By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
The IPCC, having spent almost two months working out how to respond to my complaint about a notoriously bogus graph in its Fourth Assessment Report, has found itself not guilty. In doing so, it is wilfully perpetuating a fraud, which will now be reported to the prosecuting authorities.
My complaint was as follows:
“The graph purports to show, but does not show, that the rate of global warming has been accelerating and that the accelerated global warming is anthropogenic.”
The conclusion the IPCC draws by superimposing multiple trend-lines on the HadCRUt curve of global mean surface temperature anomalies since 1850 is that because the trend-lines starting more recently are steepest the world is warming ever faster and we are to blame. The caption to the graph makes this clear:
“Note that for shorter recent periods, the slope is greater, indicating accelerated warming. … increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases dominate the observed warming after the mid-1970s …”.
Dr. Pachauri, the IPCC’s climate-science chairman, drew the same two bogus conclusions from this graph in a lecture in New South Wales some years ago:
“… In recent years this graph has become much steeper. If you draw a line through the last 100 years, the slope is a 0.74 C° line. But if you look at the last 50 years, [it is] almost twice as steep as the total 100-year period. So it would be appropriate to conclude that … warming is taking place at a much faster rate, and clearly if we don’t bring about some changes we’d have much faster changes in future.”
I had invited the IPCC to reconsider its use of a technique so bogus that if one applies multiple trend-lines to a sine-wave (which has a zero trend) one can demonstrate either that the trend is ever more rapidly declining or that it is ever more rapidly increasing.
In fact, the global temperature trend is not increasing. In the 101 months since January 2005, the benchmark date for the IPCC’s forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), there has been no global warming.
The bright blue trend-line on the HadCRUt dataset shows cooling. Yet the bright red line showing the AR5 projections suggests that a rapid warming should be taking place. In little more than eight years the IPCC’s projection is already more than a quarter of a Celsius degree (or half a Fahrenheit degree) above observed reality:
The IPCC knows perfectly well that the two conclusions it invited readers to draw in the caption from the slopes of the multiple trend-lines in the graph are indefensible, misleading, and – let us not mince words – fraudulent. It avoids admitting its error by breaking down my complaint into five parts, of which only the first two go to the substance of my complaint. And, even with these two, the IPCC carefully avoids addressing the substance of my complaint:
1. M of B complaint: the graph “purports to show that the rate of global warming has been accelerating”.
IPCC response: “The indicated trends on the two figures are factually correct. They are correctly determined and clearly indicated on the legend accompanying these figures. … Therefore, the claim is not warranted.”
But I had not complained that the trend-lines had been incorrectly determined. Indeed, I had demonstrated that correctly-calculated trend-lines applied to a sine-wave could produce false conclusions very similar to that of the IPCC. The inaccuracy about which I had complained lay in the drawing of improper conclusions from the trend-lines.
2. M of B: the graph “purports to show that the accelerated global warming is anthropogenic”.
IPCC: “The figures were not used to make a statement on the causes of a possible increase in trend. … Detection and attribution assessments are based on a comprehensive evaluation of detection and attribution research that is presented in AR4 Chapter 9. That chapter’s assessments are not based on evidence of differences in linear trends between different periods. Therefore, the claim is not warranted.”
But the IPCC’s caption plainly attributes the rapid warming from the 1970s onward to Man. So the graphs were used, and explicitly used, “to make a statement on the causes of a possible increase in trend”. Besides, if Chapter 9 had already reached its assessment by other means, what was the purpose of the bogus graph, except to mislead?
3. M of B (subsidiary point): I had understood that the graph was and altered version of what had appeared in the scientists final draft.
IPCC: “The figures in question appeared in the Final Drafts of Chapter 3 and of the Technical Summary with the same numbering as in the published versions. The trends, including the detailed legend with the numerical values and the uncertainties were included in the Final Draft as in the published version, except for copy-editing changes. Trends were added in the Final Draft versions of these figures in response to comments on the Second Order Draft … Therefore, the claim is not warranted.”
Score half a point for the IPCC here. The graph with the bogus trend-lines had appeared in the final draft. However, it had appeared without the trend-lines in all versions that preceded the final draft. Someone had added the trend-lines, but should not have done so.
4. M of B (subsidiary point): The text accompanying the defective graph says: “An increasing rate of warming has taken place over the last 25 years, …”.
IPCC: From the context it is clear that the authors emphasize that the global mean is not the complete picture (“ … with important regional variations”) and that trends are not smooth (“… has occurred in two phases …”, and “… more strongly from the 1970s …”), and that all these statements are factually correct and discuss in words what is visible in the graph. “Therefore, the claim is not warranted.”
But my complaint is not about what may have been said elsewhere in the report, nor about whether what was said elsewhere in the report was factually correct. It is about the bogus graph, whose accompanying text must be read first and foremost in the context of the graph that it accompanies. The fact that “the global mean is not the complete picture” has nothing whatever to do with whether or not it is appropriate to draw inaccurate conclusions from the relative slopes of multiple arbitrarily-chosen trend-lines.
5. M of B (subsidiary point): the text accompanying the graph says, “The rate of warming averaged over the last 50 years (0.13°C ± 0.03°C per decade) is nearly twice that for the last 100 years.”
IPCC: The quoted words “are factually correct. Therefore the claim is not warranted. In conclusion, the Co-Chairs of WGI and the WGI Bureau find that no action is warranted in response to this claim.”
But I had nowhere asserted that the quoted words were not factually correct. I had stated that it was not appropriate for the IPCC to draw from the relative slopes of the various trend lines the unjustifiable conclusion that the rate of global warming was accelerating and that we were to blame.
It would not be difficult to persuade a jury that the IPCC’s assertion that various data were “factually correct”, when I had at no point challenged the factual correctness, merely the inappropriate conclusions that had been drawn, was evidence of its continuing attempt to mislead the public.
I have shown the bogus graph to hundreds of audiences all around the world. Recently I have been asking them to imagine that they were a fraud jury. All have voted to convict – and, on almost every occasion, the votes have been unanimous.
The difficulty, though, is that the IPCC, as one of a proliferating number of supranational agencies, is not answerable to any jurisdiction, except possibly that of Switzerland, where it is headquartered.
If the IPCC were answerable to the British courts, I should invite the police to prosecute and then, if they did not act, I should go before the magistrates myself. I have done it before. If the case is sound, a summons will be issued against the accused. I once hauled the British Secret Police (delicately called the “Crime Agency”) before the beaks, got a summons, and forced these thugs into a humiliating climbdown. But that is another story.
The Swiss authorities have established a specialist bureau to investigate frauds, the Bureau de l’Escroquerie. Its expertise is considerable, and it is well used to dealing with frauds a great deal more complex than those of the IPCC.
Whether the Swiss authorities will act on my complaint to them remains to be seen. Don’t hold your breath. However, now that the IPCC knows that a formal complaint has been submitted, it had better tread more carefully. If the Swiss police were to receive multiple complaints about different aspects of the IPCC’s misconduct – the Himalayan glaciers affair, for instance – they would not be able to look the other way indefinitely.
So, if the IPCC wishes to survive (and, frankly, it has had its day), it will have to be a great deal more careful in future to comply with the scientific method – and with the criminal law.