IPCC caught out with an old, known, and uncorrected error pending their new AR5 report

UPDATE: 11:15AM PDT 8/20/13 The IPCC reads WUWT, and directly responds below – Anthony

Spot the error. The IPCC can’t.

Story submitted to WUWT by Tony Thomas


Leaked reports of the Fifth IPCC Report, due next month, say the IPCC experts are now 95% sure that human activities and emissions are the main cause of global warming since the 1950s.[1]

The same IPCC experts remain 100% sure that the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas are homes to tropical forests, and that they have been since 1995.


But given a doubling of global CO2, they expect the central US tropical forest belt to shift eastwards to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, even stretching east to Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Looking at my own part of the world, I see that the IPCC has Papua-New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines currently covered in savannas, dry forests and woodlands. But with global CO2 doubling, the prairies of south-east Asia will surge northwards to Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, even southern China.

India, as in the map below, acquires tropical forests through about 70% of its area. For some reason, the IPCC’s tropical forest belt of northern Australia (most Aussies believe it is gum-tree land) advances south by about 1000km, such that tourists towns like Cairns and Townsville become surrounded by Congo-like vegetation, suitable for imported bonobos and, maybe, okapi.

Turning to South America, the Amazon rainforest is already mysteriously transformed by the IPCC into savannas, which with CO2 doubling will advance across the whole top half of South America.

[2]

It’s a funny old IPCC world. An error, perhaps? Nah. All these assertions are in the all-important Synthesis Report of 1995, where for the first time the IPCC plumped for “discernible” human-caused global warming.

The IPCC also has tropical forests in Dakotas and parts of the Mississippi Valley.

The IPCC’s forest weirdness has been pointed out to the IPCC experts for at least for the past six years. The first chair of the IPCC was Bert Bolin (from 1988-97). In 2007 he footnoted in his 2007 book, A History of the Science and Politics of Climate Change: The Role of the IPCC  (p253):

As a curiosity, it might be interesting to note that there is a major error in Figure 2 of the (1995)  Working Group 11 summary for policy makers in that the two eco-systems ‘Savannah, dry forests, woodland’ and ‘Tropical Forests’ have been interchanged, but I have not seen this corrected anywhere in the IPCC publications.

I came across the footnote early last year when scribbling a piece for Quadrant  on the IPCC’s origins. I looked up the IPCC maps and,  five years after Bolin’s prompting, they remained unchanged.

So in February, 2012, I wrote off to Renate Christ, the IPCC’s secretary in Switzerland, carefully following the steps for a complainant as outlined in a 2011 IPCC protocol for error correction.

An error in a  ‘Synthesis Report’ has to set off special alarm bells in the IPCC. Responsibility, the protocol says, rests with the IPCC chair (Dr Pachauri) himself. Both he and the co-chairs of the relevant working group at the time of the assessment, “will be kept informed of the evaluation and participate as appropriate.”

The protocol’s details are even more stringent: All Working Group co-chairs and the executive committee have to get involved. They, in turn, may need to consult their predecessors about it.

I was gratified to get an email back within 48 hours from Jonathan Lynn, communications head, filling in during Dr Christ’s absence.

Thank you very much for reminding us that this needs dealing with.

On the face of it, it looks pretty straightforward, but it’s a bit complicated for our internal procedures, as it involves an old report whose working groups have long disbanded.

Still, I’ve forwarded it to our Executive Committee (which includes Dr Pachauri) and I assure you it’s being worked on.

Best wishes, Jonathan Lynn.

Lovely! Except a year and a half later, on August 18, 2013, I looked up the maps again, and again nothing had changed, despite even Dr Pachauri and his executive committee’s close attention to the matter.  Maybe correcting what the IPCC’s  own ex-chair Bert Bolin described as a “major” error isn’t considered a priority?

I fear this is another instance of what Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise has documented in her Delinquent Teenager book on the IPCC: the IPCC says one thing and does the opposite.[3] Just for example, the IPCC demanded of its authors that, for the 2007 report, all non-peer-reviewed citations had to be flagged as such. When the report came out, Laframboise did a count. Out of the 5,587 non-peer citations, a grand total of six, or 0.1%, were flagged.

The 2011 error protocol arose from Dr Pachauri’s aggressively-wrong reaction to the IPCC’s 2007 melting-Himalayan-glaciers gaffe. These glaciers were forecast to vanish by 2035, leaving half a billion thirsty Asians.

Pachauri (who says he has two Ph.Ds but has only one) in November, 2009, initially roasted the Himalaya complainant.[4] This person was Vijay Raina, an eminent Indian glaciologist. Pachauri accused Raina of practicing ‘voodoo’ and  ‘magical’ science, and making indefensible accusations. He added that the glaciologist had no business questioning such an eminent body as the IPCC.[5]

Pachauri had apparently not even read the brief section complained of, as its bad arithmetic and dubious provenance (gossip recycled by the activist Worldwide Fund for Nature), spoke for themselves. Indeed, the single Himalayan glaciers page in the 2007  report , comprising 497 words, had to be corrected for nine separate errors.[6]

Pachauri’s venom was too much for the respectable scientific community, and within a few months he was compelled to invite the Inter Academy Council (IAC), a peak international science body, to report on IPCC procedural reforms to prevent more errors and loss of credibility.

The IAC reported in August 2010 that as a result of the Himalayan nonsense and Climategate Mark 1, “public confidence in climate science has waned”.[7] But, it added hastily, neither the Himalayas gaffe nor Climategate Mark 1 undermined the IPCC’s main findings about humans now causing global warming. (Its source for that conclusion was none other than the IPCC’s integrity specialist Peter Gleick, who later, in early 2012, confessed to using deception to obtain internal documents from a conservative US think-tank The Heartland Institute).[8]

On error correction, the IAC said,  “The communications challenge has taken on new urgency in the wake of recent criticisms regarding IPCC’s slow and inadequate responses to reports of errors in the (2007) Fourth Assessment Report. Such criticisms underscore the need for a media-relations capacity to enable the IPCC to respond rapidly and with an appropriate tone to the criticisms and concerns that inevitably arise in such a contested arena.”[9]

As a result of this IAC critique, the  IPCC  governing panel at its May 2011 Abu Dhabi session issued a detailed and gorgeous  12-page protocol and flow charts for error correction.[10] The protocol includes:

“If the error is in a Synthesis Report, responsibility rests with the current IPCC Chairman.

“At the start of the process, the claimant is informed by the IPCC Secretariat about the next steps … The claimant will again be informed at the conclusion of the process.

“Errata are posted on the IPCC and WG  (Working Group) or TF (Task Force) websites after the conclusion of the process. A short explanatory statement about the error may also be posted.”

Well, as a bona fide IPCC error spotter, I was indeed informed about the ‘next steps’ 18 months ago. But the process of reversing the green and brown color boxes has not yet been done yet.

Perhaps the IPCC experts have a wicked sense of humor, and their reports are an elaborate practical joke. In that case, the egg’s on my face; I’m so damned credulous.

###


[6] ibid

[10] https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc_error_protocol.pdf

==========================================================================

UPDATE: The IPCC responds

(Elevated from a comment)

I’m writing with regard to your posting of 19 August, the story submitted by Tony Thomas, in which you say the IPCC has not yet corrected an error allegation submitted by Tony Thomas.

This is incorrect, and I would like to set out the facts for your readers:

When we received Tony Thomas’s letter of 8 February 2012, we brought it to the attention of the relevant Working Group, and acknowledged it to Tony Thomas.

Under the IPCC’s error protocol, it was determined that there was a typographical error in the Working Group II Summary for Policymakers of the Second Assessment Report (1995). An erratum dated 9 March 2012 was issued and can be found here:
http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/sar/sar_syr_errata.pdf

(You can also find it by going to “Publications and Data” on our website, scrolling down to the Second Assessment Report, and clicking on Errata under “IPCC Second Assessment Full Report”.)

We wrote to Tony Thomas on 20 September 2012, informing him of this. A copy of the email to him is below.

Jonathan Lynn
(Head of Communications, IPCC)
Dear Mr. Tony Thomas,

Further to our email dated February 9, 2012 informing you that we have initiated the process of the IPCC Protocol for Addressing Possible Errors in IPCC Assessment Reports, Synthesis Reports, Special Reports or Methodology Reports, we wish to inform you that IPCC Working Group II completed the analysis of the points in your email of February 8, 2012. On March 8, 2012 the WGII Bureau determined that action was warranted and that the error should be regarded as a typographical error as described in section 2, step 4A of the Protocol. Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention.
Please find attached the SAR Errata, which has been posted on the IPCC website. Also please accept our apologies for this delayed response.

Thank you again for your interest in IPCC,

Yours sincerely,

IPCC Secretariat

UPDATE2: 1:55PM PDT

I replied with this in email, and got a boilerplate thank you, but no answer to my question – Anthony

Dear Mr. Lynn,

I have added your correction to the body of the post, thank you for sending it. This seems like a possible case of the imperfect nature of the Internet causing communications to be lost or trapped in spam filters.

On that note, did we miss the apology from Dr. Pachauri to climate skeptics worldwide for his “voodoo science” comment related to the Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035 claim? See here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/09/ipccs-pachauris-voodo-science-claim-comes-full-circle/

Thank you for your interest and communications.

Anthony Watts
WUWT

UPDATE3: 4:05PM PDT Tony Thomas responds:

(Elevated from a comment)

As luck would have it, I changed my email account from an Australian provider to gmail on September 18, 2012. Jonathan Lynn of the IPCC replied to me, doubtless on my old email account, on September 20, 2012. I have no record of receiving this. With hindsight, my piece was therefore a bit harsh on the IPCC. My checking consisted of inspecting the 1995 IPCC maps and Synthesis Report to see if there was any evidence of a correction. There was none there.
The IPCC’s former chair Bert Bolin described the maps as a ‘major error’ rather than a typo so I assumed some change or alert would have been evident.
I am also puzzled that given that the InterAcademy Council  had complained of tardiness in IPCC responses to error notifications, the IPCC process still seems slow. I complained on February 9, 2012. The IPCC WG11 resolved on action as per typo correction protocol on March 8, 2012. Yet it was not until September 20, half a year later, that I was sent an email about it.
So the story is really one of compounding small snafus.
1. The map coding is reversed in 1995
2. Bert Bolin complains about the uncorrected “major error” in 2007
3. I also complain about it in early 2012
4. Some glitch in IPCC offices leads to a six month delay in a reply to me, which then goes into the lost-email aether.
5. No change is made to the maps
6. I give the IPCC a big spray in August 2013.
7. Hurt feelings all round.

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89 thoughts on “IPCC caught out with an old, known, and uncorrected error pending their new AR5 report

  1. “The main cause” is a somewhat nebulous term. It might mean “a cause accounting for more than 50%” but that’s not very precise. Did they quantify “main” ?

  2. A couple of questions:

    1) Does this error exist in TAR?
    2) Does this error exist in 4AR?

    If not how can you imply that it exists in 5AR?

  3. ilodonharlani says:
    August 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    UN science is on a par with UN “peacekeeping” expertise.
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    The UN is very competent in everything it sets out to do. What it sets out to do is destroy first world nations, in the strange belief that, that will somehow make life better for third world nations.

  4. BTW, it looks like the key is wrong, if you switch the two colors (the pinkish which is marked tropical forests… and the bluish green which is marked savannahs…) it makes much more sense.

  5. @Rattus Norvegicus
    “BTW, it looks like the key is wrong, if you switch the two colors (the pinkish which is marked tropical forests… and the bluish green which is marked savannahs…) it makes much more sense.”

    No! Really?

  6. “Leaked reports of the Fifth IPCC Report, due next month, say the IPCC experts are now 95% sure that human activities and emissions are the main cause of global warming since the 1950s …”
    ————————
    The 2007 report summary stated inter alia that “most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations” and that “very likely” meant over 90% likely, using “expert judgement” of course.
    So now I suppose 95% sureness means very very likely.
    Now I wonder what “main” means, as opposed to “most”.

  7. Maybe the IPCC is using this map as a “wink wink” to those of the public clued into dry humour. In other words, it is blatantly showing its gross incompetence on purpose to make people know that it is all one big joke. It can’t be real incompetence – come on! I can’t believe it… no, really I can’t.

  8. The chart wasn’t making any sence to me, until I realised that brown was for forest.

    Much like changing the temperature colours on the world temperature anomaly a couple years ago, so that red was zero change.

  9. Keep at ‘em. They can’t keep getting away with this nonsense for much longer. People are paying more attention now (every day, in every way). Excellent post, this stuff is important.

  10. @Olaf Koenders
    “the IPCC’s integrity specialist Peter Gleick..”

    Too funny!

    JimS writes: See what I mean. Who does such a thing unless they are bucking for their own comedy show on TV. The IPCC is trying to tell us that it wants to replace Saturday Night Live.

  11. So Tony Thomas, You spin quite a gripping yarn; every bit the equal of Clive Cussler .

    Just when we think we have figured out the punch line, you pitch us another curved ball.

    But tell me; that other rumor. Is there any truth to that story making the rounds, that you wrote the entire Micro$oft Windows Computer Virus, all by yourself ?

    But this yarn ought to make the NYT best seller list.

    Thanks for unboring me !

  12. When you bring out a huge report like the IPCC AR5 Report, which is composed mainly of scientific nonsense, a little bit more nonsense in the illustrations is really nothing to worry about. They may or may not ever get round to fixing it, but at present they are more worried by the bits and pieces that keep falling off their Climate Model.

  13. Oh, man! Does this mean we have to expect more trees migrating? I thought they’d figured out they could just go to higher elevations!

    We’re going to have to build tree overpasses over their migration routes.

  14. Rattus Norvegicus says: August 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    No sh1t, Sherlock ! What would the world do without your acute observations ?

  15. The figure was taken from a paper by Neilson and Marks, published in Journal of Vegetation 5 1994 pp715 – 730.
    The figure purported to show the change in vegetation across the planet resulting from a doubling of CO2 and was derived from something called the Mapped Atmosphere-Plant-Soil System [MAPPS].
    It would seem that no one bothered to actually check it [either at the “Journal of Vegetation” or the IPCC.

    The tropical forests along the border of Russia and Kazakhstan must be worth a visit !

    A wonderful example of GIGO [garbage in garbage out].

  16. UNfortunately, as long as blatant errors of fact and/or interpretation make things “worse than we thought”, the UN has no political incentive nor inclination to correct them.

    Retractions are rarely read or remembered and errors of incompetence or nefariousness live on long after the retractions are made.

    People too often believe what they wish to believe not because it’s necessarily factually correct, but rather because it supports their preconceived notions and ideologies.

    Hey, regardless, “If 97% of “scientists” know CAGW is an undisputed “fact” and is “settled science” (puke/puke), I’ll go with what the “experts” say.” (puke/puke).

    Since IPCC has proven itself to be more concerned with justifying its existence and political agendas rather than determining the truth, such errors will continue until this whole mess is slowly giggled into obscurity.

  17. Rattus Norvegicus says:
    August 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    BTW, it looks like the key is wrong, if you switch the two colors (the pinkish which is marked tropical forests… and the bluish green which is marked savannahs…) it makes much more sense.

    You probably didn’t read all of the main post, in particular near the end where it says:

    Well, as a bona fide IPCC error spotter, I was indeed informed about the ‘next steps’ 18 months ago. But the process of reversing the green and brown color boxes has not yet been done yet.

    Swapping labels takes time, you know….

  18. wws said:
    August 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    How dare anyone question His Eminence, Dr. Pachouri! He has a Th. D.!!!! (Doctor of THINKology!!!
    —————————-
    He also has a Po.D – Doctor of Pornology
    WUWT, 30 Jan 2010

    He wanted to be a pornographer, but he couldn’t find a pornograph.

  19. Good story, but the headline phrase “pending their AR5 report” is misleading because this has nothing to do with AR5. As Rattus says, this headline and para 1 imply this is a problem with AR5, but It’s not until para 7 that you state it is in fact a historical problem from 1995.

  20. milodonharlani says:
    August 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    UN science is on a par with UN “peacekeeping” expertise.
    —————————————————————————
    That sums up their skills, nicely.

  21. “Reversing green and brown”, from the Church of Environnement, it’s a wicked sense of humour indeed.

  22. Rattus Norvegicus says: “BTW, it looks like the key is wrong, if you switch the two colors (the pinkish which is marked tropical forests… and the bluish green which is marked savannahs…) it makes much more sense.”

    Holy guacamole, Rat-Man! You figured it out! You must have somehow actually gotten around to reading the post AFTER previously commenting on it. I’m amazed by your genius. Awesome! Surely you have merited the rank of Captain, no…Field Marshall, no…Generalissimo Obvious.

  23. once its in the AGW dogma it becomes unchallengeable and unchangeable , a reflection of the way its not science we are seeing its ‘religion’

  24. If they removed all the errors, it would be 500 blank- every part is inconsistent – the title is wrong its not Intergovernmental (it has the UN and scientists), its not a panel and its about climate change.

  25. The word main is an impresise expression, both subjective and nebulus in nature and can often take its meaning from its surrounding context.

    Some suggest that it is “a cause accounting for more than 50%”. Yes it could be, but then it could be far less than 50%. Eg., Say to produce a result requires 41 different components/eventualities. One of which accounts for say 40% of the result, with the other 40 accounting variably between 1 and 2% but together collectively averaging some 1.5% of the result.

    The component/eventuality that accounts for 40% of the result is the dominant component/eventualities and most people would say that it was the main component/eventuality.

    In railways (something the IPCC knows about) is the main line, the line that gets from A to B fastest (ie., runs the express trains), or the one that can carry the most passengers/freight, or the one that operates the most frequent timetable, or the one that is used the most often to get from A to B etc?

    I liked the joke that if they were to remove the errors it would just be a pile of blank pages. That probably would be more useful, and certainly would do less harm.

  26. Phillip Bratby says:
    August 19, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Anybody in climatology ever heard of Quality Control?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    If they did they would include error bars on their graphs and have a decent discussion of error in their reports.

  27. As a curiosity, it might be interesting to note that there is a major error in Figure 2 of the (1995) Working Group 11 summary for policy makers in that the two eco-systems ‘Savannah, dry forests, woodland’ and ‘Tropical Forests’ have been interchanged, but I have not seen this corrected anywhere in the IPCC publications.

    Yes Rattus Norvegicus (August 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm ) “BTW, it looks like the key is wrong, if you switch the two colors (the pinkish which is marked tropical forests… and the bluish green which is marked savannahs…) it makes much more sense.” That is exactly the point.

    The error is in the 1995 synthesis report and the IPCC have not corrected it.
    It is as though they don’t care about accuracy.

    So an obvious question arises. Is the IPCC really a standard bearer in terms of the quality of its scientific output?
    And an obvious answer – no other field of science has replicated the IPCC for a very good reason.

  28. Reality obviously needs to be corrected to conform to that map. That is, a joint UN effort is needed, backed by an all encompassing international treaty to turn Amazonia & Indonesia into savanna while planting tropical forest in Illinois. Sounds like the standard procedure, does not it? No wonder it takes some time to implement such a large scale project and way more funds, of course.

  29. Turning to South America, the Amazon rainforest is already mysteriously transformed by the IPCC into savannas, which with CO2 doubling will advance across the whole top half of South America.

    Projections for tropical forests are one thing but what about observations from the recent and distant past? Here are some findings.

    Abstract – Stephanie Pau et. al.
    Clouds and temperature drive dynamic changes in tropical flower production
    …..Our results show that temperature, rather than clouds, is critically important to tropical forest flower production. Warmer temperatures increased flower production over seasonal, interannual and longer timescales, contrary to recent evidence that some tropical forests are already near their temperature threshold…..

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1934.html

    Abstract – James L. Crowley et. al. – 12 November 2010
    Effects of Rapid Global Warming at the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary on Neotropical Vegetation
    Temperatures in tropical regions are estimated to have increased by 3° to 5°C, compared with Late Paleocene values, during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, 56.3 million years ago)………eastern Colombia and western Venezuela. We observed a rapid and distinct increase in plant diversity and origination rates, with a set of new taxa, mostly angiosperms, added to the existing stock of low-diversity Paleocene flora. There is no evidence for enhanced aridity in the northern Neotropics. The tropical rainforest was able to persist under elevated temperatures and high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide,…….

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6006/957.short

    Abstract – Carlos Jaramillo et. al. – May 2013
    Global Warming and Neotropical Rainforests: A Historical Perspective
    …Our compilation of 5,998 empirical estimates of temperature over the past 120 Ma indicates that tropics have warmed as much as 7°C during both the mid-Cretaceous and the Paleogene….. The TRF did not collapse during past warmings; on the contrary, its diversity increased. The increase in temperature seems to be a major driver in promoting diversity.

    http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-earth-042711-105403

  30. Pachauri has a joint PhD in Industrial Engineering and Economics. (Probably counts this as two PhD’s) This is hardly a good basis for climate science.

  31. Richard Betts:

    Contrary to your claims, your post at August 20, 2013 at 2:29 am

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/19/ipcc-caught-with-an-old-uncorrected-error-in-new-ar5-report/#comment-1395214

    emphasises the IPCC error.

    Yes, as you say, the mistaken labeling of the chart is listed as an erratum in the list of AR4 errata.

    But that makes it certain the IPCC is aware of the error: as you say, they have documented it as an erratum.

    Despite that, they have copied the error into the draft AR5.
    Copying an acknowledged error into a subsequent report is incompetence.

    Do you ‘get it’ now?

    Richard

  32. They just don’t care. They do their duty, churn out alarmist lies, so that the journalists can contribute their lying and the usual stinking pile of CFR truth fabrication hits the masses. Who cares? Science? Has been bought and paid for.

  33. True to form, WUWT cites petty trivia errata about a map, that the IPCC acknowledged decades ago – and misses the point.
    Here’s the ACTUAL story:

    Sea Level Could Rise 3 Feet by 2100, Climate Panel Finds
    http://www.nytimes.com

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/20/science/earth/extremely-likely-that-human-activity-is-driving-climate-change-panel-finds.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0&hp

    A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that the authors are now 95 percent to 100 percent confident that human activity is the primary influence on planetary warming.
    By JUSTIN GILLIS
    Published: August 19, 2013

    An international panel of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace.

    The scientists, whose findings are reported in a draft summary of the next big United Nations climate report, largely dismiss a recent slowdown in the pace of warming, which is often cited by climate change doubters, attributing it most likely to short-term factors.

    The report emphasizes that the basic facts about future climate change are more established than ever, justifying the rise in global concern. It also reiterates that the consequences of escalating emissions are likely to be profound.

    “It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010,” the draft report says. “There is high confidence that this has warmed the ocean, melted snow and ice, raised global mean sea level and changed some climate extremes in the second half of the 20th century.”

    The draft comes from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of several hundred scientists that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, along with Al Gore. Its summaries, published every five or six years, are considered the definitive assessment of the risks of climate change, and they influence the actions of governments around the world. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent on efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions, for instance, largely on the basis of the group’s findings. (More at Link above)

    Best –
    James B

  34. AR5 is not out yet so the fact that the error is still replicated in the leaked draft is not that significant. It could be corrected before publication.

    But Richard Betts (August 20, 2013 at 2:29 am) picks up a far more important failure by the IPCC.

    They have procedures for dealing with corrections:

    10. At the start of the process, the claimant is informed by the IPCC Secretariat about the next steps in a general way, and referred to this “IPCC Protocol for Addressing Possible Errors in IPCC Assessment Reports, Synthesis Reports, Special Reports or Methodology Reports”. The claimant will again be informed at the conclusion of the process.
    11. Errata are posted on the IPCC and WG or TF websites after the conclusion of the process. A
    short explanatory statement about the error may also be posted.

    This has not been followed. Tony Thomas was not informed at the conclusion of the process.

    IPCC fails to follow its “IPCC Protocol for Addressing Possible Errors in IPCC Assessment Reports, Synthesis Reports, Special Reports or Methodology Reports” – is now a confirmed story.

    What other protocols do they fail to follow?

    Link to the protocol:

    https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc_error_protocol.pdf

  35. James B:

    You begin your post at August 20, 2013 at 4:28 am

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/19/ipcc-caught-with-an-old-uncorrected-error-in-new-ar5-report/#comment-1395266

    saying

    True to form, WUWT cites petty trivia errata about a map, that the IPCC acknowledged decades ago – and misses the point.
    Here’s the ACTUAL story:

    Sea Level Could Rise 3 Feet by 2100, Climate Panel Finds …

    Carrying over a known and documented misleading error into a subsequent report is NOT “petty trivia” for scientists. It is either severe incompetence or serious malpractice. But, of course, it is acceptable to warmunists who assert it is “petty trivia” when the alarmism of the error is pointed out.

    Importantly, what “could” happen is NOT science.
    What the evidence shows is science. And the evidence does NOT indicate sea level rise of 3 feet by 2100.

    In other words, your post does provide “the ACTUAL story”; i.e.
    the draft IPCC AR5 is alarmist prpaganda and cannot be seen as being a serious scientific report.

    Richard

  36. According to the graph the UK is covered in coast to coast temperate forest. Obviously the trees inhabit the invisible end of the spectrum and you need a magic special computer model to detect them.

  37. M Courtney says: August 20, 2013 at 5:12 am

    “AR5 is not out yet so the fact that the error is still replicated in the leaked draft is not that significant. It could be corrected before publication.”

    I think you have missed the point of some of the earlier comments. Despite the impression created by the heading and intro, this graph has nothing to do with in AR5. Or AR4 or AR3. It was an error in AR2, in 1995. And as Richard Betts says, it has been corrected with an erratum.

  38. Nick Stokes says August 20, 2013 at 5:30 am.
    Nope, i got that this was an old error that is apparnetly to be reproduced in the leaked draft AR5 – but it may not be – so what?

    I got that the old error had been corrected by an erratum.

    But I think you’ve missed that correction by an erratum is meant to be after the conclusion of the correction process.
    Before that happens the protocol says

    The claimant will again be informed at the conclusion of the process.

    That did not happen.
    They failed to follow their protocols this time.

    And when else?

  39. richardscourtney says:

    Despite that, they have copied the error into the draft AR5.

    And M Courtney says:

    AR5 is not out yet so the fact that the error is still replicated in the leaked draft…

    Why do you both say this? I am a Lead Author on the AR5 chapter on Terrestrial and Inland Water Systems (in the Working Group 2 volume) so maps of global ecosystems would come within our chapter, so “they” is presumably me and my co-LAs!

    However, I have no recollection at all of doing anything with the SAR figure. Please can you refresh my memory and point to where we have copied the SAR error into our draft?

    The leaked drafts are available for download here. The relevant chapter is Chapter 4. Please provide the page and line number (or figure number) of the error.

    Thanks,

    Richard

  40. Nick Stokes:

    In your post at August 20, 2013 at 5:30 am you assert

    Despite the impression created by the heading and intro, this graph has nothing to do with in AR5. Or AR4 or AR3. It was an error in AR2, in 1995. And as Richard Betts says, it has been corrected with an erratum.

    No, the above article says it was in the 1995 Synthesis Report (i.e. not the AR2 itself) when it says

    All these assertions are in the all-important Synthesis Report of 1995, where for the first time the IPCC plumped for “discernible” human-caused global warming.

    The author of the above article, Tony Thomas, provides his article which itemises his actions to report the error and concludes

    Lovely! Except a year and a half later, on August 18, 2013, I looked up the maps again, and again nothing had changed, despite even Dr Pachauri and his executive committee’s close attention to the matter. Maybe correcting what the IPCC’s own ex-chair Bert Bolin described as a “major” error isn’t considered a priority?

    But you say this doesn’t matter because a correction was hidden in a list of errata.

    The above says much about IPCC so-called scientific reports and IPCC error correction procedures.
    Your post, not so much.

    Richard

  41. Richard Betts:

    I write to provide you with an apology.

    At August 20, 2013 at 5:52 am

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/19/ipcc-caught-with-an-old-uncorrected-error-in-new-ar5-report/#comment-1395304

    You ask me

    However, I have no recollection at all of doing anything with the SAR figure. Please can you refresh my memory and point to where we have copied the SAR error into our draft?

    Thankyou for providing the link and I have checked the draft AR5 Chapter 4 (also Chapter 5) and I fail to find the graph in those chapters. Assuming the graph is not in other chapters, then I was misinformed, and I failed to check the information, but I restated it. Hence, I conclude that I have promulgated a falsehood.

    Therefore,
    I withdraw my assertion that the graph has been copied into the draft AR5, and I unreservedly apologise for my having promulgated what I now believe to be a possibly damaging falsehood.

    Of course, this complete and abject apology does not alter my criticism of the IPCC which I gave in reply to Nick Stokes at August 20, 2013 at 5:55 am.

    Richard

  42. Richard Betts,
    I also apologise. The headline misled me.

    Although as the draft AR5 was not published I didn’t think the error (that you had not made at all) was even reported as being made – yet anyway.

  43. Still, the fact that an error was made years ago misses the point:

    The IPCC has failed to follow its protocols. Assuming the author of the articel was not informed that the correction had been made.

    That error is current. It needs to be followed up.

  44. The IPCC is similar to the U.N., essentially worthless. They could do good work if they chose but they would much rather garner power by making ludicrous predictions. Sadly I don’t see any change in their direction and they will probably have to be proved wrong to go away.

    I don’t like one-sided group think.

  45. So, given Richard Betts’ comments, the title and subtitle of this post are false. Which means that this post contains old, known, and uncorrected errors.

    As John Silver said above, “The irony, it burns.”

  46. Brian, in fairness, the IPCC report was not corrected from 1995 to the time of the complaint in February, 2012.
    This post is less than 24 hours old.

    Admittedly WUWT has no formal procedure for corrections but the point that has been observed in that the IPCC does not follow their protocols for corrections either. Assuming that the author of the article was not informed of the correction having been made as his post suggests. That failure to communoicate is also a failure to follow the IPCC protocol for correcting past mistakes

  47. James B says:
    August 20, 2013 at 4:28 am
    “True to form, WUWT cites petty trivia errata about a map, that the IPCC acknowledged decades ago – and misses the point.”

    “The scientists, whose findings are reported in a draft summary of the next big United Nations climate report, largely dismiss a recent slowdown in the pace of warming, which is often cited by climate change doubters, attributing it most likely to short-term factors.”

    James B, it is you who misses the point. Those “scientists” who are so sure of what will happen in the future have relied for decades on computer programs that have totally and utterly failed and as we now know -after having asserted it for years- have not one iot of predictive skill; showing them as the charlatans they are.

    Yet they still insist we should take them seriously, and continue paying them for playing with exactly the same computer programs.

  48. Just now, 10:15 California time, Chad Meyers of CNN just repeated the IPCC lies about 95 to 100 percent probability that man is causing global warming. Mollusk tried to say that cold NY summer didn’t change his conclusion. Never mind frigid weather in Queensland, Chile, S. Africa, etc., or the delayed planting in the corn belt, the worry over early frost in the corn belt, etc., etc.

    The sheer brass gonads of these people knows no bounds. CNN is of course a paragon of mendacity and corruption.

  49. I’m writing with regard to your posting of 19 August, the story submitted by Tony Thomas, in which you say the IPCC has not yet corrected an error allegation submitted by Tony Thomas.

    This is incorrect, and I would like to set out the facts for your readers:

    When we received Tony Thomas’s letter of 8 February 2012, we brought it to the attention of the relevant Working Group, and acknowledged it to Tony Thomas.

    Under the IPCC’s error protocol, it was determined that there was a typographical error in the Working Group II Summary for Policymakers of the Second Assessment Report (1995). An erratum dated 9 March 2012 was issued and can be found here:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/sar/sar_syr_errata.pdf

    (You can also find it by going to “Publications and Data” on our website, scrolling down to the Second Assessment Report, and clicking on Errata under “IPCC Second Assessment Full Report”.)

    We wrote to Tony Thomas on 20 September 2012, informing him of this. A copy of the email to him is below.

    Jonathan Lynn
    (Head of Communications, IPCC)
    Dear Mr. Tony Thomas,

    Further to our email dated February 9, 2012 informing you that we have initiated the process of the IPCC Protocol for Addressing Possible Errors in IPCC Assessment Reports, Synthesis Reports, Special Reports or Methodology Reports, we wish to inform you that IPCC Working Group II completed the analysis of the points in your email of February 8, 2012. On March 8, 2012 the WGII Bureau determined that action was warranted and that the error should be regarded as a typographical error as described in section 2, step 4A of the Protocol. Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention.
    Please find attached the SAR Errata, which has been posted on the IPCC website. Also please accept our apologies for this delayed response.

    Thank you again for your interest in IPCC,

    Yours sincerely,

    IPCC Secretariat

    • @Jonathan Lynn (also sent via email)

      Dear Mr. Lynn,

      I have added your correction to the body of the post, thank you for sending it. This seems like a possible case of the imperfect nature of the Internet causing communications to be lost or trapped in spam filters.

      On that note, did we miss the apology from Dr. Pachauri to climate skeptics worldwide for his “voodoo science” comment related to the Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035 claim? See here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/09/ipccs-pachauris-voodo-science-claim-comes-full-circle/

      Thank you for your interest and communications.

      Anthony Watts
      WUWT

  50. @DirkH

    I program computer models. I see a lot of misunderstanding about computer models online. So I am currently working on an open source project to demonstrate how the models work. The aim is to hopefully clear up some of the confusion surrounding computer modelling. To better understand your point of view could you expand on why you think they are a complete failure? If I was to say since 1980 up to present temperatures have been within the error range of the models.

  51. If you had four causes @ 26%, 25%, 25%, and 24%, then would the 26% cause not be the “main cause”?

  52. There’s only 2 people on the planet that give a rat’s patoot about the IPCC or it’s ridiculous reports. Al Gore, and Barack Obama. And that’s only because it happens to fit their political and financial goals. And Obama has been handed his hat.

  53. Ouch.
    This post has really humiliated me.

    Great loss of face here.

    I acknowledge what Jonathan Lynn says at August 20, 2013 at 9:51 am .

    The IPCC has followed their protocols with respect to this matter.
    Twice in one thread I must confess I was wrong.

    Sorry readers.

  54. @Burch –
    Yes – and interestingly, most of the comments on the Weather.com site dispute their claims.
    Notably also, when Yahoo News runs alarmist stories, probably 90 percent of the comments say they’re full of crap.
    I hope all these heretics are telling their friends, and that their number is indicative of a turn in the tide.
    But of course der Fuehrer and is pal BloodyMess are eating it up.

  55. M Courtney says:

    “Twice in one thread I must confess I was wrong.”

    That is twice as many times as the IPCC have admitted error. [Typographical errors excepted.]

  56. Anth0ny Watts:

    Your post at August 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm is proper and informative.

    But the fact remains that the the chart was mislabeled and – as Jonathan Lynn reports – the IPCC decided “the error should be regarded as a typographical error” and so would NOT be corrected. Instead, a note about it would be – and has been – hidden in the list of errata.

    In my opinion, error correction is more important than finding technicalities which can be used to overcome Protocols requiring error correction.

    Richard

  57. Anthony, you have handled this well, very professionally.

    ———————–

    richardscourtney says:
    August 20, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    You make a most valid point.

    =======================

    The “mistake” with the IPCC, while being relegated to a mere typo (minor misspelling) has made its impact for many years. Anthony/WUWT stands heads up through it all. If there wasn’t an IPCC agenda (others included) then this post would not have likely to have been written.

    The truth of it all still shines through like a bright sunny day.

  58. “… IPCC also has tropical forests in Dakotas and parts of the Mississippi Valley.”

    Not to mention in the Peace River district of northern BC and Alberta in Canada.

  59. As luck would have it, I changed my email account from an Australian provider to gmail on September 18, 2012. Jonathan Lynn of the IPCC replied to me, doubtless on my old email account, on September 20, 2012. I have no record of receiving this. With hindsight, my piece was therefore a bit harsh on the IPCC. My checking consisted of inspecting the 1995 IPCC maps and Synthesis Report to see if there was any evidence of a correction. There was none there.
    The IPCC’s former chair Bert Bolin described the maps as a ‘major error’ rather than a typo so I assumed some change or alert would have been evident.
    I am also puzzled that given that the InterAcademy Council had complained of tardiness in IPCC responses to error notifications, the IPCC process still seems slow. I complained on February 9, 2012. The IPCC WG11 resolved on action as per typo correction protocol on March 8, 2012. Yet it was not until September 20, half a year later, that I was sent an email about it.
    So the story is really one of compounding small snafus.
    1. The map coding is reversed in 1995
    2. Bert Bolin complains about the uncorrected “major error” in 2007
    3. I also complain about it in early 2012
    4. Some glitch in IPCC offices leads to a six month delay in a reply to me, which then goes into the lost-email aether.
    5. No change is made to the maps
    6. I give the IPCC a big spray in August 2013.
    7. Hurt feelings all round.

  60. Curious. The correction was made early on, but the document entitled “Errata” (containing the only mistake found/admitted to in the 1995 document) says that it was created about 8 o’clock in the evening of Sep 19, 2012, just before emailing the response. None of the other reports on that page seem to have errata, and the effort of including the single page at the bottom of the report itself (a trivial task accomplished in 30 seconds with Adobe) was never made. You have to know that there is a correction and go looking for it.

    If you download the report today and read every word, you’d still see no indication of a problem.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  61. I have sent the further email to Jonathan Lynn in the IPCC Communications office:
    “The CV of IPCC chair Dr R.K.Pachauri on the IPCC website at
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/press/briefcv_pachauri.pdf says:
    ‘Dr Pachauri joined the North Carolina State University in Raleigh, USA, where he obtained an MS in industrial engineering in 1972, a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and a Ph.D. in economics.’
    In early January 2012 I asked the North Carolina State University if it is correct that Dr Pachauri has the two Ph.Ds. On January 6 2012, I received an email from Keith Nichols, Director of Strategic Communications of the university, saying Dr Pachauri was awarded only one Ph.D. from the university. It is a joint Ph.D. in industrial engineering and economics.
    The claim that Dr Pachauri has two separate Ph.Ds is repeated on many high-level sites, eg Teri University where he is Chancellor (http://www.teriuniversity.ac.in/index.php?option=com_faculty&task=aboutcv&fid=S083); Massachusetts Institute of Technology http://mitei.mit.edu/news/video/how-would-climate-change-influence-society-21st-century; and Deloitte US (http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_us/us/473fe65f4faa8210VgnVCM200000bb42f00aRCRD.htm).
    My reporting on this apparent discrepancy in his official biography received some publicity in March 2012 and again in July 2013, although you may have missed it.
    Can you please confirm whether Dr Pachauri has one or two Ph.D.s from the North Carolina State University? If the answer is one, would you consider amending his official IPCC biography which I believe at present overstates his qualifications?
    Regards, Tony Thomas”

  62. Keith DeHavelle hits one nail on the head with his comment above, which includes the following statement: “If you download the report today and read every word, you’d still see no indication of a problem.” The same holds true if someone has an original report on file already — such as one of the many printed copies. They too will never see the correction, and will likely never even know there was one.

    I’ve seen this with reporters throughout my career, they may issue a retraction or correction to an earlier story, but it’s buried and does not automatically come up when a reporter goes back to what they used to call “the morgue,” the old story library. Errors were repeated again and again as a result. That it COULD return in the current IPCC document process remains a problem, regardless of whether it is or is not in one chapter’s draft today.

    But this is much, much more than the need to correct a legend on some old figure in an old report (even if people still cite the figure or the report, as opposed to citing the original Journal article, which we are forced to assume was correct).

    That the original reports are never altered again — despite actual errors — is ultimately very significant: In general, there appears to be no effort made to ensure that discussions of the data embodied in the figure, or any subsequent conclusions that build upon the erroneous statement/figure, have been re-examined. This is the critical point in my view. My experience in writing significant documents, the oft failure of reviewers to understand all associated material — in adequate depth — is that errors are likely in drafts, and that many reviewers will “assume” everything written by authors outside one’s own area of expertise is correct. It’s just the nature of the beast with complicated and technical matters, and more so in the case here, where the research spans multiple specialties across multiple divergent areas of scientific study. Error-checking must be robust up front, and apparently that is not the case here. As well, there really does need to be an effort to proactively reach out regarding publication of errata or else no one knows that there is something wrong, and again that appears not be the case with the IPCC.

    With that said, I’ve now actually read the errata sheet and am appalled by its brevity. The entire text of the statement is only “The green box that is labeled ‘Savannas, Dry Forests, Woodlands’ should be labeled ‘Tropical Forests’, and the brown box that is labeled ‘Tropical Forests’ should be labeled ‘Savannas, Dry Forests, Woodlands.’ So, someone within the IPCC corrected the figure (half a year after it was AGAIN brought to their attention — by their own admission), but does nothing more? Really!?!? Happily, the errata page (the only one for the 1995 document) is presented as a link immediately under the link to the SAR. But it still does nothing about the potential of the error to propagate through the report or to be replicated — in error again — in the future. Not good. Not good at all.

  63. I would like to grow some mango trees here in the Carson Valley. Will the IPCC mapping allow for this ? If so count me as a believer.

  64. So the bottom line is (as Keith Havelle has noted) the IPCC comes not to correct its errors, but to bury them!

    But speaking of “errors”, and in the interest of truth in posting … Tony, I believe you have attributed to Donna that which was actually done by me (but which Donna had cited in TDT …. In this post, you wrote:

    Just for example, the IPCC demanded of its authors that, for the 2007 report, all non-peer-reviewed citations had to be flagged as such. When the report came out, Laframboise did a count. Out of the 5,587 non-peer citations, a grand total of six, or 0.1%, were flagged.

    Donna had written:

    Our [2010] Citizen Audit identified 5,587 non-peer-reviewed references. Hilary Ostrov, a Canadian blogger and one of these citizen auditors, conducted a global search and found that a grand total of six (or 0.1%) were flagged as such.

    Donna Laframboise. The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert (Kindle Locations 703-706). Ivy Avenue Press.

    For the record, far from being “demanded”, this flagging of non-peer reviewed material rule had rarely been observed – as the InterAcademy Council (IAC) had also noted in its 2010 review of the IPCC’s policies and procedures.

    And in response to the IAC’s specific recommendation to the effect that application of this rule be strengthened, an IPCC “Task Group” decided that this rule should be “disappeared”.

    [Thank you for your work in writing, for counting, and for correcting them. Mod]

  65. I had written:

    So the bottom line is (as Keith Havelle has noted) the IPCC comes not to correct its errors, but to bury them!

    But I should also have noted (particularly in light of Richard Betts’ corrections) that there are some IPCC errors that they actually do correct on their website … without so noting anywhere (as far as I have been able to ascertain).

    One instance of which I am aware (and for all I know there may well be others!) goes back to an instance of Betts having accused Laframboise of an “error” in TDT…

    This “error” was actually that of the IPCC … which (possibly on notification by Betts) they silently corrected [without so noting] on the AR4 website.

    For all the gory details, you might want to start at:

    http://climateaudit.org/2013/07/17/more-met-office-hypocrisy/#comment-427067

    In which Donna had observed:

    I, too, have been publicly and falsely accused of being wrong by Richard Betts. That was in late 2011, but evidently some lessons are not easily learned.

    When the IPCC makes an error, is it the journalist’s fault?

    In that case, I believe Bett’s eventually brought the error to the attention of the IPCC, and the record was quietly corrected. Because the IPCC gives no indication that the page in question contained an error for four long years, ironically it now appears that I was hallucinating and that Betts was correct :-)

    So the moral of the story seems to be … even when the IPCC is demonstrably wrong, it will find a way to make itself “right”!

  66. It’s worse than I thought! Only two years ago I drove through Kansas. Back then, it was all wheat fields. To think all that has given way to forests. I am just stunned! But it must be true: IPCC printed it!

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