IPCC's "Africagate" blunder as told by Dr. Richard North

Dr. Richard North, who does investigative journalism at the EU referendum blog, has a comprehensive analysis and backgrounder on the latest in a series of blunders by the IPCC that have been uncovered. It complements the just released story by Jonathan Leake of The Sunday Times that highlights a leading British scientist calling for IPPC to “tackle the blunders or lose all credibility

Here is Dr. North’s introduction to the issue:

And now for Africagate

Following an investigation by this blog (and with the story also told in The Sunday Times), another major “mistake” in the IPCC’s benchmark Fourth Assessment Report has emerged.

Similar in effect to the erroneous “2035” claim – the year the IPCC claimed that Himalayan glaciers were going to melt – in this instance we find that the IPCC has wrongly claimed that in some African countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2020.

At best, this is a wild exaggeration, unsupported by any scientific research, referenced only to a report produced by a Canadian advocacy group, written by an obscure Moroccan academic who specialises in carbon trading, citing references which do not support his claims.

Unlike the glacier claim, which was confined to a section of the technical Working Group II report, this “50 percent by 2020” claim forms part of the key Synthesis Report, the production of which was the personal responsibility of the chair of the IPCC, Dr R K Pachauri. It has been repeated by him in many public fora. He, therefore, bears a personal responsibility for the error.

In this lengthy post, we examine the nature and background of this latest debacle, which is now under investigation by IPCC scientists and officials.

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What follows is a detailed investigation by Dr. North, I highly recommend reading it here:

EU Referendum: And now for Africagate

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Dr North has done us a great service. The cumulative drip-drip effect of distortions being revealed build a clear picture of a detailed and deliberate attempt to mislead people and misrepresent the facts to suit the agenda of vested interests.
If the science is sound, as various talking heads in the media and from organs such as the Met Office would have us believe, then why is there a need to include so many bogus claims?
Pachauri’s time at the IPCC is coming to an end because he will take the fall. But this goes far wider than Pachauri. Who knows, such is the level of his arrogance, he could be minded to speak out and reveal even more about the goings on behind the scenes, from research labs to Ministerial offices.

DoctorJJ

At this point, nothing, in regards to the shadiness of the IPCC, surprises me anymore.

IPCC – The gift that keeps on giving!

Michael

During a global cooling onset like the one we have today due to the deep solar minimum, all areas deprived of rain in the buildup to solar max and after its drop off, are once again replenished as has happened in the past year. Most US reservoirs and aquifers are all full up again. Africa will also enjoy the benefits of global cooling and solar minimum.

Gerard

Is there no end to the extent that the IPCC will go. With such systemic falsehoods throughout the document it looks more and more like the lies were designed to purposely to (use the Brit’s words) to sex up the document to suck in the media and shallow politicians looking for votes.

Once again, every region of the world had to have its own horror fairy-tale. Asia-Andia, Latin America, Africa, and so on. It’s pretty hard to remember all the gates.
ClimateGate, GlacierGate, TeriGate, AmazonGate, DisasterGate, HollandGate, AfricaGate, …
And they haven’t started to approve the cap-and-trade bills yet, because if they had, there would surely be lots of BillGates. 🙂

DCC

Darn, E.M.Smith beat me to it! But I confess that I, too, have typed IPPC more often than I should.

Tenuc

Strange that the IPCC AR4 report will be the document responsible for the end of the CAGW scam. This is better than any spy novel!

lex

Well, actually not the latest blunder of the IPCC, but this is what would happen according to the IPCC with the Netherlands, 55% would be submerged by the sea. Luckily it turns out to be 20%.
http://www.rtl.nl/(/actueel/rtlnieuws/binnenland/)/components/actueel/rtlnieuws/2010/02_februari/04/binnenland/blunders-van-klimaatpanel.xml
What do you mean with research?

Leon Brozyna

Climategate
Pachaurigate
TERIgate
Hurricanegate
Disastergate
Glaciergate
Amazongate
NGOgate – including
…WWFgate
…NWFgate
…Greenpeacegate
…Magazinegate
…Thesisgate
…Newspapergate
Bootgate
Chinagate
Africagate
Hmmmm … about the only gate not yet uncovered is Western Europe and North America. Perhaps that will come when the temperature data is uncovered and the manipulations done to that data are shown to underpin the whole AGW belief system. That is the real offense to science.

Lance

Wow!
After Himalaya-gate our minister of environment, mrs. Cramer, told the Dutch that she will not accept another mistake by the IPCC…I wonder what she will do now.
Anthony and the others, thanks for everything!
Lance

Leon Brozyna

Whoops … forgot Hollandgate.

KimW

Words like ‘Sloppy’ and “fraudulent’ might be replaced by the simple phrase “Climate Science’. This stuff is supposed to be the cutting edge of modern knowledge and instead it is coming across as less than the greasy campaign promises of of a socialist politician.
There is an agenda here.

“By 2020, in some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50%.”
This is not science – this is spin. There are so many woolly words in that, that it can be said to be true practically whatever happens.
By 2020, in SOME countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture COULD be reduced by UP TO 50%.
So a 1% reduction in rain-fed agricultural yield in any single country before 2020 for any reason under the sun (for example natural weather variation) will satisfy that statement. I’m afraid the people who write this stuff and propagate it have been taking lessons in political spin from advocacy groups: how to deceive and get people to believe lies without actually lying.
I wonder how Pachauri is going to extricate himself from this one, since he can’t bleat that he wasn’t responsible.
It’s time to abandon the IPCC: it is a laughing-stock. Get off folks before you get caught in the train wreck.

Dear Leon Brozyna,
you’re surely wrong that there hasn’t been any gate in Western Europe yet.
What about HollandGate, with the IPCC tripling the area of Holland under the sea level?
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/55-of-Holland-below-sea-IPCC-got-this-wrong-too/articleshow/5540792.cms
Cheers
LM

It is rather appropriate that Golf Links, New Delhi, home of Rajendra Pachauri, is a gated community.

Tenuc

Ironic that the UK climate change TV ad features a young girl being told a Dr R K Pachauri fairytale by her dad. Perhaps Hans Anderson would have done a better job.

DirkH

http://beta.thehindu.com/news/national/article102273.ece
“The European Union (EU) has offered to help the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) strengthen its quality control system, after the climate science panel was revealed to have made a mistake about the timeline melting of Himalayan glaciers.”

DCC

The USA doesn’t need any IPCC “gates.” We have data massaged by NOAA which, in turn, is the basis for many of the claims in IPCC reports !

Michael

Perhaps it would be a more efficient use of our time if we focus on what is not fiction in the IPCC AR4. That way we could spend more time on sharpening our pitch forks and gathering our torches.

CarlNC

This must be very embarrassing to all scientists. Glad I’m only an engineer.
It has been said before that this fiasco is damaging the image of science, and as time goes on and the IPCC keeps repeating the line that these errors and omissions don’t change the science, people will become ever more skeptical. The IPCC, sans RKP, should retract AR4 immediately and begin a rewrite, supervised by a scientist and not a politician. If that or similar drastic action is not taken soon, AR5 will have no credibility at all, in my opinion.

rbateman

At this rate, the IPCC will leaning on a walking stick. The table they had laid out doesn’t seem to have a leg left under it.
Leon Brozyna (14:59:46) :
Hmmmm … about the only gate not yet uncovered is Western Europe and North America. Perhaps that will come when the temperature data is uncovered and the manipulations done to that data are shown to underpin the whole AGW belief system. That is the real offense to science.

That would be the raw data as opposed to the rubberized version they now hold in high esteem.

Dave Worley

RobustGate is real.

leftymartin

Richard North (15:04:18).
Touche! And on behalf of all who value integrity in science, thank you for your work in exposing the IPCC’s bankruptcy in same.
Let’s all keep in mind that Pachauri is not the problem, he is merely the titular head of the problem – the IPCC had evangelism and corruption ingrained within its origins and its charter. Pachauri walking the plank will change none of that. Again, the longer we are able to keep Pachauri around, the better.

lex

@Leon & Lubos
Dutch people are accustomed to live below sea level. In fact this the Dutch do this for about 4 to 6 centuries and they have the knowledge to handle this.
The problem is, that a government institute, which was eagerly and willingly to rapport the IPCC, the Dutch Institute on Habitat Environment, gave the wrong figures.
Mrs Jacqueline Cramer, now secretary of state of environment and who studied on the University of Arkansas during the late 60’s early 70’s, is a direct responsible for this.
Mrs Jacqueline Cramer considers sceptics as believers of a flat earth!!!

WitteringsfromWitney

Were there more ‘investigative journalists’, of the calibre of Richard North and Christopher Booker, in the MSM!

Baike

This Pachauri guy must have more than a few chips in the big game to still be upright at this point. These grifters always surround themselves with folks on whom they have enough dirt to ensure loyalty.

DirkH

http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1819675/netherlands_enters_the_climate_fray/
“The IPCC’s calculation that 55 percent of the Netherlands was below sea level came from adding the actual estimates that 26 percent of the area was below sea level and 29 percent of the area was threatened from river flooding, Vallaart said. […] The error has been brought up to the IPCC several times, but nothing has happened as of yet. He was disappointed that proper procedure could not be followed and added that it should not be left to politicians to review IPCC figures”

Pamela Gray

It wouldn’t surprise me to find the next piece of climate change results reported by IPCC’s 4th report comes from Mad Magazine. Wait. Pachauri wrote a D grade sleaze story, so I should be looking for that reference in Hustler.

Jim F

Wow! We need to keep Pachy at the head of the IPCC. Do not join with GreenPeace and the long line forming at the left side of this argument. The guy just keeps on giving, like a pinata that instantly heals and refills itself, ready for another belting.
GP et al. just want the hurt to go away. Pachy for President! Rally behind him?
Mann!

jorge c

it is worst than we thought…
what i don’t understand it is that IPCC “report” has been presented 2 years ago… only now are they founding mistakes??? has it not been studied before???
sorry for my awful english…

Jim F

@ Luboš Motl (15:03:45) :
“…Dear Leon Brozyna,
you’re surely wrong that there hasn’t been any gate in Western Europe yet….”
I think there is one clearly set out in the ClimateGate emails: The case of Scandinavia, that Professor W? pointed out to Jones. The good prof. seemed to make a case, over a bigger area, that sounds like “Darwin” all over again. Willis, are you working on this?

Just to note that Fiona Harvey at the FT had tried to retreat to the SPM as the one part of the IPCC reports to be treated as “the gold standard”

In drawing the conclusions for the SPM, the scientists apply more robust methodologies than are applied to the inclusion of data into the wider report. The predictions that make it into the summary for policymakers are only those that are most widely supported by different data sources – that is, where many pieces of research point in the same direction.

As I pointed out at the time, all one needed was then to find a flaw in the SPM for the whole pretence of the IPCC as a “scientific” body to collapse. Thanks to Richard North, that’s exactly what has now happened..

debreuil

“The sun is a variable star” – great article on the upcoming Solar Dynamics Observatory and how the sun affects things like, um, climate…
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2010/05feb_sdo.htm
Nasa has some great projects, but has got to stop letting the cheerleaders call the plays.

John F. Hultquist

What an interesting tale. It reminds me of the party game of passing a story down a line of people and seeing, in the end, how much it has changed. See here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_whispers
In the game variously known as Chinese whispers,[1] Telephone, Broken Telephone, Whisper Down the Lane, …
The game is often played by children

Stephen Brown

I have read Dr. Richard North’s “Africagate” article and I had to laugh.
I grew up on a farm which was on the banks of the Kafue River in Zambia. Each year we would watch anxiously where in the reeds along the river the weaver birds were building their nests. If they built low down on the reeds then the rains were going to be scant. If they built high up, then there was going to be heavy rain.
One year we couldn’t find any nesting activity in the reeds. Our African employees told us that this meant that the river was going to flood. My parents abandoned our house, moving everything they could into shipping containers well above the river, including all of us in the family.
Four weeks later our house had four feet of water flowing through it and when we went in our boat to examine the property we were amazed to find a five-foot long crocodile in the lounge, seeking refuge from the fast-flowing water outside!
The weaver birds had got it right again, as they did every year. They were and still are better than any weather predictors as far as the amount of rain which is going to fall.

kadaka

“AgriculturalGate” is too wordy. Could this IPCC blunder (link found at Climate Depot) be called “GrowGate”?

Lazarus Long

Can we finally and for all time start calling this guy Dr R K Patchouli?

Autonomous Mind (14:39:47) said:
“If the science is sound, as various talking heads in the media and from organs such as the Met Office would have us believe, then why is there a need to include so many bogus claims?”
Hasn’t that always been one of the main questions?
Al Gore’s movie, The IPCC reports, Mann’s “hidings”, CRU’s “manipulations”, GISS’s “selectivity”, etc. all should be totally unnecessary, if the science is sound.

KimW (15:02:29)
I agree totally that there is an agenda. The agenda is to control the world’s wealth by buying, trading, and selling carbon credits as a new monetary unit and to control people by enforcing regulation on energy sources that affect carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In this effort capitalism and free enterprise will be disappear.
The world leaders at Copenhagen could afford private jets and limos because their sponsors expect a payoff in carbon dollars or they are themselves carbon entrepreneurs. I’ll bet they wish that they had spent more money to improve the quality of the IPCC report. This article presents just one of many flaws the IPCC report given as evidence that CO2 is the only cause of global warming, and therefore must be stopped by controlling the release of CO2 from carbon energy sources. If they have their way we will end up poor, hungry, and freezing in the dark.

Methow Ken

Given the statements by former IPCC Chair Robert Watson reported in last prior thread; the inclusion of AfricaGate in the key Synthesis Report (good grief, Charlie Brown); and a list of ”gates” that is now long enough I need a spreadsheet to properly track them all:
I have to ask: HOW MUCH violation of any semblence of the scientific method, intellectual fraud, financial irregularity, blatant self-interest, shameless pandering, and pervasive gross incompetence IS ENOUGH; before Pachauri and the whole corrupt IPCC structure finally and formally get the boot ?? . . .
The world wonders. . . .

RockyRoad

Whenever I see “IPCC” anymore, it reminds me of ipecac.

John F. Hultquist

Others and Michael @(14:43:29) :
During a global cooling onset like the one we have today due to the deep solar minimum,
There are intriguing correlations and relevant hypotheses as regards the science of our Sun and the climate of Earth. To accept these correlations and hypotheses as proven is to adopt the fuzzy belief system of the CAGW group. Personally I think the claim that CO2 output by humans is going to cause catastrophic destabilization of Earth’s climate is not true. There are still too many interesting hypotheses about the Sun and Earth to investigate for me to plant both feet on any one of them and proclaim “This is it.”
When several have been falsified and others strengthened I’ll re-evaluate my position. Until one or more have great support I’m comfortable being a skeptic. Meanwhile let the warmest defend their belief, if they can.

Don Shaw

I previously stated that the IPCC AR 4 report should be audited and completely redone.
I changed my mind given all the problems. India has the right approach, withdraw from the IPCC. The organization is not capable of correcting the numerous errors and exaggerations.
I should have remembered that the UN, while originally started with a worthwhile objective, has been so corrupted that it is beyond repair. Remember the oil for food scandal? The head of the UN was deeply involved as well as his son and various politicians, all of which got rich. Did anyone pay the price for the corruption and stealing from the Iraqui people who were starving? Also picture Castro, Chavez, Gadaffi, the Iranian leader, etc spewing hate and lies before the UN assembly with huge approval from the left wing members. Look at their inability to help Africa. Remember the rape and pillage comitted by UN troops. What has the UN done to stop nuclear proliferation by Iran or North Korea?
The UN is incapable of doing anything effectively without being tainted with politics and greed.
Dump the UN and divert the money we spend to positive use.

DirkH

“kadaka (15:51:04) :
“AgriculturalGate” is too wordy. Could this IPCC blunder (link found at Climate Depot) be called “GrowGate”?”
agrogate.

Kendra

In the last few weeks, so many discoveries have either been made or finally gotten airtime about the IPCC reports.
I’m just curious – is it that there were already enough uphill battles that no one really studied the references the IPCC used? Or had they already been noticed but no one paid attention when they were pointed out?
I got the impression after the CRU emails, that no one realized how egregious that data was – the surface stations project was going on, and we knew that many sites were not up to standard – but it’s only after that that people decided to look at specific stations – usually near to them, which they had more or less presumed to be more or less OK – e.g. Darwin Zero, and others shortly afterward including the Säntis here in Switzerland (where you see some great old photos as well as find out that the weather station monitors were murdered in 1922 (unsolved)!
To go back to my question, did everyone, skeptics included, take most of this on faith (because they already had enough problems – and enough evidence)? I am an amateur so excuse me for asking a naive question – it just seems to me someone somewhere must have read this report back in 2007 and pointed out at least some of this – or not? Or did no one listen?
I haven’t read all the comments yet so sorry if this has been addressed already.

Dr A Burns

Data seems a bit sparce but from what I can see, there’s been a slight increase in rain around Morocco, for example:
http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/climgraph.aspx?pltparms=GHCNP100AJanDecI188020080900110AR20140990000x

Snufflegruff

Leon Brozyna (14:59:46) :
Climategate
Pachaurigate
TERIgate
Hurricanegate
Disastergate
Glaciergate
Amazongate
NGOgate – including
…WWFgate
…NWFgate
…Greenpeacegate
…Magazinegate
…Thesisgate
…Newspapergate
Bootgate
Chinagate
Africagate
Can’t we just revert to the apt and witty ‘Warmergate’?

View from the Solent

An attempt at invoking sympathy Sunday Times(UK) . Who’s been talking to a PR agency? Or in other words, mea culpa.