A look at IPCC's referenced student dissertation shows more economic than climate concern

People get busy when questions get raised, and they send me things. I got an email today with a link and quote that read:

The student dissertation the IPCC used in AR4 doesn’t even support their claims. The student states in his dissertation: “In how far the changes observed indicate a global change of climate can only be guessed and will show in the future.”


In our last story, referencing the work of the Telegraph, we touched on the what many consider inappropriate citations in the 2007 IPCC AR4 report. See here: IPCC Gate Du Jour: UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article One citation was an article in Climbing Magazine issue 208, while another was a student dissertation. Some said that there’s nothing wrong with citing a student dissertation. Perhaps, but hold that thought until after reading this story from “ClimateQuotes”: (Note – for those who can’t delineate what part is my writing and what part is from ClimateQuotes, that website’s portion is everything after this – you know who you are 🙂 )

The story of the Geography Major’s Dissertation

Dario-Andri Schwörer

A big story in climate science right now is the fact that the IPCC relied on a mountain magazine and a graduate student’s dissertation as their citations for a specific claim in their Fourth Assessment Report. However there are few details, so I decided to do some digging. I found out a bit about the dissertation.

I believe this is the dissertation. It is written by this man, Dario-Andri Schwörer, also here. He was a student at the Geographical Institute of the Universities of Berne and Zurich, which is where he wrote his dissertation in or before 1997. He is now an avid outdoors-men, and a self-described ‘well known expert on the impact of climate change in the Alps’. Right now he is engaged in the TOPtoTOP program to promote climate protection.

The dissertation itself is titled:

An Inquiry into Possible Effects of Climatic Change on the Mountain Guide Trade in the Bernina Region


Geography Major Dissertation



carried out at the Geographical Institute of the Universities of Berne and Zurich

The dissertation itself is not entirely about climate change. In fact, he mentions the number one reason that mountain guides give for decreased climbs is not climate change, but:

“They attribute this decrease in the first place to the recession and the high exchange rate of the Swiss franc in relation to the German mark. In the second place they mention changes of the natural environment.”

That wasn’t mentioned in the AR4. The ambiguity continues:

Read the rest at ClimateQuotes.

This is the link: The story of the Geography Major’s Dissertation

(for those that have trouble following links to referenced sources, click on the bold portion, you know who you are :-))


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A friend of a friend, of someone he nows, that he know that said someone saw a lack of snow in some place on earth… that should definitely be in the next IPCC as it is proof of ANTHROPOGENIC global warming… good enough for them, right?


Really funny!
Not even from a pupils article Ipcc can hold fingers in its pockets. IPCC has to cherry pick everything!! Well we all now know how they operate. When it comes to cherry picking IPCC just can’t stop themselves, it’s the same diagnosis as for kleptos!!


“One citation was an article in Climbing Magazine 2008”
Not possible to be 2008 if it was in AR4. Isn’t it a 2002 article?
REPLY: Yes, I added an extra zero accidentally, it is issue 208, in year 2002 Fixed, thanks – Anthony

Henry chance

It seems tempting to twist every story into the global warming meme. It will get worse.


it’s always about the money:
22 Nov 2009: Meet the modern-day SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (aka Schworer)
Getting closer to people and exchanging experiences are at the heart of the expedition, which is under the patronage of the United Nations Environment Programme and the Swiss government, and sponsored by companies like Victorinox and SGS. A third of the budget is financed by the Schworers themselves.

Leon Brozyna

Let’s see – In support of its position on glacier melt, IPCC references a dissertation that, in turn, references the IPCC position on glacier melt. Talk about circular reasoning – and it’s not even as funny as watching a mutt chase his tail.

I like this bit:
“Based on the climate scenarios of the IPCC, permafrost and glacier shrinkage scenarios suggest that these changes will continue and probably even accelerate in the future.”
So the cited paper that the IPCC is basing their proposition on is basing their evidence on the IPCCs speculated proposition.
Positive feedback is hurting my head.


fudging the figures. inbetween ‘AGW’ Chevron ads, bbc’s david shukman was interviewed by the bbc newsreader to discuss countries responsible for ‘two thirds’ of greenhouse gas emissions having signed up to the non-binding hopenchangen carbon reduction plan. in fact, bbc then stated those signing up represented “80 percent” of all emissions.
when shukman was asked why they would sign up given the recent “controversy” about IPCC, he tried to look suitably puzzled, mentioned only the himalayas, and said governments must have weighed this up, weighed this error, weighed up the underlying science, and believed the science ….
given only about 30 countries have so far signed up out of 193, the MSM has uniformly gone for the percentage angle…seth’s report will no doubt concur:
BBC: States renew vows to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Governments around the world have reaffirmed their plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions in support of last month’s Copenhagen climate summit…
States producing at least two-thirds of emissions have done so. ..
UK Financial Times: Fiona Harvey: Big nations set out emission cuts targets
Most of the world’s big economies on Sunday filed their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions with the UN, meeting the deadline set in Copenhagen.
The news was described as a very significant step forward by a senior UK government official. He said: “This makes the Copenhagen accord a very substantial agreement.” ..
Reuters: Alister Doyle: Copenhagen climate deal gets low-key endorsement
Nations accounting for most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions have restated their promises to fight climate change, meeting a Sunday deadline in a low-key endorsement of December’s “Copenhagen Accord”…
Countries accounting for at least two-thirds of emissions — led by China, the United States and the European Union — have all written in…
Ecofys reckons that the promised curbs will set the world towards a 3.5 degrees Celsius rise in temperatures, not 2…
“Carbon prices look set to remain relatively low until economic growth picks up or until a more ambitious target is adopted,” Richard Gledhill, a climate expert at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said of the EU goal.
“This will continue to delay major capital investment in low carbon technology,” he said in a statement..
One possible complication is that some countries, including China and India, have written to the United Nations giving 2020 targets but without explicitly backing the Copenhagen Accord…
An Indian document sent to the U.N. Secretariat does not mention the accord, for instance, but says it is giving details of plans to 2020 “in view of the current debate under way in the international climate negotations.”
UK Times: The elephants in the room tiptoed out of Davos
By including strong commitments to nuclear power and oil drilling, the Democrats may garner enough Republican support to pass an energy Bill that also includes carbon limits and emissions trading…
27 Jan: Reuters: DAVOS-DSM CEO cautions on carbon derivatives dangers
Carbon derivatives should be regulated to stop the proliferation of instruments with the potential to wreak a subprime-style crisis, the head of chemicals group DSM (DSMN.AS) said on Wednesday.
“I think we learnt a lesson from the financial crisis. If we develop products which we don’t understand then we run into dangers,” Feike Sijbesma, the Dutch company’s chief executive, told Reuters.
“I am to some degree amazed that we are discussing this for the financial markets and on CO2 we are letting it go.”
Europe already has a thriving emissions trading scheme, worth more than $100 billion a year, and that figure will grow if the United States and other countries adopt their own “cap and trade” schemes.
“I’m not against fluctuating CO2 prices, although the more stable it is the better for the investing climate,” he said.
“But I am advocating having a market regulator overseeing CO2 trading and watching that speculation and the development of (derivative) products does not run out of hand.”..
But Sijbesma and many other industrialists are still planning for a future in which more manufacturers have to pay a price for the carbon they emit.
What they don’t want is uncertainty — exactly what Sijbesma believes could result from the increasingly complex nature of derivatives created by market participants.
“There are now already in development derivatives of CO2 prices that are so complicated that I do not understand it any more,” he said. “If you get a reservoir of derivatives which becomes so big that it becomes an industry in itself that is very dangerous because you can get the tail wagging the dog.”
The other big issue for European companies already operating under a cap and trade system is the growing concern that they will be disadvantaged if the rest of the world drags its feet.
As a result, Sijbesma said the European Union should not tighten its commitment on CO2 emissions beyond the current promise to cut them by 20 percent in 2020 from 1990 levels.
“Europe needs to be careful not to run too much ahead of the pack, and by doing that having a brilliant environmental policy and no industry left any more,” he said.

Doug in Seattle

I read the Precis and Conclusions that are linked in the story and what see is a circular argument that probably lead to its inclusion the in the IPCC report.
The author claims that wasting of the glaciers and permafrost is one the first of several reasons for declining work for guides. He then cites the IPCC scenarios as a reason for people to be alarmed about the wasting of glaciers permafrost.
The IPCC sees the alarming message and publishes it as proof that people should be alarmed.

John Whitman

It would be interesting to have some interviews with the IPCC AR4 leader(s) for the chapter/section that included the dissertation in AR4. Are you aware of anyone looking at setting up some interviews with people responsible for managing the relevant IPCC AR4 chapter?


March 2009: panda.org: Climate Witness Update: Dario Schwoerer
Since 2002 we have been collecting good examples how we can protect our climate and share these hopes with school children in all nations we visit…
Today we are a team of young people from 33 nations running the program..
All this was only possible thanks to the patronage of UN Environment Programme. The patronage letter from UNEP was crucial to the success of this unique project and was the key to operate efficiently even on a small budget. Thanks to the recommendation of UNEP we have recieved support in each nation we visited.
So far we visited 40,000 students in more than 40 nations

Henry chance

It is getting URGENT


“One citation was an article in Climbing Magazine 2008″
Not possible to be 2008 if it was in AR4. Isn’t it a 2002 article?
You haven’t figured them out yet, have you? With these guys anything is possible 🙂
REPLY: It was issue 208 I meant to write, my mistake in adding an extra zero. Fixed now – Anthony

This is oh so very circular:

Based on the climate scenarios of the IPCC, permafrost and glacier shrinkage scenarios suggest that these changes will continue and probably even accelerate in the future.”
“For the mountain guide these questions are less important compared to the fact that a trend towards increased risks and difficulties can be detected and that changes in this direction are taking place. On the basis of the climate scenarios of the IPCC one has to at least expect a progression of these changes, since the CO2 emissions will increase in the future with great probability.”

So this guy states, that based on the IPCC predictions, ‘risks and difficulties’ will increase, and ‘changes in this direction’ are taking place, and ‘changes will continue and probably even accelerate’.
Then the IPCC picks this up and uses it to justify the very scenarios this guy is afraid of.
Round and round we go……

Andy Scrase

The IPCC climbing magazine story made it onto NZ National Radio this morning. I think that’s the second story in a week on IPCC. Still nothing on the telly. All we get is the usual “lets mention climate change whenever there’s a picture of a cute penguin” story.


the noise is drowning out the data, again.
conclusions are being cherry-picked out of the noise.
science has lost its way.

O/T The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is maintaining its distance from climate alarmism if these two stories are anything to go by:
A highlight of this story about predicted cool Feb for Melbourne is that recent ecord overnight temp is accounted for by UHI effect:
Here William Kininmonth (former Deputy Head of the Bureau of Meteorology and head of that body’s Climate Centre) highlights distortion of temp data:


@ Donna Laframboise and others …
[“Brownie’s Law”](http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2721144820070828)

Fat Man

It is Sunday, so here is yet another IPCC cock-up.
“UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim” by Jonathan Leake in The Sunday Times on January 31, 2010
A STARTLING report by the United Nations climate watchdog that global warming might wipe out 40% of the Amazon rainforest was based on an unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had little scientific expertise. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in its 2007 benchmark report that even a slight change in rainfall could see swathes of the rainforest rapidly replaced by savanna grassland.
The source for its claim was a report from WWF, an environmental pressure group, which was authored by two green activists. They had based their “research” on a study published in Nature, the science journal, which did not assess rainfall but in fact looked at the impact on the forest of human activity such as logging and burning. …
I think I see a pattern here.


We’ve been told that it’s 2500 of the worlds top scientists not students and guides. And we’ve been told global warming science is based on peer reviewed science.
It sound different when you say it’s student, mountain guides.
It sound’s different when you say it’s from climbing magazines and student papers.

dave c

Amusing it is not, given Scotland’s recent decision to permit further increases in exported electricity. The current populist mantra of ‘sustainability’ from ‘renewable’ sourcing-targeted at 40% come 2040-via wind and tidal power, is, at best, a total sham.
Symptomatic of delusion-staffed by inadequacy.


Priceless! The IPCC cites a master’s thesis that, insofar as it makes any claim about ‘climate change’, is based on. . .
Well, what better authority, right?
/Mr Lynn

A snippet from the current http://icecap.us/:

Do three errors mean breaking point for IPCC?
By Li Xing (China Daily)
Ancient Chinese considered three a breaking point. They could forgive two errors, but not a third. Now that the IPCC has admitted three “human” errors, isn’t it time scientists gave its work a serious review?

I’m thinking about throwing my arms up in disgust, heading out to a rock climbing area and climbing some. Not much beats rock climbing for focusing on the problem at hand and forcing all the other irritations out of the way.
I suppose that Anthony could declare the AR4 as tainted as NASA/GISS and stop referring to it….


pat (17:35:03) :
good info.
just another ponzi scheme financed by taxpayers.

Don’t forget the “peer reviewed” unbiased and uncontaminated “scientific” papers published by GreenPeace. (Or were they only funded by GreenPeace? Or did GreenPeace only publish them, and they were peer-reviewed someplace else that DIDN’T see fit to publish them in an actual official journal?)
Now, how many journals is Mann contributing and on the review board for? 10? 14? 18?
Confusing, confusing. I think I’ll go copy some more graphs from the unbiased and scientifically “peer-reviewed” Wikipedia web site to plot more temperature tends for my next UN IPCC speech.


Henry chance (17:45:15) :
It is getting URGENT

What a riot! Those guys are as good as Bob and Ray!
/Mr Lynn


Glaciers do not stay the same size. The don’t continually grow. They don’t stay in at static size. They don’t continually shrink. It’s normal for them to change size. As the earth has emerged from the Little Ice Age it is perfectly normal for glaciers to recede. And now as the earth has begun cooling it’s normal for them to begin to grow.
The Blackfeet Indians of the United States are predicting ‘many glaciers’ are returning to Glacier National Park
“Blackfeet Indians predict return of ‘many glaciers’ to Glacier Park”

Ben D

wait, do I know who I am?…yes, yes I do know who I am…Who am I ?
Anthony…they know who they are but do we know who they are? and do we care?

Ben D

I think

Bob K.

The “… article in Climbing Magazine 2008,…” should read ” … article in Climbing Magazine issue 208…”, (see here http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/30/gate-du-jour-un-climate-change-panel-based-claims-on-student-dissertation-and-magazine-article/ ).
That should also explain the “Not possible to be 2008 if it was in AR4. Isn’t it a 2002 article?” comment.
REPLY: Added an extra zero by accident, it was issue 208, fixed thanks. -A

John Whitman

At James Delingpole’s site ( http://jamesdelingpole.com ) there is an interesting quote attributed to Professor Philip Stott on the life and death of the AGW scam. Stott was quoted by Delingpole as saying, ” … as an independent academic, it has been fascinating to witness the classical collapse of a Grand Narrative, in which social and philosophical theories are being played out before our gaze. ”
Indeed, it would be a very insightful discussion that would compare the fundamental philosophies of the IPCC team that produced faulted AR4 versus the philosophies of the independent thinkers that are auditing it.

What’s wrong with the IPCC citing a dissertation citing the IPCC’s prediction in order to prove the accuracy of the IPCC’s prediction? Isn’t this what is meant by a “positive feedback loop”, or maybe “climate forcing”? What’s wrong with citing yourself to prove that you’re right? Gee, Anthony, is this a problem? Hmmmmmmmm.. ROFLOL!!!.


The Obama administration has committed more than $US1 billion to revive the project.
…..capture and store the CO2 emissions from coal-fired generation.
more here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/exelon-backs-obamas-carbon-capture-initiative/story-e6frg8zx-1225825221816
back from the dead 🙁


The IPCC is referencing a dissertation referencing the IPCC? Wow, circular referencing! There’s a good joke in there somewhere …


Contrary to my preconception, this guy is not so young, as seen in his CV:
Geburtsdatum: 16. Oktober 1968


“It seems that President Obama’s FY2011 budget will actually triple the loan guarantees for nuclear power plants from 18.5
billion dollars this year to 54 billion dollars next year.”
read: subsidised by taxpayers, to make it profitable.

George M

I missed getting this comment into the correct earlier thread, but the pronouncement of “Previously unknown glaciers in an inacessible European mountain range” leaves me a little confused. Does no one look at satellite photos anymore? Unlike tree rings, you don’t have to leave your precious computer to do that.


I can see now how the positive feedback mechanisms work in those climate regressions, and I thought my problem was that the math was too hard.


It’s appalling that this thesis was cited by the IPCC.
FWIW, this Schwörer guy mistranslated “dissertation” in his abstract. The correct translation of Diplomarbeit should be “thesis”. The German equivalent of dissertation is Doktorarbeit. He holds a “Master’s of Ski- and Mountainguiding” (dipl. Ski- und Bergeführer) (Hmm, does that also qualify him as a member of the MSM?) He is not an academic, but some kind of climate pilgrim-activist-adventurer.
But hey, he is raising two Klimatically Korrect Kinder. From the ToptoTop website:
Both are bound with her [sic] parents Sabine and Dario to reach all the climate zones of the world by either muscle or wind power in order to motivate people to have a respectful interaction with nature and our climate. They aim to move as many people as possible towards solidarity for the people effected [sic] by climate change.
Oy. I’m not sure what creeps me out more, the spector of Swiss children forcing me to buy a Prius, or the smutty Indian dude.

Dave Worley

IPPC to Climbing magazine:
Hey, I thought you were belaying me!

Daniel H

I didn’t even know that geography was a major. It seems about as useful as majoring in art history, communications, or dance. As for the relationship between climate and geography, how does knowing the names and locations of different capital cities qualify someone as an expert in Alpine glacial retreat? Maybe I’m confused.


If you want a quick way of finding particular kinds of IPCC references you can use google:
site:http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4 intitle:references thesis
The above finds every page of references with the word ‘thesis’ (including hypothesis and synthesis). Replace ‘thesis’ with ‘dissertation’ and it will find all of those.

Steve J

Obama and Orzag with the ‘TEAM’ as useful co-conspirators are doing this strictly for the money-
We all know about the false ‘science’ – so exactly how greedy are all of these carbon traders anyway?
I so hope more people realize this scam and imprison- for life- all the conspirators, before its too late.


WOW could it be that the Australian ABC is showing more balance? or are they feeling the heat from Lord Monckton being in the country? Either way, they reported this “student essay” reference story:
Their climate change coverage site is:

John Wright

As the old song goes: “Running around in circles getting nowhere”.
BYW Henry chance (17:45:15); that URGENT clip is about the funniest I’ve seen on this blog.

Andy Scrase

@Gareth (20:35:31)
If you want a quick way of finding particular kinds of IPCC references you can use google:
site:http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4 intitle:references thesis
Replace thesis with “beach” and the plot thickens:
Daniel, E.B. and M.D. Abkowitz, 2003: Development of beach analysis tools for Caribbean small islands. Coast. Manage., 31, 255-275.
Nice work if you can get it.


u.k.(us) (18:55:16) :
One billion US$ for carbon capture.
u.k.(us) (19:24:19) :
Fiffty-four billion US$ for nuke plant loans.
One symbolic gesture to keep the votes of the remaining CAGW true believers, one substantial offer to recognize the reality of energy consumption.
Now we have to see if the loan offer has substantial strings on it. As noticed during the campaign, he mouthed support for nukes but only for “clean safe” nuclear power, with stipulations that summed up as a wink and a nod to the rabidly anti-nuke crowd signaling it would never happen, he was just saying it for the cameras. By the offered standard, cars would never have been built. Heck, microwave ovens wouldn’t have made the cut either.


“Sharon (19:37:56) :
But hey, he is raising two Klimatically Korrect Kinder. From the ToptoTop website:
Both are bound with her [sic] parents Sabine and Dario to reach all the climate zones of the world by either muscle or wind power in order to motivate people to have a respectful interaction with nature and our climate.”
Poor brats.


One day after headlines from a British government minister insisting the man-made global warming science is “proven fact”, supported by the “vast majority of climate scientists”, another great lump has fallen off their propaganda machine…
Stern report was changed after being published
Information was quietly removed from an influential government report on the cost of climate change after its initial publication because supporting scientific evidence could not be found.
Richard Gray, Science Correspondent
30 Jan 2010
The Stern Review on the economics of climate change, which was commissioned by the Treasury, was greeted with headlines worldwide when it was published in October 2006. It contained dire predictions about the impact of climate change in different parts of the world. But it can be revealed that when the report was printed by Cambridge University Press in January 2007, some of these predictions had been watered down because the scientific evidence on which they were based could not be verified.
Among the claims that were removed in the later version of the report, which is now also available in its altered form online, were claims that North West Australia has been hit by stronger tropical typhoons in the past 30 years. Another claim that southern regions in Australia have lost rainfall due to rising ocean temperatures and air currents pushing rain further south was also removed. Claims that eucalyptus and savannah habitats in Australia would also become more common were also deleted.
The claims were highlighted in several Australian newspapers when the report was initially published, but the changes were never publicly announced.
A figure on the cost of US Hurricanes was also changed after a typographical error was spotted in the original report. The original stated in a table the cost of hurricanes in the US would rise from 0.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 1.3%. The later report corrected the error so the increase was from 0.06% to 0.13%. A statement about the correction appeared in a postscript of the report and on the Treasury website.
The Stern Review has been instrumental in helping the UK government draw up its climate change policies while it has also been cited by leading organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its assessment reports on climate change.
Details of the changes, which have not been publicly detailed before, have emerged as the IPCC is under fire for errors on the melting of Himalayan glaciers that appeared in their most recent assessment report because of a failure to check the sources of the information.
A spokesman for Lord Stern, who headed the review and is now chair of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, said that the changes to the statements about Australia were made following a quality control check before the report was printed by Cambridge University Press.
He said: “Statements were identified in the section on Australia for which the relevant scientific references could not be located. They were therefore, as a precaution, omitted from the version published by Cambridge University Press and they were deleted from the electronic version on the HM Treasure website. These changes to the text had no implications for any other parts of the report. It is perhaps not surprising that in a report of more than 700 pages a few typographic errors and minor but necessary clarifications to the text were identified in November and December 2006 after its launch. However, none of these corrections and changes affected the analysis or conclusions in the Stern Review, which is rightly regarded as an important contribution on the economics of climate change.”
Professor Roger Pielke, from the center of Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado who has been a long term critic of the Stern Review, described the changes to the report as “remarkable”.
He said: “In any academic publication changes to published text to correct errors or to clarify require the subsequent publication of a formal erratum or corrigendum. This is to ensure the integrity of the literature and a paper trail, otherwise confusion would result if past work could be quietly rewritten. Such a practice is very much a whitewash of the historical record. One would assume – and expect – that studies designed to inform government (and international) policy would be held to at least these same standards if not higher standards.”
Note: Another fact being kept quiet is that Lord Stern is not an economist, as he is frequently described, not a climate scientist or even an environmentalist. He is actually an investment banker, which should inform everyone about the truth of his “report”. Very popular at the moment, investment bankers.


We’re beginning to see how Pachauri runs his team. At their meeting he must have said,
“I want you all to search the world for scientific papers with evidence attesting to increasing global warming. If you can’t find it in the scientific literature, look for it in popular science mags. If you can’t find it there, look for it in outdoor hobby mags and student projects. If you still can’t find the evidence, look for anything published anywhere, that has anything to do with disappearing glaciers or rainforests and cite that as evidence. If the conclusions don’t fit, then ignore the conclusions entirely.”