New IPCC lead author, one word: strange

And you thought railroad engineer Pachauri was odd

Donna Laframboise of “No Frakking Consensus” does some digging, and what she turns up about the new IPCC lead author is to say the least, strange. Some excerpts:

In 1994, Kovats was one of only 21 people in the entire world selected to work on the first IPCC chapter that examined how climate change might affect human health. She was 25 years old. Her first academic paper wouldn’t be published for another three years. It would be six years before she’d even begin her doctoral studies and 16 years before she’d graduate.

This question Laframboise asks really, really, needs an answer:

How does one land that sort of position (and, presumably, that sort of salary) prior to finishing their PhD?

Josh provides some comic relief:

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John503

Just gets weirder.

David L. Hagen

Of the three primary entrapments, Gold, Girls and Glory,
It appears all three were brought to bear.
Did these also sweep away the prophets of the press?

DeanL

Ah yes, Best “Science” Blog.
Are you sure it wasn’t Best Smearing Blog.
Shameful. Juvenile. Revealing.

Hey guys (and gals)–let’s stay focused here. Does she do good science? That’s all I care about.
REPLY: You tell me, see this:
http://www.isse.ucar.edu/climatehealth/doc/Publications.Pg/Abstract.Kovats.doc

Climate and weather exposures
Climate variability can be expressed at various temporal scales (by day, season and year) and is an inherent characteristic of climate, whether the climate system is subject to change or not. Climate “exposures” can be described in three broad temporal categories:
Long term changes in mean temperatures, and other climate “norms” (e.g. global climate change).
Climate variability about norms over periods ranging from a few years to several decades, including:
shifts in the frequency/probability distributions of climate variables
recurring climate phenomena such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
Isolated extreme events (either simple extremes, e.g. temperature/precipitation extremes, or complex events such as tropical cyclones, floods or droughts).
These types of “exposures” are clearly not independent. Many health outcomes are sensitive to isolated extreme events (e.g. heavy rainfall, high temperatures) but are not likely to be significantly affected by long-term, incremental, climate change, unless these same meteorological extremes also change in frequency or character.
Use of meteorological data
Daily meteorological variables can be obtained for stations near to the population under study. In cities, this is not usually a problem. In rural areas, however, it may be difficult to find a station nearby. As a general rule, if using daily data, temperatures are homogenous within about 300km area providing that there are no local landscape features that affect climate, such as mountains, or water courses or coastal regions. For monthly data, temperatures are similar up to 1200km area.

Within 1200 km has “similar” monthly temperatures? Try telling that to the people of New York and Atlanta
-Anthony

Tony Hansen

Studying part-time, working for theIPCC……..how did she manage to pay the bills?

Bob K.

Talking about Pachauri’s book seems out of context. I suggest mentioning her first name (like “In 1994, [Sari] Kovats was one of only 21 people…” ? ) would make the connection more obvious.

Ian W

And the energy policy of the world is influenced by these people?

wes george

The UN IPCC has about the same level of credibility as the UN Human Rights Council.

Dan J

This lack of scientific credentials for a lead author is certainly embarrassing for the IPCC. On the other hand, the insinuations in this posting makes this just as embarrassing for WUWT, and I for one wish you had stuck to the facts.
Regards,
Dan.

Al Gored

She obviously knows somebody who knew she would do their bidding. Their is NO other logical explanation.
And now that this rat is out of the bag, I’m guessing some diligent blogger will reveal the ‘who you know’ explanation for this.

Echo

RE: Anthony’s reply to Bob Fuller
Would it be wrong to posit that there is an inverse correlation between number of “quoted” terms and the seriousness of your scientific effort? The excerpt you used makes me think more of “pseudo” than of “science…”

Al Gored

This kind of reminds me of this:
Headline Story: Did a Secret Climate Deal Launch the Hockey Stick Fakery? by John O’Sullivan, guest post at Climate Realists
Thursday, May 13th 2010
“It’s in 1996 that this story gets very curious. At that time Mann needed help to “defend” his Ph.D work in a documented but unexplained controversy at Yale. Inexplicably, this ‘controversy’ was peremptorily swept aside and between 1996-98 Mann was named as the Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Fellow (DOE).
Mann’s Ph.D ‘Rushed Through’
All was now well and Yale gave Mann his Ph.D in 1998. One eminent source in my enquiries confirmed Mann’s Ph.D. was, in fact “rushed through.”
Instantly, Mann was then plucked from obscurity and appointed not just a contributing author for Chapters 7,8,12 of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (1998-00) but also Lead Author for Chapter 2. And with no track record whatsoever in this field, Mann now with tree ring data thrust into his hand, famously carved out his infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph.
“So what miracle turned this problematic researcher’s life around?
If miracles happened for Mann, they came in the form of Barry Saltzman. You see, this struggling student’s career was transformed the moment Saltzman became his Ph.D adviser. Only after Saltzman applied his influence were Mann’s lofty credentials “rushed through.” Mann then turned himself into a makeshift tree ring counter, and overnight became the iconic figure in the IPCC Third Report (2001). The rest is history, as they say.”
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5700
This whole thing is so rigged and corrupt that it is almost depressing.

[snip – over the top]

Ms Sari Kovats

[snip – funny, but over the top, especially when using the name to comment – don’t do that – Anthony]

1200 km AREA.
The text as it stands is ambiguous. does she mean a 1200km radius? or a 1200 sqkm area?
sloppy writing. but the document in question doesnt appear to be an example of her Science.
That said, who knows why she was selected? or if it matters.

Paul

Anthony – it does say 1200 Km area. Not exactly SI units, but I presume that it means about 35×35 Km. which isn’t unreasonable, although shows a lack of clarity for a lead author of an IPCC report.
REPLY: Well GISS uses a 1200km smoothing radius in surface data map plots, so there’s precedence. – Anthony

guesting

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45244.html <– Julia Gillard, carbon Taxes, bigger brains needed to comment

Al Gored

Of course it matters.

Stephan

OT But don’t you at WUWT (links) think
http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/climatechange/Science
should be put in the firm AGW camp rather than lukewarmer by now, they have definitely shifted 100% to that side me thinks of course?

Alex

Didn’t the UN have Gaddafi in the human rights council so this is not even close to a record for them.

Jack

And so St. Peter says, “…..eh, look, I don’t know how to put this…..but….God’s got this chick……”

Binny

Back in 94 climate science was a side show ignored by real science. Hence the (very) junior author, I’m guessing back then the salary was equally junior for someone higher up the food chain would have snapped it up.
She is just lucky, and got in on the ground floor of something before it really took off.
Kind of of like being Bill Gates roommate way back when. At the time most people would not have thought hanging around with a computer geek had much of a future.

PaulH

We have been told repeatedly that the IPCC is composed of the worlds smartest scientists, and because of that we must believe everything they tell us and never question their conclusions or motives. But it appears that these “best and brightest” can indeed include people with no publications of any sort or any level of world-class expertise.

Dave

This is by far the worst post I have ever seen at WUWT. I certainly hope this is not an indication of a new direction.
Let’s please stick to science when possible and facts if not.

please delete above comment and use this one:
The IPCC has done enough by now to make its writings increasingly closer in value to toilet paper, but this information, if true, surely takes the cake as far as I’m concerned.
If true (which it appears to be) then the value of IPCC’s reports is now dangerously close to the value of toilet paper. An arithmetical equality might ultimately prevail in the market place. But, of course, toilet paper, being processed and usable, might be found to be more valuable.
See my blog post: IPCC reports = toilet paper? (http://sabhlokcity.com/2011/03/ipcc-reports-toilet-paper/)

Tom Fuller says:
March 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Hey guys (and gals)–let’s stay focused here. Does she do good science? That’s all I care about.
REPLY: You tell me, see this:
http://www.isse.ucar.edu/climatehealth/doc/Publications.Pg/Abstract.Kovats.doc

Daily meteorological variables can be obtained for stations near to the population under study. In cities, this is not usually a problem. In rural areas, however, it may be difficult to find a station nearby. As a general rule, if using daily data, temperatures are homogenous within about 300km area providing that there are no local landscape features that affect climate, such as mountains, or water courses or coastal regions. For monthly data, temperatures are similar up to 1200km area.
Within 1200 km has “similar” monthly temperatures? Try telling that to the people of New York and Atlanta
-Anthony

So my home city of Sydney would have a similar monthly temperature to Brisbane? Or Melbourne?
Hmmmm….

Re previous post, or Bathurst (which is on the same latitude, making it more likely)? Still no….

ShrNfr

Given that the stock response is “List all your peer reviewed climate articles” to any objection to AGW, this is most revealing. “One standard for you, one standard for me, one standard for that other chap and then we can make it three.” I take objection to the comments that this should not be known. It is a total farce on the part of the IPCC.

Jeremy

No offense to the lady in question (I think that was below the belt Josh, keep the gloves up so it’s obvious which side is groin-punching and pulling hair)… but this is a very very poor showing by the IPCC. Under what circumstances do you pick someone with few credentials to lead the report following climategate? What leads to that decision?
Also, as Anthony said… 1200km apart and you get a similar monthly temperature?
300km and you get a similar daily temperature? I’m guessing the assumption here is a completely flat surface of the earth. It’s too bad we don’t have many thermocouples out on the ocean to test that theory.

Adam Soereg

Kovats is a very common Hungarian family name. It means ‘smith’.
Strange, but I never heard about her. When the IPCC received its Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, the local MSM highlighted multiple times that only two Hungarian scientists were involved in the whole IPCC process. For example, Miklos Zagoni was a reviewer and he has become a prominent AGW skeptic since then.

DeanL says:
March 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Ah yes, Best “Science” Blog.
Are you sure it wasn’t Best Smearing Blog.
Shameful. Juvenile. Revealing.

But this is evidence of lies spread by that glorious purveyor of ‘scientific consensus, the IPCC. Why on Earth would exposing their lies be shameful? Durely the lies themselves, and the deliberate intention to mislead for obvious personal gain would be the shameful bit, no? Or would you just prefer that everybody shuts up and does what YOU want them to do? That would be shameful. So many shameful things, but this does not appear to be one of them!

George E. Smith

Aha! Climate is fractal; it looks the same at ANY time scale.
Wow that is wonderful news; so now we don’t need to look forward to a perpetual future of “Partly Cloudy” climate predictions; excuse me; that’s projections.

Tim

Please Anthony keep your site focused on the science not the person. Of course there reasons to look at qualifications but never a need for putdowns. I know being sceptical of AGW means that you have to endure putdowns yourself but clear, precise argument is the only way to respond if possible.
That cartoon and many of the “Friday Funnies” cross a line to, as some other commentator said, Juvenile.
I’m trying to be constructive here as I’ve followed your blog for years and heard you talk in Australia and lately noticed the tone of some blogs getting a bit flippant and derogatory. Leave that to RC.

Theo Goodwin

This is Josh’s best effort, or the best I have seen. The language is perfect. The image is perfect. This has to become a cup and a shirt. Hats off to you, Josh.

Marion

Nor is this an isolated incident – Donna Laframboise has cited many other examples on her excellent blog –
” The IPCC has a history…of pretending that grad students are the equivalent of the world’s top scientists.”
http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/an-even-younger-senior-author/
And even “IPCC insiders say many of those who shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize have weak scientific credentials. They were chosen because they are of the right gender or come from the right country”.
http://nofrakkingconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/ipcc-nobel-laureates-lack-scientific-credibility/
Of course we must remember this is the ‘UN’ IPCC.

Kev-in-Uk

I disagree with the anti comments.
This stuff needs exposing – sometimes there just isn’t a nice way to do it! Especially in the case of the IPCC.

George E. Smith

“”””” Dave says:
March 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm
This is by far the worst post I have ever seen at WUWT. I certainly hope this is not an indication of a new direction.
Let’s please stick to science when possible and facts if not. “””””
Well Dave; I know you didn’t say it; but one might reasonably deduce from your comment, that you don’t consider news about the major players, in the international field of climate inspired legislation, to be worth even taking note of let alone commenting on.
We just went through an exercise where the voters through their Electoral College Representatives elected a US President; with out anybody ever questioning just who the person was, where he came from, what his qualifications for the job are, or even what his experience in managing so much as a lemonade stand. He effectively was elected by acclaim, more or less the same way that the Rev Jim Jones led his followers to their destiny. And as if that wasn’t enough, the simultaneously elected Congress, passed the largest, most expensive Government program legislation of all time without any one of the 535 elected members of that Congress, having read even a tiny fraction of it; most read not a word; and not one of them was likely even involved in the writing of it.
So yes I think it is fitting, and certainly within the realm of science enquiry, to ask; who is this person to whom so much dictatorial power has been simply handed. Well the precautionary principle would demand that we do so wouldn’t it ?

jorgekafkazar

Steven Mosher says: “…sloppy writing. but the document in question doesnt appear to be an example of her Science.”
…Full of buzzwords and banality, signifying nothing. But Steven is 100% right–it’s not a true sample of her Science. Scissor out some of the more purple prose, above, put it in quotes, and google it. Some of the unattributed phrases are found in earlier works, such as “A Short Introduction to Epidemiology,” (Neil Pearce, 2005), “The health impacts of climate change and variability in developing countries,” (Bettina Menne, et al, 2003), and “Epidemiology for the Uninitiated,” (Coggon, et al, 1997). There is, no doubt, some original work here, but I’m not going to look any further, since the lack of attribution makes it impossible to determine the ultimate sources. This document is a merely bunch of stuff cobbled together informally for a colloquium from various sources, including Kovats’s earlier work. Not worth looking at, and not relevant to the matter at hand.

Ken Hall

Funny, When world class physicists with PHDs and decades of outstanding work, awards and thousands of published works to their names, and memberships and directorships of prestigious acclaimed scientific bodies turn against the theory of catastrophic human induced climate change, the alarmist crowd attack them as not being a credible or serious scientists.
Yet when one of their own holy IPCC chapters had a lead author had not yet even become a scientist, let alone a “climate scientist”, and when Al Gore (neither a scientist or advocate of truth, but a failed polititian and hypocrite) spout their faith backed beliefs, and we call them on it, these alarmists call foul and claim that this is shameful to expose it.
I think that this article, though mildly shameful, is entirely appropriate as it shows how poor and weak the IPCC is and how unscientific it is.
The IPCC is NOT a scientific body. It is a political body with a political and deeply flawed and very very dangerous agenda.

Peter Miller

She must have been a hard core alarmist from very early on in her professional life. My guess is her fanaticism for AGW impressed Patchi and won her the position as an IPCC writer.
Nevertheless, I think Josh’s cartoon is more than just a little over the top and not really worthy of WUWT.
She will be writing part of the next IPCC fantasy report and is clearly aiming for a high priestess position in the AGW cult. One thing is for sure: don’t expect anything balanced in any publication from this lass – for more, see below:
http://www.clacc.net/About%20CLACC/Team/International.html

1DandyTroll

Doesn’t the real rocket scientists get their phd before 25? Like 16 years after they started school if they’re late bloomers or 16 years after they’re born if they’re really special like.
So one could infer she’s not a rocket scientist.
Why would IPCC bring onboard a pre-schooler that was not a rocket scientist, you may ask, and you may, so I answer, because you can only brain wash the knobs and not the absolutely brilliantly insane folks. :p

Theo Goodwin

Tom Fuller says:
March 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm
Hey guys (and gals)–let’s stay focused here. Does she do good science? That’s all I care about.
REPLY: You tell me, see this:
http://www.isse.ucar.edu/climatehealth/doc/Publications.Pg/Abstract.Kovats.doc
“Climate and weather exposures
Climate variability can be expressed at various temporal scales (by day, season and year) and is an inherent characteristic of climate, whether the climate system is subject to change or not.”
Obviously, her intelligence has declined seriously since she got the gold star. And I am not cherry picking her work. The first sentence of a peer-reviewed, published article reveals a mind that strings together cliches into gibberish. I am not taking cheap shots. I am devastated, saddened, and fearful. This gibberish could get published in a journal only if some power had over-ridden the judgement of editors, reviewers, type setters, you name it. If the fact that this article was published does not send cold shivers up and down your spine, if it does not seriously frighten you, then you have surrendered your critical faculties totally and completely.

Theo Goodwin

Steven Mosher says:
March 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm
“That said, who knows why she was selected? or if it matters.”
Does the total absence of critical standards matter? She is writing at a sixth grade level.

ShrNfr

In response to the objections to Josh’s cartoon, satire is always biting. That is why it is satire. Josh was not very subtle with it. Perhaps a more subtle approach might have been warranted, perhaps not. Satire is in the eye of the beholder. Sadly many of the AGW crowd are self-satirizing. Apparently the lady in question was part of that group.

Theo Goodwin

Tim says:
March 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm
“Please Anthony keep your site focused on the science not the person. Of course there reasons to look at qualifications but never a need for putdowns.”
Putdown? Presenting the quotation from the article is all the putdown possible! If you believe that her writing is evidence of intelligence then please explain to me just what intelligence you find in that first sentence. How about anywhere in the article?

Fred from Canuckistan

She was unqualified to perform the duties she was tasked with. Everything she worked on as an unqualified 25 year old, everything she did for the IPCC she be tossed out as tainted, if not fraudulent.
She also knew she was not qualified but went along with the “deal”.
Dr. Pachari knew she wasn’t qualified but went along with the “deal”.
No wonder the credibility of the IPCC is questionable and their results next to useless.

Harry Bergeron

Here’s a fact for the fact-hungry:
I wrote better than Kovats when I was 16.

Personally I’d ask if Kovats got the job on the casting room couch in the normal Hollywood way when Pauchauri was drafting his loin-boiler….

Berkeley’s Professor of Physics Richard Muller deconstructs “Mike’s nature trick,” where Mann deviously hid the actual temperature decline and replaced it with a steeply rising hockey stick: click

u.k.(us)

Steven Mosher says:
March 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm
…”That said, who knows why she was selected? or if it matters.”
=========
That said, who knows why CO2 is increasing? or if it matters.