Booker, North, and Willis on the IPCC Amazongate affair

In the news this week, lots of agitation over some questionable science from an NGO wrongly cited by the IPCC, and a newspaper that caved to pressure.

The two journalists who originally broke the story “Amazongate”, Booker and North, were covered on WUWT last January. See links here and here. Now with new developments and a retraction by The Sunday Times, the controversy erupts anew.

Richard North writes on his EU Referendum blog:

Booker has taken on board the “Amazongate” developments in this week’s column. Interestingly, rather than me, it was Booker who suggested “going big” on the issue this week, his motivation in part being the intervention by George Monbiot, who has been his usual charmless self, parading the ugly face of warmism in all its triumphant ghastliness.

It is indeed getting ugly these days. It will likely get uglier as November elections in the USA approach. There’s a sense of panic afoot as some people know their window of opportunity is closing. Copenhagen failed, Cap and Trade in the US looks to be failed, Australia’s ETS is put on hold, and many other political objectives that are the result of an oversold set of actions are also unraveling.

Yes, the panic driven ugliness will get worse before it gets better.

The warmist community has gone into serious overdrive this week following the apology and correction in last week’s Sunday Times over its reporting last January of the IPCC scandal known as Amazongate.

The reason for all this? WWF, (World Wildlife Fund) which all you need to know. WWF is not peer reviewed science, it’s a billion dollar business with an agenda. When that business and it’s opinionated agenda driven output gets used in place of peer reviewed science, then all hope is lost for the integrity of science everywhere.

Let me remind everyone of the  WWF sponsored report that led to the major 2035 glacier melt blunder by the IPCC. Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon was the original finder of the error.

I covered the fallout here.

Last Friday, the WWF website posted a humiliating statement recognising the claim as ‘unsound’, and saying it ‘regrets any confusion caused’.

Dr Lal said: ‘We knew the WWF report with the 2035 date was “grey literature” [material not published in a peer-reviewed journal]. But it was never picked up by any of the authors in our working group, nor by any of the more than 500 external reviewers, by the governments to which it was sent, or by the final IPCC review editors.’

In fact, the 2035 melting date seems to have been plucked from thin air.

The WWF, in my view, is a poison pill for science. They should be avoided for any references in peer reviewed papers and in journalism.

In addition to the EuReferendum and Christopher Bookers column, we also have a fresh analysis by Willis Eschenbach on WUWT also well worth reading. This graph he produced sums up the entire issue succinctly: there’s no trend.

Booker at the Telegraph needs support now, more than ever before, please visit and comment on his article.

UPDATE: Shub Niggurath suggests that no peer reviewed science references existed in first and second order IPCC drafts:

More importantly, contrary to what many have suggested, it does not seem, that a statement was formulated assessing all available literature at the time. The sentence in question remained virtually unchanged through the drafts (except for the ‘drastic’ addition), it referred to the same WWF report through three different versions.

Well worth a visit to his site – Anthony

as you may well be aware, the warmist fraternity has gone into serious overdrive this week following the abject apology and ‘correction’ in last week’s the Sunday Times over its reporting last January of the IPCC scandal known as Amazongate.
Just why the Sunday Times caved in like this when there is not a shred of evidence for their claim that the IPCC’s scare story about the impact of climate change on the Amazon rainforest was supported by peer-reviewed science remains a mystery, But in light of the general chorus of crowing from the AGW lobby over what they view as a historic victory,  I decided to devote most of my column this week (with the aid of my colleague Dr Richard North, who originally uncovered the Amazongate scanda) to a detailed resume of the story, indicating in the nicest possible way that the Sunday Times’ hasn’t got a leg to stand on.
This has become such an important issue in the great propaganda battle that I hope some of your readers would be interested to read the background to this extremely murky story.
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John Q Public

Is there any truth to the fact that the WWF stands to gain billions of dollars if carbon credits are traded?
If it is, talk about your conflict of interest.

Chuckles

And thanks to all of them for their work and their observations and revelations.
And Salon brings a unique perspective to the discussion as well…..
http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/06/25/climategate_retraction/index.html

Ammonite

The text of the Sunday Times apology:
“The article “UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim” (News, Jan 31) stated that the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report had included an “unsubstantiated claim” that up to 40% of the Amazon rainforest could be sensitive to future changes in rainfall. The IPCC had referenced the claim to a report prepared for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) by Andrew Rowell and Peter Moore, whom the article described as “green campaigners” with “little scientific expertise.” The article also stated that the authors’ research had been based on a scientific paper that dealt with the impact of human activity rather than climate change.
In fact, the IPCC’s Amazon statement is supported by peer-reviewed scientific evidence. In the case of the WWF report, the figure had, in error, not been referenced, but was based on research by the respected Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) which did relate to the impact of climate change. We also understand and accept that Mr Rowell is an experienced environmental journalist and that Dr Moore is an expert in forest management, and apologise for any suggestion to the contrary.
The article also quoted criticism of the IPCC’s use of the WWF report by Dr Simon Lewis, a Royal Society research fellow at the University of Leeds and leading specialist in tropical forest ecology. We accept that, in his quoted remarks, Dr Lewis was making the general point that both the IPCC and WWF should have cited the appropriate peer-reviewed scientific research literature. As he made clear to us at the time, including by sending us some of the research literature, Dr Lewis does not dispute the scientific basis for both the IPCC and the WWF reports’ statements on the potential vulnerability of the Amazon rainforest to droughts caused by climate change.
In addition, the article stated that Dr Lewis’ concern at the IPCC’s use of reports by environmental campaign groups related to the prospect of those reports being biased in their conclusions. We accept that Dr Lewis holds no such view – rather, he was concerned that the use of non-peer-reviewed sources risks creating the perception of bias and unnecessary controversy, which is unhelpful in advancing the public’s understanding of the science of climate change. A version of our article that had been checked with Dr Lewis underwent significant late editing and so did not give a fair or accurate account of his views on these points. We apologise for this. “

wayne


Last Friday, the WWF website posted a humiliating statement recognising the claim as ‘unsound’, and saying it ‘regrets any confusion caused’.
Dr Lal said: ‘We knew the WWF report with the 2035 date was “grey literature” [material not published in a peer-reviewed journal]. But it was never picked up by any of the authors in our working group, nor by any of the more than 500 external reviewers, by the governments to which it was sent, or by the final IPCC review editors.’
In fact, the 2035 melting date seems to have been plucked from thin air.

Sure, no one was really paying any attention at that time, this Global Warming seemed but a normal UN joke as many other jokes coming over and over again during the trailing three decades of the 20th century, but now, most of the entire world is tuned in, oh yes, with megaphones to their ears and magnifying glasses in hand!
United Nations & World Wildlife Fund et al., you will never be able to hide and deceive from anonymity again.

sod

the source of the 40% claim is Nepstad.
and he has confirmed repeatedly, that the 40% claim is correct.
http://www.whrc.org/resources/essays/pdf/2010-02-Nepstad_Amazon.pdf
In sum, the IPCC statement on the Amazon was correct. The report that is cited in support of the IPCC statement (Rowell and Moore 2000) omitted some citations in support of the 40% value statement.
the error was a tiny one. (quoting the WWF article, instead of the real source, and getting sources wrong)
the term “……gate” is completely out of touch with reality.
the Leaky article was demolished by the retraction.

Van Grungy

You know, whenever I run into the religiously inclined environmentalists, I tell them to try their arguments on these threads… I never see an attempt… Now I see why…
When it comes to ‘Evil Bush’ and ‘Evil Oil’, one mention of the Jones Act and Dutch attempts at assistance pretty much shuts them up… The Obassiah is too sacred for the goals of the religiously inclined environmentalists to allow others to know how bad for the environment their savior has turned out to be.
Stay cool…

Northern Exposure

I’m a pessimist.
I don’t think “the panic driven ugliness will get worse before it gets better”, I think it will get worse before it gets even more worse.
At this point, there is far too much money at stake, there are far too many people aboard the AGW boat, and scientists/governments have taken this issue way too far to make an about face.
AGW policies will go forward as planned… with skeptics kicking and screaming whilst they’re being dragged down the yellow brick road.
Where oh where is George Carlin when you need him ?

DirkH

“sod says:
June 27, 2010 at 2:05 pm
the source of the 40% claim is Nepstad.
and he has confirmed repeatedly, that the 40% claim is correct.
[…]
the error was a tiny one. (quoting the WWF article, instead of the real source, and getting sources wrong)

The Nepstad who is paid for by the WWF? And whose “study” is translated and distributed worldwide by the WWF? Here’s a german version. Looks glossy.
http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wwf.de%2Ffileadmin%2Ffm-wwf%2Fpdf_neu%2FTeufelskreis_am_Amazonas_-_Klimawandel_und_Waelder.pdf&rct=j&q=nepstad+wwf&ei=ab8nTMvULouaOOKV9NoC&usg=AFQjCNEV93ucRAaYk-0DR85vnH2oE5-5uw

kim

sod, you need to learn to read. Nepstad is talking about soil moisture and susceptibility to fire damage, not about susceptibility to climate change. Are you often this whack?
===========

DirkH

About the Nepstad report – it’s not a study, it’s a report FOR the WWF – i found the following statement on a swiss website calling itself “living naturally”:
“Daniel Nepstad hat im Auftrag des WWF einen ausführlichen Bericht zur Lage des Regenwaldes am Amazonas verfasst. Dieser kann auf der Webseite des WWF heruntergeladen werden. ”
Engl.(Google):”Daniel Nepstad has written on behalf of WWF, a detailed report on the situation in the Amazon rain forest. This can be downloaded from the website of the WWF.”
Source:
http://www.natuerlich-leben.ch/nc/magazin/einzelansicht/artikel/01/08/2008/regenwald-teufelskreis-abholzung/
So there seem to be some connections between Nepstad and the WWF.

DirkH

“kim says:
June 27, 2010 at 2:21 pm
sod, you need to learn to read. Nepstad is talking about soil moisture and susceptibility to fire damage, not about susceptibility to climate change. Are you often this whack?

Read the report i linked to. Nepstad is not alarmist; he’s apocalyptic. I guess you have to be when your customer is the WWF.

Dave H

Anthony:
> In the news this week, lots of agitation over some questionable science from an NGO wrongly cited by the IPCC, and a newspaper that caved to pressure.
Who conducted the “questionable” science? Your wording seems to imply the NGO, but this is not the case.
Why is the science “questionable”? The Sunday Times retraction accepts that it wasn’t.
How do you know they “caved to pressure”? Do you have some inside knowledge? Why this spin? Why the desire to dismiss the possibility that a correction may in fact be more true and representative than the original story?
Why the focus on Booker and North, when it was Jonathan Leake’s coverage specifically at issue?
Why the switch to the completely separate glacier issue?
Is this:
> WWF, (World Wildlife Fund) which all you need to know.
Not a textbook Ad Hominem?

John Q – WWF potentially have a stake in a $60 billion pot from the REDD scheme, which involved monetizing the rainforests, using them to generate carbon credits. Nepstad is up to his armpits in it and Woods Hole Research Center and WWF are financial partners.
The Amazon and climate change has become one huge money-making scam, with Nepstad at the center of events. Yet the only support the WWF can get for the 40 percent figure is to have Nepstad “confirm” that it is correct. That is an interesting development in science – a figure is correct because an advocate with a financial stake in the outcome says it is!

David S

kim
Answer: always. Go and have a look at Lucia’s Blackboard, where sod is an ill-mannered exception to the civilised, though animated discussions that go on between people of very different viewpoints.

Ian E

Northern Exposure : I’m a pessimist.
I don’t think “the panic driven ugliness will get worse before it gets better”, I think it will get worse before it gets even more worse.

I generally agree – but the recent row-backs in Australia and Spain seem heartening. Of course, Monbiot’s ugliness can only get worse as anno domini proceeds!

rbateman

parading the ugly face of warmism in all its triumphant ghastliness
What happens when the baby seal of truth is clubbed in plain sight.

Northern Exposure says:
June 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm
>I don’t think “the panic driven ugliness will get worse before it gets better”, I think it will get worse before it gets even more worse.
It will get much worse, they are only getting warmed up. The only thing that will show a glimmer of hope is crashing world temperature.

James Sexton

lol, I feel like a group hug is order. Very nice, A.
Ammonite, thanks, that’s very helpful. On this site alone, it has been linked and quoted on almost every thread posted, at least the ones I’ve read. The story isn’t about the WWF study being correct, it is about mis-quoting a person.
Anyone giving any credence to that sophomoric assertion about 40% whatever if something improbable happens has lost their ability to think for themselves. Who said the Amazon jungle was going to quit having rainfall? How did they come to that conclusion. Until someone explains that, all of this is just idiocy. We can say if the sun stops shining, then…… or if suddenly the moon loses its gravitational pull then….. if frogs has a glass a##, then they wouldn’t jump so high, but they don’t.

norther exposure is correct..they will not listen..to many back-scratching deals already made..i know i live in mass. were i contact the left the response always is thank you for your concern….BUT THIS IS WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO….even if the dems loose big time in nov. they WILL push through all they planned???

Sod
Please re-read the Nepstad letter.
He does *not* offer a citation for the 40% claim.
“The authors of this report interviewed several researchers, including the author of this note, and had originally cited the IPAM website where the statement was made that 30 to 40% of the forests of the Amazon were susceptible to small changes in rainfall”
Look down in his references and what do you see ? Nothing.
There is apparently a secret IPAM document called “Fogo na Amazônia” or Fire in the Amazon. It is so secret, no one seems to be able to find it.

u.k.(us)

Ammonite says:
June 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm
The text of the Sunday Times apology:
………”We accept that Dr Lewis holds no such view – rather, he was concerned that the use of non-peer-reviewed sources risks creating the perception of bias and unnecessary controversy, which is unhelpful in advancing the public’s understanding of the science of climate change.”………………
===============
IMO, it would be “helpful” if the science of climate change was better understood, before it was “advanced” upon the public.

DR

Kim:

sod, you need to learn to read. Nepstad is talking about soil moisture and susceptibility to fire damage, not about susceptibility to climate change. Are you often this whack?

Unfortunately, yes.

jaypan

This Nepstad article is a load of crap.
I couldn’t read more than 4 or 5 pages.
Who takes that serious?

Phil Clarke

They were writing in response to a slightly different challenge, however in this document
http://ftp.whrc.org/assets/scientists_amazon_response.pdf
18 active researchers into tropical rainforests assert that the IPCC statement is scientifically accurate and present the peer-reviewed references to support it. The now-vindicated Simon Lewis is one of the authors. They write:
“The (IPCC) statement is not as carefully worded as it should be, and incorrectly referenced, but basically scientifically correct and defensible with recourse to the peer-reviewed literature available at the time. Rainforest persists above a threshold of rainfall, below which one finds savanna. If this threshold is crossed a landscape dominated by rainforest can ‘flip’ to savanna. Therefore a ’slight’ reduction can lead to a ‘dramatic’ reaction. Of course, evidence of a shift to a new lower rainfall climate regime is needed, and evidence of large areas of forest close to that rainfall threshold would be required for the IPCC statement to be reasonable; there is ample published evidence for both.”
Now one could present oneself as better-informed than these guys, one could thrash around debating the point that nowhere in the literature is the exact phrase ‘up to 40%’ deployed. One would then look exceedingly foolish. Assessment Reports are like that, they are an assessment of the state of the science, which sometimes is nuanced, complex and unamenable to trite summarisation. The IPCC, amazingly, accurately conveyed the state of understanding in the thousands of pages it published. Obsessing about one instance where they got the science right – according to the actual scientists – but were a little sloppy in their referencing makes one look, well, obssessive.

Reference

Floresta em Chamas: Origens, Impactos e Prevenção do Fogo na Amazônia
Este livro apresenta uma análise do fogo na Amazônia com a finalidade de identificar os meios pelos quais seus efeitos negativos podem ser reduzidos.
Burning Forest: Origins, Impact and Prevention of Fire on the Amazon
This book presents an analysis of fire in the Amazon in order to identify the means by which negative effects may be reduced.
ALENCAR, ANE; MOREIRA, ADRIANA; NEPSTAD, DANIEL. Floresta em Chamas: Origens, Impactos e Prevenção do Fogo na Amazônia. Brasília/DF. 2005.
http://www.ipam.org.br/biblioteca/livro/Floresta-em-Chamas-Origens-Impactos-e-Prevencao-do-Fogo-na-Amazonia/334

DirkH

“sod says:
June 27, 2010 at 2:05 pm
the source of the 40% claim is Nepstad.
[…]
the term “……gate” is completely out of touch with reality.”
Ok, i’m slowly coming to grips with the report, the study and how the IPCC and/or the WWF mixed them up. “sod” is right: the term “……gate” is completely out of touch with reality. The term that is appropriate is “stinking pile of sh!t”.

kim

sod, let’s hear more about Hepstad. Suddenly, I want the whole world to know all about your wonderful Hepstad.
============

The IPCC exaggerated everything else. Why should we believe they’d be honest about the Amazon?

Phil Clarke

Kim,
Out of soil moisture, and susceptibility to fire, which do you suppose would NOT change as climate changes? Just curious.
And it’s Nepstad http://www.terrestrialcarbon.org/Who_we_are/Daniel_Nepstad.aspx

He has published more than 75 scientific papers and several books on the Amazon. His received his doctorate in forest ecology from Yale University and in 1994 was named a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment.”

Richard Sharpe

Phil Clarke said:

The IPCC, amazingly, accurately conveyed the state of understanding in the thousands of pages it published. Obsessing about one instance where they got the science right – according to the actual scientists – but were a little sloppy in their referencing makes one look, well, obssessive.

It seems you have a weird definition of science. It looks like money driven drivel to me, much like the WWF stuff.
(I am currently at the tail end of a trip to China, Hong Kong and Thailand. The truth, in terms of vegetation, and thus life, is out there, not in any IPCC reports, and it is lush.)

@Chuckles,
I wish you hadn’t posted that Salon link! I read the article and then some of the comments following and felt my blood pressure steadily rising. Not only does the article conflate “amazongate” with “climategate”, but everyone on board appears to think a complete exoneration of both has occurred and no further examination is required – cue lots of choice words written about “evil deniers”.
Is communication even possible at this point?

So the IPCC can claim 40% of the Amazon rainforest is susceptible to “sudden transformation” based on a lack of rainfall …
but can’t say how much of the rainfall is at risk (none – according tot he past graph of rainfall vs time and temperature) …
and they can’t say what percent of the rainforest is in that “boundary” region where it C’puld” transform
and they can’t say what the criteria is for sudden transformation, or how to even defeine what must actually occur for that transformation,
and can’t cite ANY places where even 2% of a region has suddenly transformed by such a change (granted – man-caused change has occurred – but NOT from natural temperature changes) …
But the Times issues such an apology and retraction based on … what? Unsubstantiated un-referenced statements from a group of fanatic ideologues dedicated to the world’s economic destruction. But, no, the Times wasn’t subjected to pressure or bad reporting was it?

Also, just noticed a comment, by ‘catweazle’ on Booker’s piece over at the Telegraph, well worth repeating:
“Curious how much store the Greenies set by the opinion of the Murdoch press all of a sudden…. “
Indeed. Suddenly black is white and night is day because Team Murdoch suddenly appears to be “onside”.

Gary

In practice, peer review does little more than enforce orthodoxy and the reigning paradigm. The Climategate emails clearly demonstrate that the idealistic assumption that it advances scientific understanding (in climate research, anyway) has been compromised. Without full disclosure about the biases of peer reviewers why should any research be trusted on the mere claim that it has been peer-reviewed. Until the guardians themselves are guarded we must be more careful about accepting any research findings.

“Now one could present oneself as better-informed than these guys, one could thrash around debating the point that nowhere in the literature is the exact phrase ‘up to 40%’ deployed. One would then look exceedingly foolish. Assessment Reports are like that, they are an assessment of the state of the science, which sometimes is nuanced, complex and unamenable to trite summarisation.”
I agree with you Phil.
But,…but there are some problems. Please examine them with an open mind.
Firstly, these guys came up with the press release, after the fact that errors were pointed out in the report. Secondly, these guys are not the IPCC. It could be a well-formulated opinion, but it is that of a single group.
Isn’t that why we have the IPCC WG2 pronouncing on these matters – to represent a spectrum of well-evaluated research, which is peer-reviewed and vetted by national governments?
Thirdly, and most importantly, there is evidence to suggest that a nuanced, complex assessment was *not* performed. Rather the evidence available, suggests that, from the get-go a crude copy-paste of sorts was performed to create the contentious statement, and somewhat baselessly altered to an even cruder statement at the stage of revision.
And lastly, painting a simplistic picture that the Amazon system is exquisitely sensitive to precipitation levels alone acting as the primary driver – that is misleading. The Nepstad papers speak to this better than anything else. If the experts want us to believe in this, it is they who are losing the nuance.

Jimbo
roger mcevilly

Its should be noted that the Amazon reduces in size during colder periods, eg Ice Ages, not warmer periods. Its also completely natural, and species have adapted to it over the last 2 million years. Extinction rates are slow in the Amazon partly for that reason.

Jimbo

Phil Clarke says, June 27, 2010 at 4:19 pm:
Rainforest persists above a threshold of rainfall, below which one finds savanna. If this threshold is crossed a landscape dominated by rainforest can ‘flip’ to savanna. Therefore a ’slight’ reduction can lead to a ‘dramatic’ reaction.
That is pure and simple an incorrect, scientifically invalid statement. This is not “one instance where they got the science right” because they got the science wrong.
It’s a testable hypothesis. They posit a rainfall threshold above which lies rainforest and below which lies savanna. However, one can easily point out cases where savanna exists above the hypothetical threshold adjacent to and intermixed with rainforest. It turns out that neither “savanna” nor “rainforest” are well defined, but they both can be found in the same locales. So the hypothetical threshold does not exist. Furthermore, it is human influences, not climate, that create savannas in the first place.
Now if they posited a rainforest/desert dicotomy, maybe the hypothesis would hold up. But they didn’t and it doesn’t.

bruce

At the risk of going from worse to worser, I’m holding out hope, ( I can assure you its a 40% chance) that the Europeans will blanch at what they have undertaken with green power/ carbon caps. A groundswell of practicality will cover the continent, choking off the extreme green movement.
Basically it has to. Without reform Europe will dissolve. That alone would normally be enough to change peoples minds, regrettably there is a percentage that desires that outcome. That clan exists here in the USA too.

HaroldW

John Q Public June 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm:
Is there any truth to the fact that the WWF stands to gain billions of dollars if carbon credits are traded?

WWF’s interest in the Amazon was alluded to in the article, with a link which went to http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/20/north-and-booker-on-amazongate-a-billion-dollar-cash-cow/
The original information is found in Christopher Booker’s column at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7488629/WWF-hopes-to-find-60-billion-growing-on-trees.html
WWF controls vast acreage in the Amazon, and by promising not to harvest it, is granted carbon credits (by protecting a carbon sink). These credits can then be sold to productive enterprises to offset their CO2 emissions. At a valuation of $12.50 per ton (tonne?) of CO2, Booker arrives at a putative value of $60 billion. (Current price is $.10 per tonne, or roughly a hundred times less.)
I don’t think this (the carbon credit) bears directly on the reliability of the Amazon climate sensitivity claims, though. It does speak to the fact that WWF are not an impartial party, though; they stand to gain financially if cap-and-trade becomes accepted, as that would increase the demand for carbon credits and hence its price.

James Sexton

@ Phil Clarke
“…Obsessing about one instance where they got the science right – …”
Phil, in what manner, or, how did you decide “they” got the science right? Now we can read all of the literature for ourselves: The IPCC report, the WWF psuedo-science, or the science? study done by many. As you aptly pointed out, we could obsess about the 40%, but why bother. As I see it, (and I could be wrong because the actual statement these 3 bodies seem to make is very convoluted,)the statement is in essence, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘Climate change may cause a slight decrease in rainfall in the Amazon and if that happens, a large portion of the Amazon jungle will cease to exist.’ Someone correct me if I’m wrong about the assertion.
Firstly, as is pointed out often in many places, the climate is always in a state of flux or change, so, yes, I’d have to agree. A change in the amount of rainfall would indeed effect a land mass and all of the flora and fauna in it. It always does. That part is sophistry.
Secondly, how much is “slight”? Let’s look at the graph at the top of the page. From the lowest value to the highest, it looks to me close to 700mm/yr difference. I’ve seen places where authors have correctly attributed the decrease of the size of the Amazon jungle as man caused. But, nowhere is the decrease in size attributed to decrease in rainfall, mainly because it hasn’t decreased. Still, from the high to the low, would be approx. 20%-25% swing in the rainfall. It didn’t kill it then, so maybe slight means greater than 25% but that’s an incredible stretch.
Thirdly, who in their right mind believes that a warmer planet(right, I know climate change, but that’s code for global warming) would cause the Amazon less rainfall? That part is sheer lunacy or a brazen taunt to the world assuming they can make any assertion and parade a scientist of some sorts and call it a fact, or an assessment, if you will. A warmer earth means less ice. Less ice, in turn, means more H2O in liquid or gaseous form, which, further, means more rain. Of course, that’s more rain globally but Gaia would probably be mad and make it not rain on the Amazon.
Personally, I don’t care if it was a collaborative work between the IPCC, the WWF, and that group of pinheads or not. They can peer-review that tripe until the cows come home. In this case, peer-review isn’t a synonym for validation. It is a condemnation of the peers’ ability to have a cognitive thought.
Again, personally, my thoughts are this was all done with a wink and a nod for the sole purpose of adding more hysteria into the IPCC report, just as Stephen Schneider suggested. Just because a newspaper misquoted a “scientist” doesn’t mean any of the assertions are correct. This particular assertion should be questioned and questioned again.

Andrew30

wayne says: June 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm
“Last Friday, the WWF website posted a humiliating statement recognising the claim as ‘unsound’, and saying it ‘regrets any confusion caused’.”
The regret is likely that it was uncovered. No one was supposed to be confused, all were to have believed it. It does not look like an accident.

“The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.
Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html#ixzz0dUoPiTkG

Dr Murari Lal
From the WWF web site:
Climate Witness Science Advisory Panel (SAP)
Prof. Dr Murari Lal, specialises in global and regional climate variability, scenario development, regional environmental change, sectoral vulnerability assessment (water, biodiversity and agriculture), landscape ecology, biophysical remote sensing – GIS applications, ecosystem modeling, regional adaptation & mitigation potential, water resource management; Environment and Carbon Trading Group Halcrow Consulting India Ltd., India
http://www.panda.org/about_our_earth/aboutcc/problems/people_at_risk/personal_stories/about_cw/cwscientists/

About Prof. Murari Lal
Lead or Co-ordinating Author on several chapters of IPCC Assessment Reports
http://4dweb.proclim.ch/4dcgi/proclim/en/Detail_Person?lalm.newdelhi

About Halcrow Consulting:
“Environment and Carbon Trading Group Halcrow Consulting India Ltd., India”
http://www.halcrow.com/html/documents/pdf/india/halcrow_india_environment_brochure.pdf
Carbon Trading is part of the Environment Division, now that is a surprise.

From the CRU website we see the WWF funds the CRU. I wonder where a charity gets the money to fund climate research?
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/
The WWF funds the CRU
Murari Lal->WWF->CRU
Murari Lal-> Halcrow Consulting->Carbon Trading
How about we skip the middle man:
Carbon Trading-> Halcrow Consulting-> WWF->CRU->IPCC
And simplify.
Carbon Trading->WWF->CRU->IPCC
Carbon Trading->CRU->IPCC
Carbon Trading->IPCC
Carbon Trading->IPCC->Carbon Trading
Does that look like a mistake to you?
An employee of a Carbon Trading department, working for the World Wildlife Fund, submitting bogus content to the IPCC, just to scare people into implementing Carbon Trading.
It does not look like a mistake to me.

Ike

“Rainforest persists above a threshold of rainfall, below which one finds savanna. If this threshold is crossed a landscape dominated by rainforest can ‘flip’ to savanna. Therefore a ’slight’ reduction can lead to a ‘dramatic’ reaction. Of course, evidence of a shift to a new lower rainfall climate regime is needed, and evidence of large areas of forest close to that rainfall threshold would be required for the IPCC statement to be reasonable; there is ample published evidence for both.” More evasions and mis-statements. “Can” this and “can” that and that last bit is particularly cute: published evidence = published work that may or may not be evidence, but none of you who oppose us have the time or interest to read through this entire citation list and read each paper and determine which, if any, might actually be something resembling “evidence”. There must be billions of dollars involved in this one as they seem to have brought out the big boys to defend. Well, it won’t matter, as the U.S. Congress will pass the Democrat’s “Cap and Trade” legislation after a marathon session at 0200 hours some Saturday or Sunday morning and we’ll all be deeper in it than we are now. None of this fussing will matter.

allen mcmahon

Phil Clarke
Of your eighteen supporters six were either members of the WHRC or an NGO Nepstad co-founded. What is more interesting is that recognized Amazon scholars such as Mahli, Marengo, Cox, Betts, Huntingford etc etc offered no support. I agree that Nepstad is well qualified to comment on the science but his motives in this instance are political not scientific. The IPCC was in error over the Amazon and their attempts to cover up rather admit the mistake and move on is a says much about the political nature of the IPCC.
Sod
You really are a consensus junkie, appeals to authority add nothing to the debate, but that’s not news is it.

Phil Clarke

Of your eighteen supporters six were either members of the WHRC or an NGO Nepstad co-founded.
Weak ad hominem argument. Unconvincing. a signature on a letter tells us a lot about someone’s views. The absence of a signature tells us almost nothing.
Phil, in what manner, or, how did you decide “they” got the science right?
I read the cited papers.
Mike D. – Interesting hypothesis. A single supporting reference would be even more interesting.
Fact is, it is demonstrably true that the IPCC claim, while sloppily referenced, is 100% supported by the literature.

David

“A small reduction in rainfall could result in a 40 percent reduction in the rainforrest” is not supported by the literature. If it is, Phil, paste a couple of quotes. The operative word here is “small” and subject to large interpretation.

allen mcmahon

Phil Clarke
You should read Huntingford 2003 and Cox 2004 whee they detail the many uncertainties associated with the die back theory. Cox admits that the theory is controversial. Of 19GCMs the HAD3 is an orphan in predicting substantial die back as it underestimates current rainfall by 20%. To make matters worse they also overlay the TRIFFOD vegetation which hypothesizes an additional 30% reduction in rainfall. The problem is that recent studies show that biomass response to additional sunlight and elevated C02 levels is the opposite to the TRIFFOD scenario. Given that most of the models still underestimate rainfall yet forecast an increase in the 21st century the die back senario is most unlikely. There is general agreement among the models that dry season rainfall will decrease by 24% and while some scientists have suggested that the dry season response will negatively affect overall hydrology it is a difficult stance to support. The area considered to be most at risk is in Eastern Amazonia which has an average rainfall of 2000mm per year. As dry season rainfall is less than 1mm per day the overall effect is negligible.
As I have said before it is politics not science that drives this issue the and IPCC response makes it difficult to have any faith in most of their statements. They should present all of the science rather than focusing on scary senarios.