There’s so much to talk about in the IPCC AR5 report, and I have other obligations this weekend. So, it seems time for an open thread on the subject.
A few starting thoughts:
1. It seems news coverage is rather muted. Google News says there are 1087 news media articles that use the phrase “IPCC AR5” as of this writing. That’s low. Typically a major story will get from 2000-4000 stories. Many of the 1087 are blog posts from new media outlets like Huffington Post. The typical outlets like NYT and the Guardian have their obligatory boilerplate coverage, but it doesn’t seem to have much trickle down. The phrase “It doesn’t play in Peoria” might be an apt description of the news coverage.
2. It seems the climate skeptics have landed and have obtained a beachhead. Many stories I’ve viewed contain skeptical opinions, far more so than in 2007 with AR4. Even the NYT in this story U.N. Climate Panel Endorses Ceiling on Global Emissions mentioned the Heartland Institute’s opinion about how many degrees of warming might be expected.
3. The science is apparently not settled at all. The failure of the IPCC to give a “best estimate” number for climate sensitivity, which breaks with tradition in the previous four reports, is remarkable. In a footnote at the bottom of page 11 of the SPM, it seems that there is dissension in the science, and in the ranks:
So much for the much ballyhooed “consensus”.
Dr. Roy Spencer sums it up:
A best estimate for climate sensitivity — unarguably THE most important climate change variable — is no longer provided, due to mounting contradictory evidence on whether the climate system really cares very much about whether there are 2, or 3, or 4, parts of CO2 per 10,000 parts atmosphere.
YET…the IPCC claims their confidence has DOUBLED (uncertainty reduced from 10% that 5%) regarding their claim that humans are most of the cause behind the warming trend in the last 50 years or so:
“It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951-2010.”
4. The things that we saw with the leaked SPM draft that suggested a more moderate approach, seem to have been disappeared. For example, Bob Tisdale has done a before and after comparison here: Side-By-Side Comparison of Draft and Final IPCC AR5 SPM on Warming Plateau and Attribution and noted that “It appears the politicians agreed to delete the attribution discussion of the warming plateau.”
You can do your own comparisons with the two documents:
5. Dr. Richard Lindzen has made a statement, via Climate Depot, that sums up what many of us think, and why AR5 SPM is a credibility train wreck:
I think that the latest IPCC report has truly sunk to level of hilarious incoherence. They are proclaiming increased confidence in their models as the discrepancies between their models and observations increase.
Their excuse for the absence of warming over the past 17 years is that the heat is hiding in the deep ocean. However, this is simply an admission that the models fail to simulate the exchanges of heat between the surface layers and the deeper oceans. However, it is this heat transport that plays a major role in natural internal variability of climate, and the IPCC assertions that observed warming can be attributed to man depend crucially on their assertion that these models accurately simulate natural internal variability. Thus, they now, somewhat obscurely, admit that their crucial assumption was totally unjustified.
Finally, in attributing warming to man, they fail to point out that the warming has been small, and totally consistent with there being nothing to be alarmed about. It is quite amazing to see the contortions the IPCC has to go through in order to keep the international climate agenda going.
6. On the plus side, contrary to ongoing claims from that alarmist media mill side there are no mentions of tornadoes and hurricanes in the extreme weather events section. They give low confidence to tropical storm activity being connected to climate change, and don’t mention mesoscale events like tornadoes and thunderstorms at all. Similarly, they give low confidence to drought and flood attribution.
They’ve only talked about heat waves and precipitation events and being connected. From Page 4 of the SPM:
This is consistent with what was reported last year in the IPCC SREX report ( IPCC Special Report on Extremes PDF)
From Chapter 4 of the SREX:
- “There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change”
- “The statement about the absence of trends in impacts attributable to natural or anthropogenic climate change holds for tropical and extratropical storms and tornados”
- “The absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses”
Let’s hope this lack of attribution of severe storms to “man made climate change” in AR5 finally nails the lid shut on the claims of Hurricane Sandy, tornado outbreaks, and other favorite “lets not let a good crisis go to waste” media bleatings about climate change.
Now with two IPCC reports making no connection, and with Nature’s editorial last year dashing alarmist hopes of linking extreme weather events to global warming saying:
Better models are needed before exceptional events can be reliably linked to global warming.
…we can finally call it a dead issue.
There’s simply no connection between droughts, hurricanes, thunderstorms, flash floods, tornadoes and “climate change”. Note to Brad Johnson of “Forecast the Facts”, and Bill McKibben of 350.org, both of whom daily try to link weather events to climate change: IPCC says STFU.
There are many more things of interest to discuss, but this should provide a good primer. – Anthony