Guest essay by Dr. Don J. Easterbrook, Professor of Geology, Western Washington University
Mark Twain popularized the saying “There are liars, damn liars, and statisticians.” After reading the recently-released [IPCC AR5] report, we can now add, ‘there are liars, damn liars, and IPCC.” When compared to the also recently published NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change) 1000+-page volume of data on climate change with thousands of peer-reviewed references, the inescapable conclusion is that the IPCC report must be considered the grossest misrepresentation of data ever published. As MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen stated, “The latest IPCC report has truly sunk to the level of hilarious incoherence—it is quite amazing to see the contortions the IPCC has to go through in order to keep the international climate agenda going.”
From the IPCC 2013 Report
After all these years, IPCC still doesn’t get it—we’ve been thawing out from the Little Ice Age for several hundred years but still are not yet back to pre-Little Ice Age temperatures that prevailed for 90% of the past 10,000 years. Warming and cooling has been going on for millions of years, long before CO2 could have had anything to do with it, so warming in itself certainly doesn’t prove that it was caused by CO2.
Their misrepresentation of data is ridiculous. In Fig. 1, the IPCC report purports to show warming of 0.5°C (0.9°F) since 1980, yet surface temperature measurements indicate no warming over the past 17 years (Fig. 2) and satellite temperature data shows the August 13 temperature only 0.12°C (0.21°F) above the 1908 temperature (Spencer, 2013). IPCC shows a decadal warming of 0.6°C (1°F) since 1980 but the temperature over the past decade has actually cooled, not warmed.
Fig 1. IPCC graph of temperatures. Fig. 2. Measured surface temperatures for the past decade (modified from Monckton, 2013)
From the IPCC Report
There just isn’t any nice way to say this—it’s is an outright lie. A vast published literature exists showing that recent warming is not only not unusual, but more intense warming has occurred many times in the past centuries and millennia. As a reviewer of the IPCC report, I called this to their attention, so they cannot have been unaware of it. For example, more than 20 periods of warming in the past five centuries can be found in the Greenland GISP2 ice core (Fig. 3) (Easterbrook, 2011), the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods were warmer than recent warming (Fig. 4), and about 90% of the past 10,000 years were warmer than present (Fig. 5).
Figure. 3. More than 20 periods of warming in the past 500 years. (Greenland GISP2 ice core, Easterbrook, 2011)
Figure 4. Temperatures of the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods were higher than recent temperatures.
Figure 5. ~90 of temperatures during the past 10,000 years were significantly warmer than recent warming.
(Cuffy and Clow, 1997; Alley, 2000).
Not only was recent warming not unusual, there have been at least three periods of warming/cooling in the past 15,000 years that have been 20 times more intense, and at least 15 have been 5 times as intense. (Easterbrook, 2011)
Figure 6. Intensity of warming and cooling in the past 15,000 years. (Easterbrook, 2011)
From the 2013 IPCC Report
As shown by the figures above from peer-reviewed, published literature, this statement is false. No one disputes that the climate has warmed since the little ice age 1300-1915 AD—we are still thawing out from the Little Ice Age. Virtually all of this warming occurred long before CO2 could possibly have a causal factor.
From the 2013 IPCC Report
This is a gross misrepresentation of data. The Antarctic ice sheet has not been losing mass—the East Antarctic ice sheet, which contains about 90% of the world’s fresh water, is not melting–it’s growing! The same is true for Antarctic shelf ice. The only part of Antarctica that may be losing ice is the West Antarctic Peninsula, which contains less than 10% of Antarctic ice. Temperature records at the South Pole show no warming since records began in 1957.
Some melting has occurred in Greenland during the 1978-1998 warming, but that is not at all unusual. Temperatures in Greenland were warmer in the 1930s than during the recent warming and Greenland seems to be following global warming and cooling periods.
Arctic sea ice declined during the 1978-1998 warm period, but has waxed and waned in this way with every period of warming and cooling so that is not in any way unusual. Arctic sea ice expanded by 60% in 2013. Antarctic sea ice has increased by about 1 million km2 (but IPCC makes no mention of this!). The total extent of global sea ice has not diminished in recent decades.
The statement that Northern Hemisphere snow cover has “continued to decrease in extent extent” is false (despite the IPCC claim of ‘high confidence’ is false. Snow extent in the Northern Hemisphere shows no decline since 1967 and five of the six snowiest winters have occurred since 2003 (Fig. 7).
Figure 7. Snow extent in the Northern Hemisphere since 1967.
From the 2013 IPCC Report
Sea level rise over the past century has varied from 1-3mm/yr, averaging 1.7mm/yr (7 inches/yr)from 1900-2000 (Fig.8.) Sea level rose at a fairly constant rate from 1993 to about 2005 but the rate of rise has flattened out since then (Fig. 9). What is obvious from these curves is that sea level is continuing to rise at a rate of about 7 inches per century, and there is no evidence of accelerating sea level rise. Nor is there any basis for blaming it on CO2 because sea level has been rising on for 150 years, long before CO2 levels began to rise after 1945.
Figure 8. Past sea level rise. Figure 9. Sea level rise from 1993-2013. (Note: SLR graph updated on 10/4/13 to reflect recent version 7 release from University of Colorado)
These are only a few examples of the highly biased, misrepresentations of material in the 2013 IPCC report. As seen by the examples above, it isn’t science at all—it’s dogmatic, political, propaganda.