Happs is a former lecturer in the geosciences and author of numerous science texts and book chapters. This is his open letter of 3 October 2012 to Australia's new Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb. The letter describes in detail with many quotes how Professor Chubb is biassing climate findings to suit the Government, thus adding to the growing international scandal. It comes after his open letter of 20 December 2009 to Australia's then Chief Scientist Professor Penny Sackett. Part 1 compares the views of Professor Chubb with those of world experts on different aspects of climate such as carbon dioxide emissions, sea ice, hurricanes, floods, bushfires, and global cooling. On a separate page Part 2 features 46 accusations against the IPCC by former IPCC scientists, 23 examples of malpractice, and 13 examples of malfeasance. This website version has been slightly abridged. The original version on www.scienceheresy.com (see clickable link at end) aroused much interest.
Dear Professor Chubb,
I have written to you on several occasions expressing my concerns about incorrect public statements you have made about climate change. I note that you provided testimony before the Joint Select Committee on Australia's Clean Energy Future Legislation, on 26 September 2011 in which you provided "information" about climate science to the committee. Climate science is an area in which I believe you, as a neuroscientist, have no expertise. Let's look at the Committee's questions and your replies:
Carbon dioxide and ice melt
Carbon dioxide makes up a trivial 0.03% of the Earth's atmosphere and human activity worldwide contributes a mere 3% of this (this is not a misprint). The rest comes from non-human sources such as volcanoes, ocean de-gassing, decomposition of carbonate rocks (limestone), and decomposition of organic matter. To believe that carbon dioxide emission reduction by Australia or indeed any countries will make any measurable difference to carbon dioxide levels or global temperature is absurd.
You said: "Again, the evidence I have seen suggests that you could not get that Arctic melt if you did not factor in the increased emissions that have been occurring through human activity." This is a preposterous statement and I would certainly like to see some empirical data for unusual Arctic ice melt and any link with human activity. For more than 80% of the last 500 million years the average global temperature has been significantly higher than it is today. The Joint Select Committee needs to understand that, if all the glaciers and ice sheets disappeared completely, that would be the Earth's climate getting back to normal.
In reality there is no "normal" temperature for the Earth. There has been ongoing cooling since the Cretaceous Period, about 65 million years ago. The last 3 million years have seen dramatic swings in temperature as the Earth has shifted between glacial and interglacial periods. (An interglacial period is the period between glacials periods.)
Disappearance of Arctic sea ice
In 1937 Professor V Vize reported a 2°C rise in Arctic temperature and a notable recession of glaciers and sea ice. In 1940, and again in 1944, a group of Canadians, led by Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Henry Larsen, traversed the Northwest Passage. In 1947 Dr Hans Ahlmann reported a "mysterious warming of the Arctic." He said: "If the present melting rate continues, sea level will rise to catastrophic proportions. People living on lowlands and the coast will be inundated." It did not continue. In 1959 photographs were taken of the USS Skate, surfaced in clear water at the North Pole on 17 March. In 1987 photographs were taken of 3 submarines (HMS Superb, USS Billfish, USS Sea Devil) surfaced in clear water at the North Pole on 18 May.
You made this comment to the Joint Select Committee: "The point about these things is we have human activity superimposed on natural processes but it [Arctic Ice] is as low or equal lowest as it has ever been. If it is not the lowest then it is the second lowest and the lowest was three years ago." Professor Chubb, this is totally incorrect. Had you bothered to check satellite data you would find that AQUA satellite data is in agreement with JAXA data. Both show that Arctic ice has been increasing. If the trend up continues (likely unless changing winds moves ice near the edge out to the Atlantic or compresses it), it will have fallen more than 6% short of the 2007 satellite record.
Rather than blindly accepting summary statements from the now discredited IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and the government's compliant scientists, I would expect some independent analysis and due diligence from Australia's Chief Scientist before public statements are made about ice melt in the Arctic.
Carbon dioxide and global warming
Dr Kevin Trenberth, IPCC senior scientist and lead author, admitted that: "There are no (climate) predictions by the IPCC at all and never have been." Dr Jim Renwick, senior IPCC representative, stated that: "Climate prediction is hard, half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable, so we don't expect to do terrifically well." Dr James Koermer, Professor of Meteorology and Director of the Meteorological Institute at Plymouth State University, stated: "Global warming hysteria is based to a large extent on the unproven predictions of climate models. These numerical models are based on many simplified approximations of very complicated physical processes and phenomena. My biggest concern is their [computer models'] lack of ability to adequately handle water vapor and clouds, which are much more important as climate factors than anthropogenic [man-made] contributors. Until we can realistically simulate types of clouds, their optical thicknesses, and their altitudes, which we have a difficult time doing even for short-term weather forecasts, I can't have much faith in climate models."
So why didn't you tell the Select Committee that even the IPCC has admitted that the best modelling available is totally inadequate for predicting future climate?
Accuracy of computer projections
In 2007 Douglass et al tested computer model predictions against real world observations. They said: "We have tested the proposition that greenhouse model simulations and trend observations can be reconciled. Our conclusion is that the present evidence, with the application of a robust statistical test, supports rejection of this proposition." In agreement with this, Professor Demitris Koutsoyiannis reported that the IPPC's computer predictions about future climate from 1990 to 2008 had a success rate of about 12%. Yes, 12%. I am not making this up.
UK Met Office models get it dead wrong
In fact, the 2009-2010 winter in Britain was the coldest for more than 30 years. Below zero temperatures in December, January and February made it the deepest freeze since 1978-1979. The Central England Temperature from the 1st to the 7th December last year averaged -1.9°C, bringing the coldest week in December since 1879.
Now the notorious British summer. In 2010 the UK Met Office predicted one of the "five warmest years ever" and a "barbecue summer." Again it was dead wrong. In fact heavy rainfall saw the wettest July for almost 100 years. Now for the bad news:
Professor Julia Slingo of the UK Met Office admitted that they use the same computer models for weather forecasting as they use to predict climate 100 years ahead. These are the models which, for the last 3 years, have been dead wrong. It is my understanding that the UK Met Office has now suspended its seasonal forecasts and I suggest they abandon any 100 year forecasts as well.
Climate models no better in Australia
Professor Chubb, why didn't you provide the Joint Select Committee with this information?
You went on to say: "I think there does need to be a recognition that the evidence of science is suggesting that we will have changed weather patterns and extreme weather events with much greater frequency than we have at the moment. That is where the evidence sits right now. Of course, where they will occur and all the rest of it we do not know. But that is where the evidence is pointing and that seems to me to be the view of the majority of scientists who are studying that particular aspect of weather and climate." Wrong. If you think that is where the evidence sits right now, I suggest you are being told about so-called "evidence" from vested interest groups and not looking at the evidence made available by the broader scientific community.
Another example. The IPCC's Final Assessment Report (WG1 SPM) claimed an increase in intense tropical cyclone activity "in some regions since 1970" and "in the North Atlantic since about 1970." In fact there is no meaningful trend. For the North Atlantic, the Report misleads its readers by pointing out the increase since 1970 but neglecting to mention the decrease prior to 1970. The same Report (p.15) says: "Based on a range of models, it is likely that future tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes) will become more intense, with larger peak wind speeds and more heavy precipitation associated with ongoing increases of tropical sea surface temperatures." We have seen how unreliable the models are. So terms such as "Based on models" and "likely" are hardly convincing.
Other experts confirm Dr Landsea's views: In 2006 Wu et al found no increase in either intensity or number of hurricanes striking the USA and a significant downward trend for some areas of the Pacific. Pielke et al concluded that "claims of linkages between global warming and hurricane impacts are premature." 2009 data from the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies in Florida, show that global tropical cyclone activity is currently at its lowest level in 30 years. In 2011 Mau reported on recent historically low global tropical cyclone activity.
Compensation claims from African nations
The Western North Pacific tropical activity (typhoons) was well below normal in 2007 and 2008 as it was in the Eastern North Pacific. The Southern Hemisphere, which includes the southern Indian Ocean from the coast of Mozambique across Madagascar to the coast of Australia, into the South Pacific and Coral Sea, also saw below normal activity in 2008. In support of this, using the Accumulated Cyclone Energy index, Bell and Chelliah reported that, despite IPCC computer models predicting an increase in overall cyclone activity, the activity has continued to fall to levels not seen since the 1970s. Once again the models were wrong. (For the record, 1935 saw the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the US, and the 1940's saw the most US hurricane strikes of any decade.)
During the 2008-2009 tropical cyclone season, the Southern Hemisphere Accumulated Cyclone Energy index was about half of what would be expected in a normal year, with a multitude of very weak short-lived hurricanes. In fact, just as there are active periods of hurricane activity around the globe, there are inactive periods, and we are currently experiencing one of the most pronounced inactive periods for almost 3 years. Dr Roger Pielke, Professor of Environmental Studies at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, reminds us that: "Our understanding of the complicated role of hurricanes with and role in climate is nebulous to be charitable."
Professor Chubb, you also mentioned an increase in the intensity of rain and flooding: "The argument at the moment is that there will be, for example, much more intense cyclones and whatever they are called in the Northern Hemisphere, and more intense rain and flooding. There will be a lot more intense and focused events of that type and that character as the climate changes. That is where the current view is." No it isn't!
El Nino (roughly a significant warming of surface water in the eastern Pacific) and La Nina (significant cooling) exhibit a seesaw effect known as the Southern Oscillation. They affect the weather across more than half the planet. They also affect global temperatures. Professor Neville Nicholls (Monash University) stated: "The Queensland floods are caused by what is one of the strongest La Nina events since our records began in the late 19th century." Queenslanders need realistic flood adaptation strategies rather than embracing futile and silly attempts at reducing carbon dioxide levels to control climate and flooding. It is the discredited IPCC and many environmentalists and politicians who have demonised this essential life-giving gas for their own purposes. To make it quite clear, there is no empirical evidence which links carbon dioxide levels with storms and floods.
On the Joint Select Committee, Mr Cheeseman asked: "Given that the science is telling us that we are going to see a drier climate and more intense droughts, particularly in the south-east corner of Australia, as a consequence one might assume that we will see more intense bushfires. Is that a reasonable observation of the science?" You replied: "There are those who say that, yes." Mr Cheeseman continued: "So we might start to see more circumstances like the events of a number of summers ago in Victoria where bushfires will become a real danger to the Australian community?" You replied: "You could reasonably speculate that, yes." But Professor Chubb, you should know that in science we don't speculate, we look for empirical evidence.
Sparg et al have described how smoke from bushfires stimulates seed germination in a number of plant species. Global warming alarmists really should heed the words of National Association of Forest Industries chief executive Allan Hansard when he said: "Bushfire management policy must be based on the best scientific knowledge, not the whims of uninformed green ideologists." People living in Victoria, will long remember the bushfires of Black Saturday 2009 but many of them might have forgotten the Black Friday event of 1939.
Crompton et al have evaluated the history of building damage and loss of life due to bushfire in Australia since 1925. They acknowledged a link between fire damage and the El Nino-Southern Oscillation and Indian Ocean Dipole phenomena, but found no evidence of any influence from climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions. Their more significant findings were to do with issues of land-use planning.
In 2009 Roger Underwood presented a case study on Australian Bushfire Management in which he made the comment: "They cannot say the impacts of intense bushfires on human communities were unimaginable. We have known for 200 years that European settlement represented the insertion of a fire-vulnerable society into a fire-prone environment." He continued: "Research has confirmed that fire is not an alien visitor, but a natural part of Australian bushland ecosystems. ... There is no question that the influence of green activists at Federal, State and Local government levels has resulted in a steep decline in the standard of bushfire management in this country. ... The excuses put forward, especially that fires are unstoppable because of global warming, are simply that: excuses."
Carbon dioxide emissions
Professor Richard Muller has said: "The developing world is not joining-in with carbon dioxide emission reductions nor does it have any intention of doing so." Thus only a few developed countries have embraced the carbon dioxide - catastrophic global warming mantra of the IPCC. They include EU countries, New Zealand, and Australia. Collectively this represents a mere 8% of global population and around 14% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, Europe's economy is far from robust and they may well regret their pointless and unachievable emission reduction and renewable energy targets.
Robert Stavins, Director of Harvard's Environmental Economics Program said: "It's unlikely that the USA is going to take serious action on climate change until there are observable, dramatic events, almost catastrophic in nature, that drive public opinion and drive the political process in that direction." The USA is far too worried about its current economic position to take any action on emissions reduction that might impact on its economy. It is not alone:
China has questioned the link between carbon dioxide and global climate and is the world's largest emitter, building the equivalent of one new coal-fired power station per week. India has flatly rejected the IPCC alarmist claims and recommendations of the IPCC. India's emissions continue to grow. Canada, Russia and Japan have all withdrawn their support of the Kyoto Accord. Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Iran will not reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, their emissions continue to increase.
The remaining countries support about 40% of the world's population and around 20% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. They will certainly not reduce their emissions and restrict their improving standard of living. So when you say that: "There are a lot of countries now taking action, on the basis of the scientific evidence, to reduce their emissions", it does not reflect the true picture.
But consider your statement: "the evidence that I have seen is that the last decade has been the warmest decade that we have ever had on this planet." This is dead wrong and reflects a total lack of knowledge about paleoclimate. For example 1000 and 120,000 years ago Greenland was several degrees warmer than it is now. Crops grew where they won't grow today.
Glacials and interglacials
For more than 80% of geologic time, global temperatures have been significantly higher than today. Greenland ice core analysis clearly show: a Minoan warming about 3500 years ago, a Roman warming about 2000 years ago, a Medieval Warm Period about 1000 years ago, and currently twentieth-century warming, with each new warming being about 1 degree cooler than previous warm periods.
Professor Chubb, please do your homework before making incorrect statements in front of a committee which, one hopes, is seeking factual information about the climate.
IPCC ignores satellite data
Dr Mojab Latif, climate modeller and IPCC author told more than 1,500 climate scientists at the UN's World Climate Conference in Geneva (New Scientist 9 September 2009) we could be entering one or even two decades of cooler temperatures.
Dr David Gee, chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress, asks the question: "For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?"
Climate scientist Dr John Christy points out that few scientists actually believe global warming is taking place so we now come across weasel terms such as "climate change" and "climate disruption." Christy says: "Little known to the public is the fact that most of the scientists involved with the IPCC do not agree that global warming is occurring. Its findings have been consistently misrepresented and/or politicized with each succeeding report."
It 's worth repeating Christy's statment: "Little known to the public is the fact that most of the scientists involved with the IPCC do not agree that global warming is occurring." Contrary to some media and politicians claim, 4000 scientists did not say that human activity is causing global warming. This claim was endorsed by only five IPCC reviewers. Professor Chubb, shouldn't you be informing the Joint Select Committee about this?
Professor Phil Jones from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU) admitted in a BBC interview that: "for the two periods 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different." So we have the imprimatur of Phil Jones (inventor of the misleading hockey stick graph) to the key fact that recent warming, towards the end of the last century, was not unusual.
Satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted. Climate warming is not continuing as predicted by the IPCC and CSIRO computer models. Real-world data from NASA's TERRA satellite contradict the various assumptions that have been fed into alarmist computer models. When satellite data show a large discrepancy between alarmist climate models and real-world facts, climate scientists, the media and politicians should pay attention. And Australia's Chief Scientist should be informing the Joint Select Committee accordingly.
More on global cooling
Back on the Joint Select Committee, Mr Cheeseman asked the question: "Over the last decade in southern Australia we have seen perhaps the worst drought ever recorded in Australia. What does the climate change science tell us about drought and the frequency and intensity of drought?" You answered: "What happens out there as the temperature warms -- where evaporation is greater, more clouds are formed etc -- is not something that I am expert in, and an expert could probably give you a better answer to that part of it than I can. But there does not appear to be much doubt that there is a shift in our patterns."
Drought in Australia
On 12 January 1896, 47 people died in a heatwave in Bourke NSW when temperatures averaged 47°C for 13 days. Of course we all know what the warming alarmists would be saying if those extreme drought conditions had been experienced in more recent times. Droughts will continue to be a prominent feature of the Australian scene and the causes of drought have their origins in the natural fluctuations of the climate system including El Nino and La Nina. There is no empirical evidence whatsoever to link human activity with droughts.
Drought in the USA
Dr David Stockwell examined models used in a major drought study by the CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The Drought Exceptional Circumstances Report was used to support the claim that major increases in drought frequency and severity in Australia would result from further increases in carbon dioxide emissions. Wrong. In fact, droughts decreased during the 20th century as rainfall increased. The climate models used in the DEC Report predicted the opposite. The IPCC and the Australian Academy of Science consider General Circulation Models to be of limited value when predicting regional rainfall change.
For 46 accusations against the IPCC by former IPCC scientists,
and follow prompts to Chief Scientist's Call to Arms