New IPCC lead author, one word: strange

And you thought railroad engineer Pachauri was odd

Donna Laframboise of “No Frakking Consensus” does some digging, and what she turns up about the new IPCC lead author is to say the least, strange. Some excerpts:

In 1994, Kovats was one of only 21 people in the entire world selected to work on the first IPCC chapter that examined how climate change might affect human health. She was 25 years old. Her first academic paper wouldn’t be published for another three years. It would be six years before she’d even begin her doctoral studies and 16 years before she’d graduate.

This question Laframboise asks really, really, needs an answer:

How does one land that sort of position (and, presumably, that sort of salary) prior to finishing their PhD?

Josh provides some comic relief:

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104 thoughts on “New IPCC lead author, one word: strange

  1. Of the three primary entrapments, Gold, Girls and Glory,
    It appears all three were brought to bear.
    Did these also sweep away the prophets of the press?

  2. Ah yes, Best “Science” Blog.

    Are you sure it wasn’t Best Smearing Blog.

    Shameful. Juvenile. Revealing.

  3. Hey guys (and gals)–let’s stay focused here. Does she do good science? That’s all I care about.

    REPLY: You tell me, see this:

    http://www.isse.ucar.edu/climatehealth/doc/Publications.Pg/Abstract.Kovats.doc

    Climate and weather exposures

    Climate variability can be expressed at various temporal scales (by day, season and year) and is an inherent characteristic of climate, whether the climate system is subject to change or not. Climate “exposures” can be described in three broad temporal categories:
    Long term changes in mean temperatures, and other climate “norms” (e.g. global climate change).
    Climate variability about norms over periods ranging from a few years to several decades, including:
    shifts in the frequency/probability distributions of climate variables
    recurring climate phenomena such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
    Isolated extreme events (either simple extremes, e.g. temperature/precipitation extremes, or complex events such as tropical cyclones, floods or droughts).

    These types of “exposures” are clearly not independent. Many health outcomes are sensitive to isolated extreme events (e.g. heavy rainfall, high temperatures) but are not likely to be significantly affected by long-term, incremental, climate change, unless these same meteorological extremes also change in frequency or character.

    Use of meteorological data

    Daily meteorological variables can be obtained for stations near to the population under study. In cities, this is not usually a problem. In rural areas, however, it may be difficult to find a station nearby. As a general rule, if using daily data, temperatures are homogenous within about 300km area providing that there are no local landscape features that affect climate, such as mountains, or water courses or coastal regions. For monthly data, temperatures are similar up to 1200km area.

    Within 1200 km has “similar” monthly temperatures? Try telling that to the people of New York and Atlanta

    -Anthony

  4. Talking about Pachauri’s book seems out of context. I suggest mentioning her first name (like “In 1994, [Sari] Kovats was one of only 21 people…” ? ) would make the connection more obvious.

  5. This lack of scientific credentials for a lead author is certainly embarrassing for the IPCC. On the other hand, the insinuations in this posting makes this just as embarrassing for WUWT, and I for one wish you had stuck to the facts.

    Regards,
    Dan.

  6. She obviously knows somebody who knew she would do their bidding. Their is NO other logical explanation.

    And now that this rat is out of the bag, I’m guessing some diligent blogger will reveal the ‘who you know’ explanation for this.

  7. RE: Anthony’s reply to Bob Fuller

    Would it be wrong to posit that there is an inverse correlation between number of “quoted” terms and the seriousness of your scientific effort? The excerpt you used makes me think more of “pseudo” than of “science…”

  8. This kind of reminds me of this:

    Headline Story: Did a Secret Climate Deal Launch the Hockey Stick Fakery? by John O’Sullivan, guest post at Climate Realists

    Thursday, May 13th 2010

    “It’s in 1996 that this story gets very curious. At that time Mann needed help to “defend” his Ph.D work in a documented but unexplained controversy at Yale. Inexplicably, this ‘controversy’ was peremptorily swept aside and between 1996-98 Mann was named as the Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Fellow (DOE).

    Mann’s Ph.D ‘Rushed Through’

    All was now well and Yale gave Mann his Ph.D in 1998. One eminent source in my enquiries confirmed Mann’s Ph.D. was, in fact “rushed through.”

    Instantly, Mann was then plucked from obscurity and appointed not just a contributing author for Chapters 7,8,12 of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (1998-00) but also Lead Author for Chapter 2. And with no track record whatsoever in this field, Mann now with tree ring data thrust into his hand, famously carved out his infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph.

    “So what miracle turned this problematic researcher’s life around?

    If miracles happened for Mann, they came in the form of Barry Saltzman. You see, this struggling student’s career was transformed the moment Saltzman became his Ph.D adviser. Only after Saltzman applied his influence were Mann’s lofty credentials “rushed through.” Mann then turned himself into a makeshift tree ring counter, and overnight became the iconic figure in the IPCC Third Report (2001). The rest is history, as they say.”

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5700

    This whole thing is so rigged and corrupt that it is almost depressing.

  9. [snip - funny, but over the top, especially when using the name to comment - don't do that - Anthony]

  10. 1200 km AREA.

    The text as it stands is ambiguous. does she mean a 1200km radius? or a 1200 sqkm area?

    sloppy writing. but the document in question doesnt appear to be an example of her Science.

    That said, who knows why she was selected? or if it matters.

  11. Anthony – it does say 1200 Km area. Not exactly SI units, but I presume that it means about 35×35 Km. which isn’t unreasonable, although shows a lack of clarity for a lead author of an IPCC report.

    REPLY: Well GISS uses a 1200km smoothing radius in surface data map plots, so there’s precedence. – Anthony

  12. Didn’t the UN have Gaddafi in the human rights council so this is not even close to a record for them.

  13. And so St. Peter says, “…..eh, look, I don’t know how to put this…..but….God’s got this chick……”

  14. Back in 94 climate science was a side show ignored by real science. Hence the (very) junior author, I’m guessing back then the salary was equally junior for someone higher up the food chain would have snapped it up.
    She is just lucky, and got in on the ground floor of something before it really took off.
    Kind of of like being Bill Gates roommate way back when. At the time most people would not have thought hanging around with a computer geek had much of a future.

  15. We have been told repeatedly that the IPCC is composed of the worlds smartest scientists, and because of that we must believe everything they tell us and never question their conclusions or motives. But it appears that these “best and brightest” can indeed include people with no publications of any sort or any level of world-class expertise.

  16. This is by far the worst post I have ever seen at WUWT. I certainly hope this is not an indication of a new direction.

    Let’s please stick to science when possible and facts if not.

  17. please delete above comment and use this one:

    The IPCC has done enough by now to make its writings increasingly closer in value to toilet paper, but this information, if true, surely takes the cake as far as I’m concerned.

    If true (which it appears to be) then the value of IPCC’s reports is now dangerously close to the value of toilet paper. An arithmetical equality might ultimately prevail in the market place. But, of course, toilet paper, being processed and usable, might be found to be more valuable.

    See my blog post: IPCC reports = toilet paper? (http://sabhlokcity.com/2011/03/ipcc-reports-toilet-paper/)

  18. Tom Fuller says:
    March 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Hey guys (and gals)–let’s stay focused here. Does she do good science? That’s all I care about.

    REPLY: You tell me, see this:

    http://www.isse.ucar.edu/climatehealth/doc/Publications.Pg/Abstract.Kovats.doc

    Daily meteorological variables can be obtained for stations near to the population under study. In cities, this is not usually a problem. In rural areas, however, it may be difficult to find a station nearby. As a general rule, if using daily data, temperatures are homogenous within about 300km area providing that there are no local landscape features that affect climate, such as mountains, or water courses or coastal regions. For monthly data, temperatures are similar up to 1200km area.

    Within 1200 km has “similar” monthly temperatures? Try telling that to the people of New York and Atlanta

    -Anthony

    So my home city of Sydney would have a similar monthly temperature to Brisbane? Or Melbourne?

    Hmmmm….

  19. Given that the stock response is “List all your peer reviewed climate articles” to any objection to AGW, this is most revealing. “One standard for you, one standard for me, one standard for that other chap and then we can make it three.” I take objection to the comments that this should not be known. It is a total farce on the part of the IPCC.

  20. No offense to the lady in question (I think that was below the belt Josh, keep the gloves up so it’s obvious which side is groin-punching and pulling hair)… but this is a very very poor showing by the IPCC. Under what circumstances do you pick someone with few credentials to lead the report following climategate? What leads to that decision?

    Also, as Anthony said… 1200km apart and you get a similar monthly temperature?
    300km and you get a similar daily temperature? I’m guessing the assumption here is a completely flat surface of the earth. It’s too bad we don’t have many thermocouples out on the ocean to test that theory.

  21. Kovats is a very common Hungarian family name. It means ‘smith’.

    Strange, but I never heard about her. When the IPCC received its Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, the local MSM highlighted multiple times that only two Hungarian scientists were involved in the whole IPCC process. For example, Miklos Zagoni was a reviewer and he has become a prominent AGW skeptic since then.

  22. DeanL says:
    March 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Ah yes, Best “Science” Blog.

    Are you sure it wasn’t Best Smearing Blog.

    Shameful. Juvenile. Revealing.

    But this is evidence of lies spread by that glorious purveyor of ‘scientific consensus, the IPCC. Why on Earth would exposing their lies be shameful? Durely the lies themselves, and the deliberate intention to mislead for obvious personal gain would be the shameful bit, no? Or would you just prefer that everybody shuts up and does what YOU want them to do? That would be shameful. So many shameful things, but this does not appear to be one of them!

  23. Aha! Climate is fractal; it looks the same at ANY time scale.

    Wow that is wonderful news; so now we don’t need to look forward to a perpetual future of “Partly Cloudy” climate predictions; excuse me; that’s projections.

  24. Please Anthony keep your site focused on the science not the person. Of course there reasons to look at qualifications but never a need for putdowns. I know being sceptical of AGW means that you have to endure putdowns yourself but clear, precise argument is the only way to respond if possible.
    That cartoon and many of the “Friday Funnies” cross a line to, as some other commentator said, Juvenile.
    I’m trying to be constructive here as I’ve followed your blog for years and heard you talk in Australia and lately noticed the tone of some blogs getting a bit flippant and derogatory. Leave that to RC.

  25. This is Josh’s best effort, or the best I have seen. The language is perfect. The image is perfect. This has to become a cup and a shirt. Hats off to you, Josh.

  26. Nor is this an isolated incident – Donna Laframboise has cited many other examples on her excellent blog –
    ” The IPCC has a history…of pretending that grad students are the equivalent of the world’s top scientists.”

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/an-even-younger-senior-author/

    And even “IPCC insiders say many of those who shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize have weak scientific credentials. They were chosen because they are of the right gender or come from the right country”.

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/ipcc-nobel-laureates-lack-scientific-credibility/

    Of course we must remember this is the ‘UN’ IPCC.

  27. I disagree with the anti comments.
    This stuff needs exposing – sometimes there just isn’t a nice way to do it! Especially in the case of the IPCC.

  28. “”””” Dave says:
    March 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm
    This is by far the worst post I have ever seen at WUWT. I certainly hope this is not an indication of a new direction.

    Let’s please stick to science when possible and facts if not. “””””

    Well Dave; I know you didn’t say it; but one might reasonably deduce from your comment, that you don’t consider news about the major players, in the international field of climate inspired legislation, to be worth even taking note of let alone commenting on.

    We just went through an exercise where the voters through their Electoral College Representatives elected a US President; with out anybody ever questioning just who the person was, where he came from, what his qualifications for the job are, or even what his experience in managing so much as a lemonade stand. He effectively was elected by acclaim, more or less the same way that the Rev Jim Jones led his followers to their destiny. And as if that wasn’t enough, the simultaneously elected Congress, passed the largest, most expensive Government program legislation of all time without any one of the 535 elected members of that Congress, having read even a tiny fraction of it; most read not a word; and not one of them was likely even involved in the writing of it.

    So yes I think it is fitting, and certainly within the realm of science enquiry, to ask; who is this person to whom so much dictatorial power has been simply handed. Well the precautionary principle would demand that we do so wouldn’t it ?

  29. Steven Mosher says: “…sloppy writing. but the document in question doesnt appear to be an example of her Science.”

    …Full of buzzwords and banality, signifying nothing. But Steven is 100% right–it’s not a true sample of her Science. Scissor out some of the more purple prose, above, put it in quotes, and google it. Some of the unattributed phrases are found in earlier works, such as “A Short Introduction to Epidemiology,” (Neil Pearce, 2005), “The health impacts of climate change and variability in developing countries,” (Bettina Menne, et al, 2003), and “Epidemiology for the Uninitiated,” (Coggon, et al, 1997). There is, no doubt, some original work here, but I’m not going to look any further, since the lack of attribution makes it impossible to determine the ultimate sources. This document is a merely bunch of stuff cobbled together informally for a colloquium from various sources, including Kovats’s earlier work. Not worth looking at, and not relevant to the matter at hand.

  30. Funny, When world class physicists with PHDs and decades of outstanding work, awards and thousands of published works to their names, and memberships and directorships of prestigious acclaimed scientific bodies turn against the theory of catastrophic human induced climate change, the alarmist crowd attack them as not being a credible or serious scientists.

    Yet when one of their own holy IPCC chapters had a lead author had not yet even become a scientist, let alone a “climate scientist”, and when Al Gore (neither a scientist or advocate of truth, but a failed polititian and hypocrite) spout their faith backed beliefs, and we call them on it, these alarmists call foul and claim that this is shameful to expose it.

    I think that this article, though mildly shameful, is entirely appropriate as it shows how poor and weak the IPCC is and how unscientific it is.

    The IPCC is NOT a scientific body. It is a political body with a political and deeply flawed and very very dangerous agenda.

  31. She must have been a hard core alarmist from very early on in her professional life. My guess is her fanaticism for AGW impressed Patchi and won her the position as an IPCC writer.

    Nevertheless, I think Josh’s cartoon is more than just a little over the top and not really worthy of WUWT.

    She will be writing part of the next IPCC fantasy report and is clearly aiming for a high priestess position in the AGW cult. One thing is for sure: don’t expect anything balanced in any publication from this lass – for more, see below:

    http://www.clacc.net/About%20CLACC/Team/International.html

  32. Doesn’t the real rocket scientists get their phd before 25? Like 16 years after they started school if they’re late bloomers or 16 years after they’re born if they’re really special like.

    So one could infer she’s not a rocket scientist.

    Why would IPCC bring onboard a pre-schooler that was not a rocket scientist, you may ask, and you may, so I answer, because you can only brain wash the knobs and not the absolutely brilliantly insane folks. :p

  33. Tom Fuller says:
    March 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm
    Hey guys (and gals)–let’s stay focused here. Does she do good science? That’s all I care about.
    REPLY: You tell me, see this:

    http://www.isse.ucar.edu/climatehealth/doc/Publications.Pg/Abstract.Kovats.doc

    “Climate and weather exposures
    Climate variability can be expressed at various temporal scales (by day, season and year) and is an inherent characteristic of climate, whether the climate system is subject to change or not.”

    Obviously, her intelligence has declined seriously since she got the gold star. And I am not cherry picking her work. The first sentence of a peer-reviewed, published article reveals a mind that strings together cliches into gibberish. I am not taking cheap shots. I am devastated, saddened, and fearful. This gibberish could get published in a journal only if some power had over-ridden the judgement of editors, reviewers, type setters, you name it. If the fact that this article was published does not send cold shivers up and down your spine, if it does not seriously frighten you, then you have surrendered your critical faculties totally and completely.

  34. Steven Mosher says:
    March 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm
    “That said, who knows why she was selected? or if it matters.”

    Does the total absence of critical standards matter? She is writing at a sixth grade level.

  35. In response to the objections to Josh’s cartoon, satire is always biting. That is why it is satire. Josh was not very subtle with it. Perhaps a more subtle approach might have been warranted, perhaps not. Satire is in the eye of the beholder. Sadly many of the AGW crowd are self-satirizing. Apparently the lady in question was part of that group.

  36. Tim says:
    March 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm
    “Please Anthony keep your site focused on the science not the person. Of course there reasons to look at qualifications but never a need for putdowns.”

    Putdown? Presenting the quotation from the article is all the putdown possible! If you believe that her writing is evidence of intelligence then please explain to me just what intelligence you find in that first sentence. How about anywhere in the article?

  37. She was unqualified to perform the duties she was tasked with. Everything she worked on as an unqualified 25 year old, everything she did for the IPCC she be tossed out as tainted, if not fraudulent.

    She also knew she was not qualified but went along with the “deal”.

    Dr. Pachari knew she wasn’t qualified but went along with the “deal”.

    No wonder the credibility of the IPCC is questionable and their results next to useless.

  38. Personally I’d ask if Kovats got the job on the casting room couch in the normal Hollywood way when Pauchauri was drafting his loin-boiler….

  39. Berkeley’s Professor of Physics Richard Muller deconstructs “Mike’s nature trick,” where Mann deviously hid the actual temperature decline and replaced it with a steeply rising hockey stick: click

  40. Steven Mosher says:
    March 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    …”That said, who knows why she was selected? or if it matters.”
    =========
    That said, who knows why CO2 is increasing? or if it matters.

  41. DeanL says:
    March 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm
    “Ah yes, Best “Science” Blog.
    Are you sure it wasn’t Best Smearing Blog.”
    Dave says:
    March 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm
    “This is by far the worst post I have ever seen at WUWT. I certainly hope this is not an indication of a new direction.”

    By the speed and frequency with which concern trolls like the two above appear we can measure how much it hurts the warmists. [snip]

  42. ShrNfr says:
    March 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm
    “Sadly many of the AGW crowd are self-satirizing. Apparently the lady in question was part of that group.”

    Glad you brought this up. Pachauri was self-satirizing when he let the world know that he had used a lot of time writing a novel about the serial sexcapades of a sixtyish climate scientist. He was foolish enough to publish it. When that happened, Ms. Kovats and everyone in a similar situation should have promptly kicked him in the cojones. To put the point in a serious way, by publishing that novel Pachauri demeaned all of his employees, the IPCC, and most especially himself. He revealed that the person who heads an agency that has primary input into decisions about CO2 mitigation that will cost the world trillions finds the time to indulge in narcissistic fantasies about his sexual exploits. The man has no sense of proportion and no sense of self-respect whatsoever; rather, he has the self-respect of a rock star. But that is not the worst part. This out of control rock star wannabe lacks the training, intelligence, and ability to carry out the critical task given to the head of the IPCC. The Pachauri who published that novel has no self-critical faculty. A self-respecting Kofi Annan should boot him from the IPCC and the UN.

  43. I was not familiar with Sari Kovats, but it took me a few minutes to determine that she has coauthored a lot of papers that have been cited by others, without getting a PHD. Since 2001 she has published 45 peer reviewed papers, in addition to 23 conference contributions and 9 book chapters.

    http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/publications/list.php?show_grid=1&filter=staff_id&value=10989&grouping=grid&order=author&type=10&inpress=1&paging=10&year=all&start=40

    This is not unprecedented. Freeman Dyson has had a remarkable career in Physcis without ever earning a PHD. He also wrote articles on different aspects of Physics and didn’t dwell on a single topic for long.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson#Career


    Dyson has said that “I think it’s almost true without exception if you want to win a Nobel Prize, you should have a long attention span, get hold of some deep and important problem and stay with it for 10 years. That wasn’t my style.”[4]

    It seems to me that the leadership of the IPCC recognized that Kovats was a smart and knowledgeable person in her field, despite the fact the she didn’t have a PHD when she got her first assignment.

    The author of this blogpost is simply doing a hatchetjob, in an attempt to discredit the IPCC leadership, and Kovats.This is probably because she disagrees with the conclusions of the IPCC. She could have determined that Kovats was a productive researcher if she wanted to look for the information.

    REPLY: Smart and knowledgeable? Read the essay link I posted. Grade school quality. Given the bizarre ramblings of Pachauri, his shady business dealings, anything is possible with these clowns, and you are simply too delusional to see any other possibility. – Anthony

  44. I read enough of that essay to decide that it was well written and intended for an intelligent person not (previously) trained in epidemiology. She did use i.e. where e.g. was called for, but that is quibbling.

    But that is an intro to epidemiology, not a scientific report. She was not well-qualified to be a lead author, but you do not have to be a PhD, or even M.S. to do good science.

    There is outrage enough when you look at Mann and Jones, etc. and the ridiculous claims of the sky is falling. People who did have PhDs showed brilliantly that a degree isn’t everything.

  45. Jobs like that are earned the old fashioned way. The first question on the interview:

    “We are not sure you are qualified for this position. Is there anything you are not prepared to do to get this job?”

  46. Smokey: “where Mann deviously hid the actual temperature decline and replaced it with a steeply rising hockey stick”

    Are you seriously proposing that global temperatures have fallen during the instrumental period? If not, then what the dickens ARE you saying?

  47. Imagine my surprise to find that the climates of Fort Bragg, California and Tonopah, Nevada are identical, and they’re not even 1200km apart!!

    Seriously. When you read the opening to her abstract?? You’ve got to be kidding me.
    That just invites ridicule on every level.

  48. “Her first academic paper wouldn’t be published for another three years. It would be six years before she’d even begin her doctoral studies and 16 years before she’d graduate.”
    To be fair, maybe she got her degree in political science and she wants to become a “One World Governance” politician.

  49. Anyone else notice how alive and real Josh’s Little Ms. Kovats looks? Lots of real emotion in that kid. I think this is a breakthrough moment for Josh.

  50. Phil Clarke in response to Smokey:

    Smokey: “where Mann deviously hid the actual temperature decline and replaced it with a steeply rising hockey stick”

    “Are you seriously proposing that global temperatures have fallen during the instrumental period? If not, then what the dickens ARE you saying?”

    Smokey is referring to post-1960 declines in global temperature proxies, a period where actual average global temperatures were rising. Since the proxy temperature movements differed from the movement in the actual temperature data, these adverse results were not reported by Mann and others both in peer reviewed literature and in IPCC reports. That this is the case is now well documented.

  51. Anthony said:
    Within 1200 km has “similar” monthly temperatures? Try telling that to the people of New York and Atlanta.

    How about Green Bay and Birmingham? One of them is known for their winters, but I forget which one. They’re about the same right?

  52. Kovat’s statement via Anthony:

    “As a general rule, if using daily data, temperatures are homogenous (sic) within about 300km area providing that there are no local landscape features that affect climate, such as mountains, or water courses or coastal regions. For monthly data, temperatures are similar up to 1200km area.”

    The conditions she is referring to would only exist in featureless interior areas such as the US middle west or central Asia. Since most people in the world live in coastal regions or near “water courses” (the Great Lakes should qualify here) the statement doesn’t mean much. The monthly data statement is so poorly written that I have no idea of what she is trying to say. This is not big league product.

    I do agree with others here that have posted about the cartoon’s poor taste.

  53. John Tofflemire,

    Thanks for pointing out Mann’s moving of the goal posts. He can’t use proxies when it’s convenient to his agenda, then change to instrumental data when it’s convenient. Only a scientific charlatan does that.

  54. For those getting sniffy, the IPCC reports have been for decades trumpeted as being the work of the most prestigious scientists in the field. As Donna of “No Frakking Consensus” has pointed out a significant proportion of authors hadn’t even graduated at the time they worked on more than one report and numerous chapters.

    Of course critiquing the science is vital but to most of the general public their access to the science isn’t through primary sources. It’s not even through critically reading the IPCC reports. It’s through the (equally ignorant) media and politicians pointing at the IPCC reports and saying “Look, the finest, most experienced, most prestigious minds in science have spoken!”

    How many of the public do you think imagine that many of these people on whose word societies are supposed to radically shift and trillions of dollars are to be spent are still in, or barely out of, the scientific cradle?

    It would be great if all the flaws and dodgy reasoning in scientific papers could be reason why the CAGW public edifice crumbles but it’s not going to happen because it wasn’t really the science which created the edifice in the first place. It’s gone way beyond that anyway, it has to be a collapse in the public perception. Most of the public won’t understand the science but they will understand being conned and lied to and that’s the sort of thing which will really piss them off.

  55. >>How does one land that sort of position (and, presumably, that sort of salary) prior to finishing their PhD?

    Perhaps she has expertise in other positions which pleased the panel ?
    It wouldn’t be the first time.

  56. 16 years to get her Ph.D.? This certainly gets stranger all the time….

    Oh, by the way, Pauchuri is a railroad engineer and part-time pornographer. Wonder if that plays into it?

  57. The concern trolls can take a hike. If they don’t like the post don’t read it. If they don’t like WUWT, stick to RC.

    Theo Goodwin @5:46 is dead right. Not that Houghton was any better. Now promoting the zerocarbonbritain 2030 extreme ecotard group.

    Of course Kovats might be a genius for all we know. But the stench of incompetence, dogma & corruption hangs over the IPCC like a huge toxic cloud.
    You’d more likely find someone with a conscience and a little humility in the Mafia.

  58. Why is it that this info about the old IPCC just coming out now.
    I should be on the IPCC . The way I see it I’m 16 years from getting my PHD (at least).

  59. Gee I thought this was easy. But some here seem to need it explained. The IPCC was suppose a consensus of the worlds greatest climate scientists. This matters because it proves that’s not anywhere near correct.

  60. Dr A Burns says:
    March 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm
    >>How does one land that sort of position (and, presumably, that sort of salary) prior to finishing their PhD?

    Perhaps she has expertise in other positions which pleased the panel ?
    It wouldn’t be the first time.
    ======
    Cheap shot.

  61. Sounds to me that her position may have been more like that of a secretary.

    One could understand that this might be referred to as a “lead writer” by the IPCC.

  62. RE: … For monthly data, temperatures are similar up to 1200km area.

    Within 1200 km has “similar” monthly temperatures? Try telling that to the people of New York and Atlanta

    To be fair, while the wording is poor, I believe what is meant is that for monthly data, temperature anomalies are similar up to 1200km area. Which is to say that if December in New York is 10 degrees colder than average, December in Atlanta is likely to be similarly below average.

  63. Did anyone notice that the “Centre on Global Change and Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine” comes under the umbrella of the University of East Anglia (UEA)?

  64. UnfrozenCavemanMD says:

    “To be fair, while the wording is poor, I believe what is meant is that for monthly data, temperature anomalies are similar up to 1200km area. Which is to say that if December in New York is 10 degrees colder than average, December in Atlanta is likely to be similarly below average.”

    UCave, I think you are close to the likely explanation. More precisely, I suspect she is poorly parroting Hansen’s assertion that at any point temperatures are highly correlated within a 1200 km radius from that point (Hansen uses this to aggressively project temperatures well into the Arctic, essentially creating data where no data exists). Perhaps she is trying to explain this simply but in this case the explanation is poor.

  65. DJ says: “Seriously. When you read the opening to her abstract?? You’ve got to be kidding me. That just invites ridicule on every level.”
    ——————————————————————————–
    I presume you refer to the insipid:

    Climate variability can be expressed at various temporal scales (by day, season and year) and is an inherent characteristic of climate, whether the climate system is subject to change or not.”

    So far, I see no evidence, zero, nil, kein, nichevo, that this is a peer-reviewed piece of writing. It is obviously, as it states (“for NCAR Colloquium. 2006″), an ad-hoc colloquium hand-out kloodged together to help the largely ignorant understand climate-health studies. If this is gibberish, blame those who first wrote it, not necessarily Kovats. It was apparently cut and pasted from the following:

    “The health impacts of climate change and variability in developing countries,” by Bettina Menne, Nino Kunzli, Roberto Bertollini, International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Issue: Volume 2, Numbers 3-4 / 2002 / Pages: 181 – 205.

    Nota bene: Menne and Kovats were co-authors on other papers, such as a WHO chapter, so this may have been their joint intellectual property at some point, if previously published elsewhere prior to the IJGE article. I haven’t been able to find a prior source, however.

  66. A higher percentage of ‘knockers’ than I have seen for a while.

    I guess, Anthony, that means you are doing something right.

    Keep the information flowing.. Great work!

  67. It is a reasonable conclusion that in 1994 Sari Kovats was not qualified academically to be a contributing author of a chapter on an IPCC assessment report.

    That Sari Kovats was a contributing author in 1995 means the IPCC did not maintain even minimum professional academic standards.

    Sari Kovats is still working on IPCC assessment reports (AR5); now as a lead author. It looks like her third assessment report to me.

    The IPCC should do a better job of maintaining the appearance of openness to a broader range of scientists in any author position. The potential for persistence of bias from one assessment report to the next assessment report needs to be prevented. The IPCC needs to prevent the formation of cliques of scientists that persists from one assessment report to the next. Therefore, the IPCC should restrict an individual author to one assessment report. A promotion from contributing author in on assessment report to lead author in the next assessment report thus would not be allowed.

    Based on my above comments, in order to provide assurance to the public that the IPCC is concerned about its past lack of prudence, the IPCC leadership should have Kovats step down from further participation in any future IPCC report.

    NOTE: I would like to express my great appreciation to Donna Laframboise of “No Frakking Consensus”. Her tireless work on making more transparent the workings of the IPCC process is priceless. Also her work on making public the IPCC assessment team member’s professional background and academic qualifications is sorely needed. Donna’s work is a valuable contribution to the knowledge base needed to provide an accurate evaluation of the validity of the IPCC’s products. AR5 is the area of focus needed now and we need to understand the past assessment report processes and teams to get into what is happening on AR5 right now.

    John

  68. Dont worry Theo Goodwin , I agree with the content of the post, and despair that the IPCC has credibility in the MSM. Just a little concerned about the delivery thats all, especially that cartoon.
    Just an opinion.

  69. Donna has done what mainstream journalists on high salaries should have done decades ago: lift the veil of propriety on these “top ranking scientists” and the way they were chosen. We have a RIGHT to know who is proposing drastic changes to our way of life.

    As for Kovats, I had my doubts, till I read her report on Lesser Developed Countries’ health policies where she quotes the IPCC report which she authored, withoute mentioning her contribution to it. Quoting yourself as authority kind of diminishes your stature.

  70. It is normal that graduate students sign papers for work they have done. What is not normal is to be set in the position of lead author.

    In my generation it was also normal for female students to take a long time to get a PhD if at the same time as working full time they were in their child bearing years. I had many publications before writing a PhD thesis, because research was more important at work than running after references, and children of primary importance at home.

    It is not known if Ms Kovat is in this category. I would doubt it, because juggling work and family does not leave time for projects requiring leadership and one upmanship .

    So yes, it is a strange appointment, including that she is a senior lecturer ( associate professor in the UK) in less than a year from getting a PhD if not before.

  71. I can write stuff like Sari:

    “Based on integral subsystem considerations,a primary interrelationship between system and/or subsystem technologies presents extremely interesting challenges to the anticipated fourth generation equipment.

    However, initiation of critical subsystem development must utilise and be functionally interwoven with the sophisticated software.

    On the other hand, initiation of critical subsystem development recognises the importance of other systems and the necessity for the preliminary qualification limit.

    In this regard, initiation of critical subsystem development must utilise and be functionally interwoven with the structural design, based on system engineering concepts.

    In Particular, a constant flow of effective information recognises the importance of other systems and the necessity for the subsystem compatibility testing.

    Similarly, the fully integrated test program recognises the importance of other systems and the necessity for the greater flight-worthiness concept.

    In respect of specific goals, the independent functional principle adds explicit performance limits to the philosophy of commonality and standardisation.

    As a resultant implication, the fully integrated test program requires considerable systems analysis and trade off studies to arrive at the discrete configuration mode.

    For example, a large portion of the interface coordination communication maximises the probability of project success and minimises the cost and time required for the subsystem compatibility testing.

    Similarly, any associated supporting element adds overriding performance constraints to the philosophy of commonality and standardisation.”

    In may case, an Excel spreadsheet I built populated with phrases from a buzzword generator I found 30 years ago.

    Seriously, to those who get on their high horses about WUWT posting on this, I say this: this young woman is part of a team that is responsible for governments committing trillions upon trillions of our tax dollars on something that raises serious doubts. We have a right to call her on it.

    Finally, BTW: a ranking naval rating ‘secretary’ would hold the rank of ‘Leading Writer’. :-)

  72. I think the critics of this tread are right that this is a molehill. But I think it was OK to post the thread, as long as only an eyebrow was raised about it. I think there’s nothing wrong with noting molehills.

    I also don’t think her opening sentence was that bad, in the context of scientific prose generally. I could understand what she was trying to say after a second reading. A lot of scientific prose needs to be unpacked in that fashion.

    And her remark about temperatures being the same across some huge number of kms. may only mean within an area, not a radius, in which case she’s acquitted on that charge.

    Peter Miller says:
    March 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Nevertheless, I think Josh’s cartoon is more than just a little over the top and not really worthy of WUWT.

    Obviously it was an exaggeration, but that’s so obvious on its face that it’s part of its humor. Josh’s cartoons always good-naturedly portray his targets as silly and childish rather than nasty–which makes them more effective than something biting. His coffee-cup cartoon showing Mann with a tilted hockey stick chart (a child’s coverup tactic) is typical.

  73. I live in Brisbane Australia – a subtropical coastal city. 20km inland the summer daytime temperatures are 5C hotter and winter nights are 10C cooler.

  74. So it doesn’t matter who is on the IPCC? Well let none other than Doctor Pachauri explain it all to us here-

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/jun/05inter.htm

    when asked-
    Quest: Could you describe to all the disbelievers — people who question the science involved in the IPCC reports — the science involved in drafting these reports? Do you believe that the science is absolutely flawless?

    Dr Pachauri: That’s a matter of opinion. I can’t change anybody’s mind. But you look at the facts as they are. You have close to 600 people who are actually the authors of these working group reports. These are people who have been chosen on the basis of their track record, on their record of publications, on the research that they have done. They have been nominated either by governments or major international organisations.

    There is a very careful process of selection. We had something like 2,000 such nominations and out of that less than 600 were selected. So it is not as though anybody can get in.

    They are people who are at the top of their profession as far as research is concerned in a particular aspect of climate change. Then the process itself is such — I mean they draft out their reports on the basis of clearly developed outlines of each working group report and these outlines are accepted by the plenary session of the IPCC.

    And then at each stage of the production of the report it goes through a process of reviews and all the comments we get are carefully logged, each one is taken into account. It is not necessary that everything will be accepted, but everything has to be considered and then you know finally in the plenary session, there could be one country or two countries that may take a certain position, but there are several others who can counter that and they do.

    So you can’t think of a more transparent process, you can’t think of a better set of qualified people than what we have in the IPCC. I would only put that forward as valid reasons to accept the science and the scientific assessments that are carried out.

  75. Jer0me says: March 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm and other posts
    “So my home city of Sydney would have a similar monthly temperature to that of Brisbane or Melbourne…Hmm”

    You will find that Bernard Salt recently wondered on the urban planning policies developed for Australian capital cities. Cut n paste templates?

    Variables tested by the public health experts have evolved from supporting, in some instances, the green movement stance (violence) of anti-mining and anti-nuclear (energy and development+ population) including using the union movement through shaping an ever restrictive OHS framework.
    Urban studies of lead in (old) paint of inner city abodes, then vehicle emissions and transport planning (urban pollution and public transport) were captured. Social epidemiology then used health promotion, underpinned by allied pseudo-experts morphing into control at local government planning and regulation levels (obesity/parks/school tuck shop menus, smoking, bikeways, local waterways etc) with extensive funding for such and other promotive activities.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/property/melbourne-sets-planning-agenda-for-other-cities/story-e6frg9gx-1226014970749

    Readers may recall Marc Hendrickx’ work and his dispute with the article on early emergence of H merope due to claimed Co2 levels in a proposed greenfield site. Whether butterflies are analogous to (human) Years of Life Lost (YLL) commonly coded as death or mortality is questionable. But a useful approach to extracting funding for ‘the health of cities’ at the global level may be profitable. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/23/butterfly-study-a-case-study-in-confirmation-bias/

    Of course
    Anthony @Tom Fuller says: March 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm and Theo Goodwin says:
    March 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm
    require some comment on link to the abstract provided:- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Clint Eastwood should do nicely.

  76. What’s so amazing is that the IPCC in itself becomes a career path.

    You can’t blame an aspiring scientist for choosing a career path, but isn’t this one about ready for out to grass ?

  77. Kovats is not the problem. She saw an opportunity and took it. She’s better than the average IPCC author. The problem is the IPCC claim that it is an exclusive club for leading experts. That claim is just not true.

    Pachauri has nothing to do with this. He was a lead author at the time. He helped Amrita Achanta become a lead author, but was not involved with Kovats.

  78. Qualifications aren’t everything.
    The lady might be a very good organiser, for instance.
    Indeed the EU Foreign Ministry might be a natural next step.

  79. John Tofflemire said: Smokey is referring to post-1960 declines in global temperature proxies, a period where actual average global temperatures were rising. Since the proxy temperature movements differed from the movement in the actual temperature data, these adverse results were not reported by Mann and others both in peer reviewed literature and in IPCC reports. That this is the case is now well documented.

    Referring to them without knowing that he’s referring to them, maybe. He says “actual temperature decline.”

  80. This is a repost I made on other other blogs, but on a similar subject, of IPCC members:

    From Donna Laframboise’s blog, I saw the name Richard Moss, and his affiliation, the WWF.

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/the-wwf-vice-president-the-new-ipcc-report/

    Richard Moss is on the 15th chapter of the AR5, the section on Adaptation Planning and Implementation.

    It’s interesting about his WWF connection, and the name just below his on the AR5, Walter Vergara, with the World Bank.

    The WWF, with grant money from the World Bank, have purchased the rights to Amazonian forest, and hope to make 60 billion dollars from carbon credits, through REDD (reducing emissions from developing countries deforestation).

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/03/amazongate-part-ii-seeing-redd.html

    Of course, Chapter 15 also deals with REDD.

    I really suspect that the theme music to the IPCC is “Dueling Banjos”. And that they feel the hillbillies in “Deliverance” were just misunderstood.

    Could not conflict of interest be seen here?

  81. observa says:
    March 19, 2011 at 4:33 am
    So it doesn’t matter who is on the IPCC? Well let none other than Doctor Pachauri explain it all to us here-

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/jun/05inter.htm

    when asked-

    “There is a very careful process of selection. We had something like 2,000 such nominations and out of that less than 600 were selected. So it is not as though anybody can get in.”

    In other words, it is about as difficult as getting into a mediocre liberal arts college. By contrast, if an academic department at a research university advertises a non-tenure track but fulltime position, they get about 500 applications and the first 100 of those are excellent prospects even for tenure.

  82. anna v says:
    March 19, 2011 at 2:35 am
    “So yes, it is a strange appointment, including that she is a senior lecturer ( associate professor in the UK) in less than a year from getting a PhD if not before.”

    Your comments are very helpful. What one would like to know about her hire is how many people applied for that job. If it was advertised properly, the number of applicants would be in the hundreds and scores of them would be excellent. In academia today, it is difficult to move either vertically or horizontally. Some of the people applying for that job would be associate professors tenured at other universities. Apparently, she was treated as if she were an associate professor from the university of IPCC. Obviously, she did not go through tenure and promotion hearings but was hired with tenure. (The fact that she was tenured in her first year means that she was hired with tenure.) As far as I know, hiring an applicant who does not have tenure and giving them tenure as part of the hire is something that has not been done since the halcyon days of the Sixties. So, the hire seems to have been made by people who have an unreasonably high regard for the IPCC.

    Of course, one may argue that her research is unique among applicants and she was hired over better scholars for that reason. However, that line of reasoning makes the hire look more questionable. In effect, the academic department doing the hiring would be moving IPCC research to their campus when the same research is not widely supported on comparable and competitive campuses. In today’s academic world, if her research specialty were supported on other campuses then there would be scores of applicants as good or better than she.

  83. Anthony,

    This has to be one of the funniest stories I have read here at WUWT, well not so much in way of the story itself, but in some of the comments that attempt to defend the indefensible.

    That said and M/s Kovats may be a very nice person however, it is heartening to now have confirmation that the IPCC is in fact no better than a busted arse Australian farmer like me, in that, in order to make a living I work by the old rule that is “Necessity is the Mother of All Invention” meaning; that if what one is looking for, or to do is not yet available build it yourself.

    The IPCC has a necessity, so they put together a team to build the invention, no qualifications really necessary, although it seems that navel gazing and tyre kicking is some sort of prerequisite.

  84. Kovats evidently met the right people under the right circumstances and left with them a favorable impression. When opportunity later knocked, she opened the door. And she received an amazing number of knocks. I once observed a recent graduate of Stanford go from editing the newsletter of the company at which I worked to a position as a Director at Apple. In any walk of life, favorably impressing those who can advance your career puts you on the fast track. This can be done socially if you are well connected or through recognized achievement if you are less fortunate. While drudges, like me, who have done things the hard way may sometimes resent this we can’t fault others for taking this path. Ad hominen attacks on Kovats are, to me, unwarranted.

    James Treybig, once the CEO of a computer company he founded and built into a Fortune 500 company, once said in a meeting I attended, “First rate people hire first rate people. Second rate people hire third rate people.” Enough said there about the IPCC.

  85. Theo Goodwin says:
    March 19, 2011 at 8:14 am

    … So, the hire seems to have been made by people who have an unreasonably high regard for the IPCC.

    As mentioned by OzWizard above, the school where she lectures is part of the University of East Anglia – the well known source of emails.

  86. Ken Lydell says:
    March 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm
    “Kovats evidently met the right people under the right circumstances and left with them a favorable impression. When opportunity later knocked, she opened the door. And she received an amazing number of knocks.”

    This does not happen in an academic department, at least not the vast majority of prominent academic departments. A person who is sponsoring a candidate for a job has to make a case for them with forceful arguments and then must defend that case against severe criticism. The person sponsored will be thoroughly tested by her superiors on each point. The kind of situation that you describe sounds more like the process of interviewing prospective graduate students. Each professor is pretty much allowed to select one or two, depending on the wealth of the department.

  87. I think one should remeber that IPCC in the UN system is politically and administrative positioned under the UNEP.
    UNEP is the place you most likely will find radical environmentalist from the Greenpeace, WWF etc etc..

    And they, based on the political based UNFCCC, are pulling strings and in a large degree manage the “Muppet show” and the “scientific” “results” from the IPCC.

    Some interesting info here?

    http://climatechange.mensnewsdaily.com/2011/03/14/peer-into-the-heart-of-the-ipcc-find-greenpeace/

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