IPCC AR5 Chapter 11 – Maintaining the Spin

Guest post by David M. Hoffer

In my first article on the leaked AR5 Chapter 11 draft, I focused on the extraordinary lengths to which the IPCC has gone to surround their projections with caveats that make it nearly impossible for any of them to be outright wrong. But what of the alarmist narrative? I am sad to report that it is alive and breathing. On the other hand, it appears to be on life support. I chose two examples to bring to everyone’s attention. One because I think it is amusing, and the other because it is a whopper that I doubt will survive to the final draft.

The amusing one relates to ice extent. The models are still projecting reduced ice extent for both the Arctic and Antarctic. For those of us who’ve been following that story line, that’s another indication that the models are deeply flawed. While ice extent in the arctic is down, the Antarctic extent has been setting new records. So how does AR5 Ch11 handle this contradiction?

In early 21st century simulations, Antarctic sea ice cover is projected to decrease more slowly than in the Arctic in the CMIP5 models, though CMIP3 and CMIP5 models simulate recent decreases in Antarctic sea ice extent compared to slight increases in the observations (Chapter 12, Section 12.4.6.1 and Figure 12.31).

Excuse me? Slight increases? When Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, putting him ahead of Babe Ruth by just one, I don’t recall anyone calling it a “slight increase”. I remember “record setting” and “history making” and “unprecedented”. Interesting way to spin an extreme event, is it not? But having minimized the record ice extent in the Antarctic by characterizing it as a “slight increase” they just can’t help but throw some alarmist narrative in as well:

Periods of rapid summer-time retreat of the Arctic sea ice margin, such as that which occurred in the late 2000s (see Chapter 4) has been noted to occur in a climate model, raising the possibility of abrupt sea ice retreat events sometime in the next 50 years (Holland et al., 2006).

Oooooh, I’m scared. They’ve got dozens of models that they’ve run thousands of times with all kinds of different initial conditions. They barely agree with each other, they don’t agree with observations on any number of fronts, there’s many pages of excuses in Chapter 11 as to why…. But they have “a model”, yes, just one, that raises the possibility of some sort of “abrupt” event. One gets the impression they wiggled that one in just so it could be quoted completely out of context in the Summary for Policy Makers.

Now for the WHOPPER!

For years we’ve been subjected to horror stories of increased numbers of major storms like hurricanes, and increased intensity as well. More and worse, all due to global warming. But basic physics suggests that a warmer world should be a more tranquil world, and the observational data agrees. Ryan Mau has had several articles on this site showing that over the last 20 years, tropical cyclones have become less frequent and less intense, the exact opposite of the alarmist narrative. In the face of overwhelming evidence, it would have been embarrassing for the IPCC to not take a step back from their position. They did. In the executive summary of Chapter 11, it says:

We have low confidence that over the next few decades there will be global and regional increases in the intensity of the strongest TCs, and the decrease in global TC frequency as is projected for the end of the 21st century in response to increasing greenhouse gases (Chapter 14).

Well that statement is a bit ambiguous, is it not? It seems to imply that tropical cyclones will be about the same, or maybe a little bit worse, a bit less frequent, not a big enough change for them to make any statements with any degree of certainty. I first read it as a climb down from the frantic alarmism of the past few years on this topic.

That statement is, by omission, is a WHOPPER!

We already know from experience with AR4 that what the science says, what the AR4 report says, and what the Summary for Policy Makers says are three rather different things. We’ve got a healthy serving of the same strategy in this case. Read the statement from the Chapter 11 Executive Summary above again, and then see what they buried in the body of the report itself:

Two recent reports, the SREX (IPCC, 2012; particularly Seneviratne et al., 2012) assessment and a WMO Expert Team report on tropical cyclones and climate change (Knutson et al., 2010) indicate the response of global tropical cyclone frequency to projected radiative forcing changes is likely to be either no change or a decrease of up to a third by the end of the 21st century.

Ooops! So the science says nothing about intensity, but on frequency, somewhere between no change and a one third decrease. One would think that a projection of up to a one third decrease in tropical cyclone frequency would be important enough to make it into the Executive Summary?

Well, if record setting ice extent in the Antarctic is just a “slight increase”, I guess by extension that a one third decrease in tropical cyclones is equally un-noteworthy.

Chapter 11 can be downloaded here (PDF)

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53 thoughts on “IPCC AR5 Chapter 11 – Maintaining the Spin

  1. Well, somewhere in the report they must leave open the possibilitie that storm intensity will increase, so that all their bases are covered. It would not be like climate science to not cover all their bases. This group is so far past being a “science” group that all of the logical synapses within the brain freeze up at the mention of IPCC “executive” summary.

  2. AGW is a religion and religions aren’t bothered by mere facts. If hurricanes disappeared entirely they’d not only claim it to be in complete agreement with their models but that they were predicting just such an event all along.

  3. In early 21st century simulations, Antarctic sea ice cover is projected to decrease more slowly than in the Arctic …

    Antarctic’s Circumpolar temperature Wave with 8 year period has a wave number of two, which would suggest that temperature in any particular (coastal) area would go up/down every four years.
    With sunspot count down and consequently the variable magnetic output on the wane, an increase in the Antarctic ice coverage is likely. The contentious but good reason can be found in the relevant data.
    Spectral response for S. Hemisphere temperature and the Sun Spot magnetic cycle are virtually identical. Spectral analysis shows that the Sun Spot magnetic cycle, Aa index, the Earth’s magnetic field and the temperature oscillations (ENSO and Antartics’s circumpolar wave) are not just coincidence

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SHS.htm

    but the data based reality, that will be relentlessly denied by anyone inclined to sell you the AGW defunct hypothesis.
    Sun –Earth link in the Antarctic is strong and undeniable

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AntarcticSunEarthLink.htm

    despite attempts of those who ideas are directly contradicted by the best available data that the science has.

  4. Thankyou AR5, now I can quote you to all the whackjobs that whine about increased hurricane activity caused by AGW.

  5. I guess with all the rubbery algorithms and parameter settings, it would be possible for a model to somehow produce a reduction in sea ice. After all, these things are supposed to be capable of hind-casting, and there have been occasions in the past where these reductions have been known to occur.
    The term “abrupt” I suspect is a gratuitous addition. Don’t think these things produce “abrupt” unless a trigger has been hard-wired into the code – accidentally or otherwise.
    Reminds me of Sim City. In earlier versions at least, you could enter a negative value for depreciation, and just sit back while your holdings went off the dial.

  6. I awaken to my Columbus Dispatch. In it is a story about the breathtaking retreat of ice in an area of Western Antarctica. The author, one Spencer Hunt goes on to draw the connection to rising seawater, coastal, flooding, etc., etc. but it doesn’t stop there. In the B section there is a companion piece explaining the risks to the freshwater collection basin for Columbus (the Scioto River). The USGS, too has a model which predicts impacts on the watershed brought on by climate change.

    So let me get this right. An OSU professor reports declining ice in a “section” of the Anarctic continent, in part by modeling to fill missing datasets and gets headlines (when the total ice on that continent is INCREASING). The USGS is modeling watershed impacts based on climate change models coming from the IPCC, which have been shown EMPIRICALLY to be wrong.

    Why don’t we quit modeling around the issue?

  7. Since the head of the IPCC was (IIRC) proud of its perfect transparency, its members should be now enjoying the discussions going on here, as a Christmas present for them. /sarc

  8. The Daily Mail has an alarmist report about West Antartica where warming is twice as fast as first thought.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2252763/West-Antarctic-warming-TWICE-fast-previously-thought-Study-raises-alarm-rise-sea-levels.html#ixzz2FyBSfGQB

    However, it occurred to me that the following paragragh may hold the secret of the warming.

    “Professor Bromwich and two of his graduate students, along with colleagues from NCAR and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, corrected the past Byrd temperature measurements and used corrected data from a computer atmospheric model and a numerical analysis method to fill in the missing observations.”

  9. ‘occur in a climate model, raising the possibility of ‘

    You could actual just use those word to represent most research in ‘climate science’ and still lose no ‘quality ‘

  10. David – you wrote “basic physics suggests that a warmer world should be a more tranquil world”. Can you elaborate? I’d wouldn’t expect a higher energy system to be more stable.
    (liked the rest of article)

  11. Gareth, the idea is that with a smaller equatorial/polar temperature gradient, there will be fewer storms. I understand this and your idea, and don’t know which would prevail in reality.
    ========

  12. Gareth says:
    December 24, 2012 at 4:42 am
    “David – you wrote “basic physics suggests that a warmer world should be a more tranquil world”.”

    For thermodynamical reasons (Stefan-Boltzmann Law – energy radiated away rises with th 4th power of absolute temperature), CO2AGW science has always maintained that cold regions must warm more than regions already hot. This reduces the temperature gradient by latitude and reduces the thermal imbalances that drive storms. Also see the “polar amplification” hypothesized by CO2AGW science.

    (By the same logic, during a glaciation we would expect ferocious storms at the edge of the glaciated area)

  13. David, thanks so much for these great efforts. Many of us do not have time to sort through the cumbersome draft, but are nevertheless very interested. Your analysis is extremely beneficial. (And, I especially appreciate the humor you sprinkle into your in-depth critique.)

    Just another great benefit of this site–keep up the great work, gents.

  14. Gareth,
    Storms are caused by temperature disparities. Colder atmosphere leads to more extremes in temperature differentials. No expert. Just my no doubt flawed understanding.

  15. Gareth says:
    December 24, 2012 at 4:42 am

    David – you wrote “basic physics suggests that a warmer world should be a more tranquil world”. Can you elaborate? I’d wouldn’t expect a higher energy system to be more stable.
    (liked the rest of article)

    Storms are driven by “temperature differences” not by absolute temperature levels.
    One of the most fundamental assertions of the AGW proponents is that the arctic and high arctic will warm faster than mid-latitude and equatorial areas. The only way for that to happen is that the difference in temperature is reduced between them.

    This is one of the most glaring failures of their entire story line of increasingly severe storms as the climate warms. It is a mutually exclusive outcome with their own definition of how the world would warm faster in the arctic. The two story lines contradict each other, if one happens the other cannot — so which part of their theory is wrong?

    When observation does not fit the theory then the theory is wrong.
    If two parts of the theory are inconsistent and contradict each other and break accepted laws of physics, the theory is wrong.

    Were they wrong to assert that the arctic will warm faster than mid-latitudes or are they wrong about more severe storms resulting from warming. One or both theories must be wrong.

    Larry

  16. I suspect that in a warmer world, the tropics would be very nearly the same and the colder latitudes would be somewhat warmer. Less temperature difference = less extremes in weather.

  17. Schrodinger’s Cat says:
    December 24, 2012 at 4:05 am
    …However, it occurred to me that the following paragragh may hold the secret of the warming.

    “Professor Bromwich and two of his graduate students, along with colleagues from NCAR and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, corrected the past Byrd temperature measurements and used corrected data from a computer atmospheric model and a numerical analysis method to fill in the missing observations.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    HMMMmm Since the dear Professor is so good at it do you think he could come up with a model to make me an instant billionaire?….. Well the Models ARE MAGIC aren’t they?

    Should we start calling them the IPCC’s Magic Lamp? (With luck they only got three wishes)

  18. On a preschool level, storm systems originate with hot air rising, cold air creating vortices as fronts sweep underneath. But where warming is global, particularly in the northern hemisphere where Arctic temperatures undergo cyclical fluctuations, there is little relatively cold air to sweep south. By diminishing temperature differentials, atmospheric circulation patterns tied to ocean currents accordingly reduce vortex activity, commensurately decreasing seasonal storms’ geographic extent plus their intensities.

    Given adequate contingency ranges aka “error bars,” modeling periodic climate peaks and troughs ought not to be beyond the mind of Mann. Alas, where empty scholastic rhetoric substitutes for Baconian empiricism, nothing either AGW catastrophists or their circular computer constructs linearly extrapolate can have the slightest relevance to Earth’s complex, dynamic real-world.

  19. Several of us have been stating that the UV affects the O3 [ozone] layer causing the ionosphere to swell or contract. This causes an insulating blanket effect that helps or hinders warming based on the amount of increases or decreases in UV.

    It appears that the report finally admits that something like this is occurring. OMG, the Sun does affect the Earth’s Climate. Of course it is poorly understood by the Climate Scientists, but well understood by us: the uneducated with lack of models. But wait, I have a model that matches UV to Climate and Earth temperatures. There has been one problem with it: back in 1650 there was a time lag model error. But, that can now be fixed due to the realization that Flux can go up or down without a Sunspot [low magnetic field, no spots; but energy in UV]. Since the model derived the Flux from Sunspots [1650 until 1948; real observations after 1948], this now explains the Flux error, i.e., Flux without spots.

    What an exciting time we live in for Solar research!!

  20. If the IPCC says we’re going to get fewer storms in the next few decades I would , given their prediction record, start looking for higher insurance coverage. We meed a study – Forecasting accuracy of computer models vs tea leaves. Someone want to apply for the grant?

  21. Finally someone agrees with me.

    Thermodynamics says that wind [speed] is proportional to temperature difference not absolute temperature. When the climate astrologers say the opposite, skeptics should call them on the lie !

  22. Off topic but quite good news: An economic analyst, Laurence B. Siegel, points out some things most of us already knew. Affluence improves the environment. The hair shirt austerity, advocated by many environmentalists, is the worst thing possible for the environment. I hope that this is the harbinger of more attention in the MSM.

    It takes a real Scrooge to find darkness in the bright cloud of Figure 2, but today’s environmentalists are up to the task. (Grantham seems to want to be counted among them.) Subsistence living is among the most environmentally destructive ways of life imaginable; you have to do what is necessary to eat every day, implying an astronomically high discount rate at which future consumption is being compared to today’s. The only thing that makes subsistence societies look clean is low population density.

    As a society industrializes, it does become environmentally “dirtier” up to a certain point. Beyond that point (and there is much dispute as to at what income level this takes place), people demand and can afford a cleaner environment. This phenomenon has been well documented in developed countries and is spreading to higher-income developing countries.

    http://www.advisorperspectives.com/newsletters12/Fewer_Richer_Greener.php

    I was glad I didn’t have a mouth full of coffee when I read the first sentence.

  23. vukcevic says:
    December 24, 2012 at 2:33 am
    but the data based reality, that will be relentlessly denied by anyone inclined to sell you the AGW defunct hypothesis. Sun –Earth link in the Antarctic is strong and undeniable
    =======
    The solar wind interacts with the earth’s atmosphere at the poles. These poles are moving more rapidly [than] at any time in history, away from the antarctic and towards the arctic.

    While science remains firmly employed measuring radiation and its effects on climate, it has almost completely ignored the effects of magnetism and the solar wind. For example, we are told space is cold, yet the solar wind has temperatures as high as 1 million degrees.

    We know the solar wind affects space weather. How is again that the solar wind does not affect earth weather? Isn’t the earth located somewhere in space, rather close in astronomical terms, to the source of the solar wind?

    from wikipedia:
    “The solar wind is responsible for the overall shape of Earth’s magnetosphere, and fluctuations in its speed, density, direction, and entrained magnetic field strongly affect Earth’s local space environment. For example, the levels of ionizing radiation and radio interference can vary by factors of hundreds to thousands; and the shape and location of the magnetopause and bow shock wave upstream of it can change by several Earth radii, exposing geosynchronous satellites to the direct solar wind. These phenomena are collectively called space weather.”

  24. OT I know but I just want to wish Anthony and his family a very merry christmas and a big thanks for all his efforts over the year, very much appreciated.

  25. Since AR4 represented the settled science shouldn’t AR5 merely be about correcting typos and adding recent confirming data?

    We need two tables including page references. Table 1 showing AR4 quotes side by side with AR5 quotes. I suspect this will require at least four columns as AR5 is likely to include 3 three contradictory comments on each claim; the alarmist summary, the best guess and the fallback.

    Table 2 should include much the same. For each claim; AR5 best guess, AR5 lower bound, AR5 upper bound and change between draft and approved.

    This is a good change to crowd source a wiki.

  26. ferd berple says:
    December 24, 2012 at 7:38 am
    More on the Solar wind and its effect on earth.

    December 15, 2008 Breathing cycles in Earth’s upper atmosphere tied to solar wind disturbances

    A new University of Colorado at Boulder study shows the periodic “breathing” of Earth’s upper atmosphere that has long puzzled scientists is due in part to cyclic solar wind disturbances…

    …Associate Professor Jeff Thayer said the outer, gaseous shell of the atmosphere, known as the thermosphere, is known to expand and contract as it exchanges energy with the space environment, causing changes in thermosphere density….

    While extreme ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the dominant mechanism that causes the thermosphere to “breathe,” the new CU-Boulder study indicates high-speed wind from the sun triggers independent breathing episodes by creating geomagnetic disturbances, heating the thermosphere and altering its density

    “We were surprised to find the density changes were so consistent in our observations,”

    Sept. 23, 2008: NASA: Solar Wind Loses Power, Hits 50-year Low

    “The average pressure of the solar wind has dropped more than 20% since the mid-1990s,” says Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. “This is the weakest it’s been since we began monitoring solar wind almost 50 years ago.”
    … the speed of the million mph solar wind hasn’t decreased much—only 3%. The change in pressure comes mainly from reductions in temperature and density. The solar wind is 13% cooler and 20% less dense….

    “The solar wind isn’t inflating the heliosphere as much as it used to,” says McComas. “That means less shielding against cosmic rays.”

    In addition to weakened solar wind, “Ulysses also finds that the sun’s underlying magnetic field has weakened by more than 30% since the mid-1990s,” says Posner. “This reduces natural shielding even more.

    Press release 2 November 2009: Solar winds triggered by magnetic fields
    Research paper in Astrophysical Journal

  27. This process is not only strange but beyond belief. It is impossible to draw conclusions until you know the toted up results of what ever it is you are studying. You may had hopes, desires, ideas and so on but conclusion not possible. This is not just spin it is simply ideological, fiction. Spin it simply far to polite a term I think perhaps sophistic bull shit is more appropriate. I think I am beginning to sound like a grumpy old man. The grumpy part is firm and beyond doubt. The old is a conclusion yet to be drawn and no draft fiction can alter that.

  28. The writing is on that wall for catastrophic Arctic melting by the looks of the recent change in the length of the melting season:

    A quick look at the rate of change of Arctic ice cover shows there has been a “sea change” is sea ice melting recently:

    The latest IPCC report will out of date before it’s published and relevance of this corrupt, bureaucratic, non-scientific body will fade quicker than voodoo science can melt a himalayan glacier.

  29. So this is how a come-down looks. Change the tech stuff that doesn’t get read by those who run governments, but throw in some amiguous phrases to quote in the Summary for Policymakers. I hope Sen. Inhofe keeps on the case with Sen Kerry taking over as Sec of State. There is little hope for vigilance in the European government’s “consensus” unless there is someone going to listen to Vaclav Klaus of Czech Republic. So far we have to look for China and India to be our saviours.

  30. Gail Combs says:
    December 24, 2012 at 6:27 am
    Since the dear Professor is so good at it do you think he could come up with a model to make me an instant billionaire….Well the Models ARE MAGIC aren’t they?
    Miss Combs
    In the Land of the Zimbabwe dollar every one is a billionaire.
    In the Land of the IPCC models every model performs MAGIC.
    The IPCC modelers efforts deserve to be financed in the Zimbabwean dollars.

  31. The one thing that does seem to of been overlooked by climate science about the Arctic sea ice extent. ls the that decrease in the Arctic sea ice extent since 2008 has only been happening in the summer. By looking at the NH sea ice anomaly graph on the sea ice page, you will notice that the peak of the sea ice extent in winter has not been falling (apart from 2011) its just only that the summer sea ice extent has been. So since 2008 the Arctic sea ice extent has not been decreasing, its just that the difference between the summer and winter sea ice extent has become greater.

  32. Billy Liar says:
    December 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

    It is a bit more complicated than just pressure. The pressure differences are created by differences in heating and humidity, which change the air density. Even that is modified by how rapidly that change occurs over distance. [A] small air pressure change that occurs over a very short distance can cause much higher wind speeds than the exact same pressure change across continental distances.

    http://geography.about.com/od/climate/a/windpressure.htm

    The key here is the non-uniform temperature distribution of the air mass. In a global warming world where the temperature of the arctic is closer to the temperature of the mid-latitudes would by definition result in lower wind speeds and wind energy. The exact opposite of what the AGW crowd claim.

  33. “IPCC has gone to surround their projections with caveats that make it nearly impossible for any of them to be outright wrong.” Called “adhockery.” See E. T. Jaynes’ Probability Theory: The Logic of Science.

  34. “But what of the alarmist narrative?”

    Don’t fret. It will come with guns a blazin’ in the “Executive Summary.”

    The honest scientists of the IPCC will show feeble outrage how the “Executive Summary” ignores the “Scientific” report’s demeanor.

    Happens every time.

  35. Doug Huffman said:
    December 24, 2012 at 11:33 am
    “IPCC has gone to surround their projections with caveats that make it nearly impossible for any of them to be outright wrong.” Called “adhockery.”
    ——————————————————————
    How about adhockeysitckery :)

  36. Excellent analysis, David. I always enjoy your comments. It seems on the one hand, they want to be taken seriously for the stuff that they do, but on the other, are mindful that if there isn’t a crisis, there’s no need for them.

    A very Merry Christmas to all, and particularly to Anthony and the mods, and the families. Thank you for what you do.

    Paul

  37. David flips

    That statement is, by omission, is a WHOPPER!
    ———–
    Sure the language is a pain to decipher but it’s not particularly ambiguous. The key concept to grasp is the distinction between some projected outcome and the confidence in that projection.

    So just to help David — the projection of a maximum fall in tropic cyclone frequency is not considered to be a reliable projection.
    — the projection of an increase in TC intensity is not considered to be a reliable projection.

    In other words there is some theory to support these projections and some evidence to support these projections but there are confounding factors. More evidence might contradict naive expectations based on the physics.

  38. LazyTeenager;
    More evidence might contradict naive expectations based on the physics.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I hereby CHALLENGE you to explain the physics and why expectations based on the physics should be considered naive.

  39. If they gave a real opinion based on data a prediction uncertainty, it wouldn’t be as scary and grant money would dry up. NGO’s would be less important and would lose funding. Political organizations vying for power and control would have to use less heartwarming stuff than polar bears, saving the planet and the end of civilization as we know it. Since when has any of this had anything to do with science?

  40. If IPCC ARs make testable predictions, they are science. If not, they are not science.

    Their models predicted higher average global temperature with higher atmospheric CO2. That has not happened for 16 years, just as it didn’t happen for a similar period before about 1977, despite post-war CO2 increase (as observed in questionable data sets).

    If, as some argue, Hansen in the ’80s & the IPCC in the ’90s & ’00s didn’t make actual predictions, then there was never any real science to be tested & found false.

  41. LazyTeenager says: December 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    “…In other words there is some theory to support these projections and some evidence to support these projections but there are confounding factors. More evidence might contradict naive expectations based on the physics….”

    For once, a sensible statement from Lazy.

    Except he should note that this applies to pretty much ALL of the modeled projections, in almost every area.

  42. Well it is simple 4H club science. A place that has a Temperature of 300K radiates EM thermal radiation five times as fast as a place that is at 200K, other things being equal, and it does so at wavelengths that are 2/3 of those of the colder place, further from the CO2 15 micron band, and more into the atmospheric window, so it cools much faster.
    Also it takes 3.375 times as much energy to heat a 300K place by 1 deg C than it does a 200K place, so heat energy moving from the tropics to the poles, warms the poles 3.375 times as much as it cools the tropics.

    So of course the coldest places warm more than the hottest places, when energy is added.

  43. At what point do you expect a range of scenarios to collapse to, if not one scenario, perhaps just a couple?

    If you admit that the science is not settled, that the models are not adequate, then you might maintain the suite of scenarios, saying that the complexity of the actual world is beyond your understanding, that what happens now is not necessarily indicative of what happens later. But if you claim that we already know enough to determine what will happen, you must be prepared to say that the recent past is, in fact, indicative of the unfolding future. But, after 24 years we still see the same range of potential outcomes to increasing CO2 emissions, despite observations to-date that suggest the appropriate model to prepare for is that which predicts a temperature rise at the bottom of the range .

    At which AR are we to expect “the” scenario for 2100? This is not too much to ask for. An AR every five years leaves us 16 more to 1993. Is the answer to this simple and reasonable question, AR21?

  44. Tsk. Despite best efforts by Responsible Persons, actual science keeps leaking through the WG1 reports. They will be the death of the IPCC yet. Not a moment too soon!

  45. For years we’ve been subjected to horror stories of increased numbers of major storms like hurricanes, and increased intensity as well.

    Successive IPCC reorts have never projected increased hurricane frequency, and quite a few studies have estimated possible decrease in frequency, which has been mentioned both in AR4 and [the draft version of] AR5. The leaked draft is barely different from AR4. (see below)

    But basic physics suggests that a warmer world should be a more tranquil world, and the observational data agrees.

    At the simplest level, physics tells us that more energy in a system makes the system more volatile (with caveats). What physics is David hoffer referring to?

    Ryan Mau has had several articles on this site showing that over the last 20 years, tropical cyclones have become less frequent and less intense, the exact opposite of the alarmist narrative.

    Having perused Maue’s sire and his studies, he estimates that hurricane frequency has decreased over the last 20 years, which is actually in line with IPCC projections, but has not given an opinion on intensity except for a low in recent years. On a number of his graphs, there is a slight (and statistically non-significant) increase in global cyclone intensity from the beginning of his record, and particularly in the Northern Atlantic

    In the face of overwhelming evidence, it would have been embarrassing for the IPCC to not take a step back from their position.

    AR4 actually said:

    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. There is
    less confidence in projections of a global decrease in numbers of tropical cyclones.

    AR4, SPM

    Is this much different from [the draft version of] AR5?

    We have low confidence that over the next few decades there will be global and regional increases in the intensity of the strongest TCs, and the decrease in global TC frequency as is projected for the end of the 21st century in response to increasing greenhouse gases (Chapter 14).

    Is a <66% likelihood of increased intensity much different from 'low confidence'? The confidence on frequency appears to be the same between AR4 and [the draft version of] AR5.

    This also fits with Maue's observational data on frequency. His records on intensity are more equivocal – but he is intending to publish a paper on that question sometime soon, which will be interesting to read.

    I first read it as a climb down from the frantic alarmism of the past few years on this topic.

    There is no ‘alarmism’ in AR4. The term may be applied to popular media or blogs, but it is so often applied to any material that accepts global warming from CO2 that it’s usage is now much more rhetorical than accurately descriptive. It’s exactly the same issue with the word ‘denier’, which is more often an epithet than an accurate descriptor.

    Denialism and alarmism should be accurately identified, otherwise the discussion is no better than a mud fight.

    Hoffer cites the following section from [TDVO] AR5 as being a departure from other sections in the two reports…

    Two recent reports, the SREX (IPCC, 2012; particularly Seneviratne et al., 2012) assessment and a WMO Expert Team report on tropical cyclones and climate change (Knutson et al., 2010) indicate the response of global tropical cyclone frequency to projected radiative forcing changes is likely to be either no change or a decrease of up to a third by the end of the 21st century.

    …but it’s pretty much the same with a slight (albeit implicative) quantity differences. Regardless, Hoffer misrepresents the reports.

    The IPCC reports identify different results from various studies/models/other reports, and then synthesises the results. Not only has David M Hoffer mischaracterised and exaggerated miniscule differences, he is distorting these slight differences further by making hay out of standard practise of the IPCC to comment on the range of values and insights for a given topic. This is actually excellent policy for their reports, so that differences in understanding are published along with the conclusions.

    Hoffer’s article muddies the waters instead of shedding light on the topic.

  46. Brian H;
    At the simplest level, physics tells us that more energy in a system makes the system more volatile (with caveats). What physics is David hoffer referring to?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    There are several accurate responses to the same question by another commenter upthread. Since you didn’t bother to read them, I will explain again. Temperature doesn’t vary directly with energy flux. In fact, energy flux varies with the temperature, in degrees K, raised to the 4th power. So, for an average increase in forcing, we would expect cold areas to increase in temperature more than warm areas, reducing the temperature differential between them. The less differential there is between them, the less pressure differential is generated (the ideal gas law, albeit for a closed system but which is broadly applicable in this case is PV=nRT where pressure varies directly with temperature).

    This is akin to two fully charged car batteries. Hook them up in series (+ve to -ve) and you will get a massive shower of sparks when you make the last connection. If you actually complete the connection, the cables will weld themselves solid if not burn through entirely. Hook those same two batteries up in parallel (+ve to +ve, -ve to -ve) and nothing happens, despite being fully charged. If one batter is slightly undercharged, say by 1 volt, you’ll get just a few sparks so small you may not notice them. The differential of 1 volt doesn’t drive anything spectacular. But hook them up in series and the differential is now 24 volts and big things happen then.

    Volatility is created by pressure differences which in turn are created by temperature differences, which in turn decrease as the world warms.

  47. Lord Monckton stated that you have to allow the “alarmist” a way out to save face, this may be happening when as

    Doug Huffman said:
    December 24, 2012 at 11:33 am
    “IPCC has gone to surround their projections with caveats that make it nearly impossible for any of them to be outright wrong.”

    The IPCC will, if they have to rely on those caveats, cease to exist.

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