We’ve been admonished by others in the blogosphere when we report on record cold weather or record snow stories of interest by hurling the maxim: “weather is not climate“. Yet when the IPCC does that, linking specific weather events in the IPCC AR4 report, such as a single heatwave, the same people have no complaints. As Davis Rose on the Times reports, the IPCC, under Pachauri’s leadership, botched that too. Now it looks like the IPCC will have to withdraw yet another part of the report.
The new controversy also goes back to the IPCC’s 2007 report in which a separate section warned that the world had “suffered rapidly rising costs due to extreme weather-related events since the 1970s”.
The problem is that the IPCC cited a study on severe weather event frequency that wasn’t complete yet. When it was complete in 2008, it came to an entirely different conclusion about linkage to global warming:
The Sunday Times has since found that the scientific paper on which the IPCC based its claim had not been peer reviewed, nor published, at the time the climate body issued its report.
When the paper was eventually published, in 2008, it had a new caveat. It said: “We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses.”
Despite this change the IPCC did not issue a clarification ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit last month. It has also emerged that at least two scientific reviewers who checked drafts of the IPCC report urged greater caution in proposing a link between climate change and disaster impacts — but were ignored.
Read the complete Times article here: UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters
As an example of citing a single weather event as being connected to “climate change”, we can look to the IPCC AR4 report online and find this citation about the 2003 heat wave in Europe:
And here is where the IPCC tries to link a single weather event to climate change aka global warming:
As such, the 2003 heatwave resembles simulations by regional climate models of summer temperatures in the latter part of the 21st century under the A2 scenario (Beniston, 2004). Anthropogenic warming may therefore already have increased the risk of heatwaves such as the one experienced in 2003 (Stott et al., 2004).
But, it’s apparently OK when peer reviewed scientists do it.
h/t to WUWT reader Dirk H for the IPCC reference.