IPCC Calls Off Planetary Emergency?

Guest essay by Marlo Lewis

Okay, they don’t do so in as many words. But in addition to being more confident than ever (despite a 16-year pause in warming and the growing mismatch between model projections and observations) that man-made climate change is real, they are also more confident nothing really bad is going to happen during the 21st Century.

The scariest parts of the “planetary emergency” narrative popularized by Al Gore and other pundits are Atlantic Ocean circulation shutdown (implausibly plunging Europe into a mini-ice age), ice sheet disintegration raising sea levels 20 feet, and runaway warming from melting frozen methane deposits.

As BishopHill and Judith Curry report on their separate blogs, IPCC now believes that in the 21st Century, Atlantic Ocean circulation collapse is “very unlikely,” ice sheet collapse is “exceptionally unlikely,” and catastrophic release of methane hydrates from melting permafrost is “very unlikely.” You can read it for yourself in Chapter 12 Table 12.4 of the IPCC’s forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report.

But these doomsday scenarios have always been way more fiction than science. For some time now, extreme weather has been the only card left in the climate alarm deck. Climate activists repeatedly assert that severe droughts, floods, and storms (Hurricane Sandy is their current poster child) are now the “new normal,” and they blame fossil fuels.

On their respective blogs Anthony Watts and Roger Pielke, Jr. provide excerpts about extreme weather from Chapter 2 of the IPCC report. Among the findings:

  • “Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century … No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.”
  • “In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.”
  • “In summary, there is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms because of historical data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems.”
  • “Based on updated studies, AR4 [the IPCC 2007 report] conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated.”
  • “In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extra-tropical cyclones since 1900 is low.”

Pielke Jr. concludes:

“There is really not much more to be said here — the data says what it says, and what it says is so unavoidably obvious that the IPCC has recognized it in its consensus. Of course, I have no doubts that claims will still be made associating floods, drought, hurricanes and tornadoes with human-caused climate change — Zombie science — but I am declaring victory in this debate. Climate campaigners would do their movement a favor by getting themselves on the right side of the evidence.”

For further discussion, see my post “Global Warming: Planet’s Most Hyped Problem” on this week’s National Journal Energy Insiders blog.

==============================================================

See also: Global warming is ‘no longer a planetary emergency’

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Malcolm Miller

The IPCC is dead but it won’t lie down for years, it will simply fade into obscurity, which is what it deserves.

Gunga Din

But the rules and regulations it leaves behind and the bureaucracies to enforce them may not.

RC Saumarez

This is true, but will the EPA take any notice?

This is so true.
Just like the AIDS epidemic, nuclear winter, bird flu pandemics, BSE in cattle, Acid rain, Ozone holes, Y2K bugs, meteor impact, supernovae, the next ice age etc – There is a real problem with CO2 but there is no imminent threat to life on earth and this can all be logically addressed within the next 50 – 80 years as required.

In David Whitehouse’s interview with Jennifer Francis, she maintains that there are more “stronger hurricanes” now than in the 70’s because of global warming.
Yet NOAA tell us
During warm phases of the AMO, the numbers of tropical storms that mature into severe hurricanes is much greater than during cool phases, at least twice as many. Since the AMO switched to its warm phase around 1995, severe hurricanes have become much more frequent and this has led to a crisis in the insurance industry.
And
As a result, the North Atlantic experiences alternating decades long (20 to 30 year periods or even longer) of above normal or below normal hurricane seasons. NOAA research shows that the tropical multi-decadal signal is causing the increased Atlantic hurricane activity since 1995, and is not related to greenhouse warming.
http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/jennifer-francis-increased-hurricane-activity/
So, is she lying, or simply incompetent?

Tom J

clivebest
October 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm
says:
‘There is a real problem with CO2 but there is no imminent threat to life…’
Respectfully; why do you think there is a real problem with CO2?

CRS, DrPH

But these doomsday scenarios have always been way more fiction than science. For some time now, extreme weather has been the only card left in the climate alarm deck.

Not quite, they still have the “ocean acidification” card to play. Watch for it.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/03/ocean-acidification-carbon-dioxide-emissions-levels

Mike McMillan

So now the IPCC doesn’t care about drowning polar bears?
How shallow.

clivebest
October 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm
says:
“There is a real problem with CO2 but there is no imminent threat to life…”
Why is there a real problem with CO2? My plants are loving the extra nourishment, The trees around here are growing faster. The weather is much the same as ever.

BarryW

@nicholas
But that’s the problem. Better plant growth will have more people that don’t die from hunger that will breed more and be happier. The catastrophist’s worse nightmare.

Gail Combs

clivebest
October 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm
says:
‘There is a real problem with CO2 but there is no imminent threat to life…’
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
You are correct there is a real problem with CO2. There is not enough in the atmosphere. When the earth slips back into a glacial and the CO2 levels plummet again C3 plants may become extinct.
Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the La Brea tar pits, southern California.

Latitude

At the one point in time when CO2 levels should have had the most effect….380-400 ppm
….temps stopped and went down
and they come up with the stupidest lamest excuse….it’s hiding

BBould

RC Saumarez says:
This is true, but will the EPA take any notice?
Only when we get a new administration will we even have a chance at changing the EPA.

What, no tipping point? No total disaster if we don’t act by next week, next month, next year or immediately some time in the future? I haven’t heard that rhetoric in a while, but we still are getting the skeer on a regular basis but it seems to be a bit muted.

u.k.(us)

clivebest says:
October 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm
“– There is a real problem with CO2 but there is no imminent threat to life on earth and this can all be logically addressed within the next 50 – 80 years as required.”
=============
Really, you go back about 100 years, and we’ve seen two world wars.
Logic wasn’t the desired outcome, quite the opposite.
They both took way less than “50-80 Years” to their conclusion.
Plant food just doesn’t seem like it will ……convert entire economies into a force to defeat the threat.
I mean there are “real problems” aren’t there ?

Tom J

RC Saumarez
October 4, 2013 at 2:32 pm
says:
‘This is true, but will the EPA take any notice?’
They will notice it, but they will notice it as a catastrophe. If there’s no ‘real’ climate catastrophe they will recognize that, in and of itself, as a catastrophe. A catastrophe for their jobs, security, and the delicious authority they’ve grown to acquire. It will also be a catastrophe to the validity of their meaning, the importance of what they’ve done. Nobody wants to be told, not just that they were wrong, but that they did the wrong thing. So they will fight it. Perhaps they’ll save a few barbs for the university professors who helped lead them into this, and who themselves will slink away unscathed. (Although I am aware that it was mutual.) Then they’ll get creative and try to spin the needle, claim that the measures already taken at their insistence, though unnecessary, provided unforeseen benefits and were good policy in any case, and they designed them to be that way, yada, yada. Just wait. Government institutions, unlike those in the private sector, cannot only fail, they can fail spectacularly and still get increases in funding and respect. This is why we should have as few of them as possible.

DirkH

They will say “boo!”; the MSM will for months repeat, Harry Reid said Boo! when I stood really close to him, and you will be shot if you don’t pay the tax, and that’s that.
F*** science.

Txomin

One can only imagine how desperately weak the “consensus” is within the very IPCC when they are forced to report things like these. btw, I just glanced over a copy of “New Scientist” and, nope, the planetary emergency is more urgent than ever.

William McClenney

Er…. Uh….. If this isn’t an “Oops!” moment then one wonders what is?

William McClenney

Chad Wozniak

@Paul Homewood –
In re Jennifer Francis – both a liar and a charlatan.
@Tom J –
The EPA and der Fuehrer’s climate change agenda are central to his objectives of crashing the economy and consolidating his Soviet-style one-party dictatorship. Therefore, as long as he is able to exert any influence, the EPA will not back off, no matter how obvious it becomes that the AGW meme is false and dead. The other elements of der Fuehrer’s planned infrastructure are Obamacare, with its extension of the IRS’s reach into our personal business, and the NSA – all of these are intended to be combined to enable the dictation of every detail of our lives. This is, or course, the worst aspect of AGW, that it is being used to justify the imposition of a tyranny. Everybody here at WUWT has been warning of this, and now it is happening right in front of us here in the US. Even the EU and Australia backing away from the AGW meme will not stop Obama’s EPA.

L’ha ribloggato su planetvoice.

Latitude

clivebest says:
October 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm
– There is a real problem with CO2 but there is no imminent threat to life on earth and this can all be logically addressed within the next 50 – 80 years as required.
========
clive…if we had the exact same technology we have today…only 1000 years ago
What would the prediction be?
…do you see how silly this is?

Bruce Cobb

Tom J says:
October 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm
clivebest
October 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm
says:
‘There is a real problem with CO2 but there is no imminent threat to life…’
Respectfully; why do you think there is a real problem with CO2?

I think he means that CO2 levels are dangerously low. Ideally, they should be more like 800 ppm, or higher.

Margaret

In the end, they’ll say, “see, we told you there was nothing to greenhouse gases.”.

Jason Calley
Brian H

BarryW says:
October 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm
@nicholas
But that’s the problem. Better plant growth will have more people that don’t die from hunger that will breed more and be happier. The catastrophist’s worse nightmare.

Get the UN Population Survey spreadsheet, and select the Low Band page. It’s the only one that’s ever close to accurate. Peak around 8bn in 30 yrs, declining thereafter. Depop will be the real crisis, just as cooling is the real danger instead of warming.
Green assessments and fears and warnings are 180° wrong. Let that be your guideline, it’s virtually infallible.

The United Nations Environment program (UNEP) published the alarming detail in 2005 predicting climate change would create 50 million refugees by 2010. By 2011 UNEP were quietly taking down the documents in attempt to hide the mistake. Or was it a mistake?.
The well-known and reliable blog site wattsupwiththat mirrored the tables, graphs, other factual documents and information on the prediction, which had been taken down in 2011 by UNEP.
‘And there you have it folks, another bogus climate claim rubbished by reality, followed by an inept cover up attempt,’ wrote Anthony Watts.
The UNEP gave a detailed ‘handy map’ on areas most likely to be affected: Bahamas, St Lucia, Seychelles and Solomon Islands.
A recent census on the islands showed ample population increases: Bahamas 50,047, Solomon Islands exceeds half a million and St Lucia recorded an overall increase of 5 percent.
Further investigation showed other news reports with identical alarming figures by 2020.
‘Coming in 2020: 50 million Environmental refugees,’ a headline read. A UN projection by Professor Cristine Tirado at the American Association for the advancement of sciences meeting.
In Australia, Chairman of the Climate Commission, Tim Flannery’s predictions have come under similar question.
Andrew Bolt in the Herald Sun said: ‘Tim Flannery has just been hired by the Gillard government to scare us stupid,’ Heraldsun.com.
In 2011 Bolt returns to Flannery’s 2005 prediction that Australia will face ‘extreme difficulties with water,’ and reveals: Sydney’s dam levels have climbed to 73 percent, Brisbane 100 percent full, Adelaide 70 full and The Murray Darling is flooding.

Eugene WR Gallun

AL GORE — AMERICAN BLOVIATOR
Forever, forever, its all Al Gore
Now, in the future and always before
Spinning himself with the words he can whirl
The earth is his oyster, he is its pearl
Whatever he says he truly believes
First before others himself he deceives
Then sure of the “TRUTH” his dictums are hurled
Like God, by the Word, creating the world

bw

Sandy was not a hurricane.
Sustained wind speeds were well below the 33 meters per second threshold at landfall.
Post storm damage assessment is consistent with tropical storm winds, around 20 meters per second.
Water damage from tidal surge was due to non-existent planning and land use policy.
Had Sandy hit Florida no one would have noticed.

JimF

The IPCC is like the myrdraal in the Robert Jordan epic science fantasy story, The Wheel of Time. To kill them you must cut off their heads. They will still flop about like the proverbial chicken, but eventually they die, and all the trollocs (great hairy beasts) linked to them also die. The US needs to quit funding the IPCC, and to demand an audit and recompense from the charlatans involved in this scam.

If you can’t yet fire in a crowded theatre why can you yell warming on a crowed planet? Al Gore deserves a new home, in the Big House, not a big house.

Janice Moore

Where are they now?
(WARNING: mildly disturbing — do not watch while using Bunsen burner)
Al Gore — making B grade music videos

Jim Hansen — Involuntarily Made Member of “Royal Society”

Mikey Mann and Heidi Cullen —
starring in a B grade movie about Yasser Arafat

********************
Yes. Their AGW nonsense is THAT BAD.
After a disgusted snort, the logical response is: … laugh at it.
.
.
.
(and, of course, politicians and/or entrepreneurs who used it to promote energy poverty should be put into prison)

Grant

California’s CARB agency introduced MTBE into gasoline where it stayed poisoning ground water for 15 years because it is water soluble. It’s the most grevious environmental disaster in Ca history but they continue on, well funded, ready to drive truckers and business in California into bankruptcy or fleeing to other states.
I’d love to be optimistic but in my state, at least, people have learned nothing and continue to support the party that supports CARB.

RoHa

[Sigh] Doom just isn’t what it used to be. When I was a lad we were really doomed. It was total destruction of civilization. But now, maybe a slight inconvenience. Young people today don’t know what proper doom is. They think it’s just a computer game.

clivebest says:
October 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm
——————————————-
Perhaps Clive is concerned that CO2 will make the ocean ever-so-slightly less alkaline (i.e. closer to the pH typical of the rest of the Cenozoic era).

Matthew R Marler

clivebest: There is a real problem with CO2 but there is no imminent threat to life on earth and this can all be logically addressed within the next 50 – 80 years as required.
What is the real problem with CO2?

Gail Combs says: October 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm
You are correct there is a real problem with CO2. There is not enough in the atmosphere. When the earth slips back into a glacial and the CO2 levels plummet again C3 plants may become extinct.“
Ref. Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the La Brea tar pits, southern California.
___________
I generally agree Gail. CO2 levels are much too low to sustain life over the longer term. Here are some thoughts from 2009:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/30/co2-temperatures-and-ice-ages/#comment-79426
(Plant) Food for Thought (apologies – written too late at night)
Background:
http://www.planetnatural.com/site/xdpy/kb/implementing-co2.html
1. “As CO2 is a critical component of growth, plants in environments with inadequate CO2 levels – below 200 ppm – will cease to grow or produce.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_the_Earth's_atmosphere
2. “The longest ice core record comes from East Antarctica, where ice has been sampled to an age of 800 kyr BP (Before Present). During this time, the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has varied by volume between 180 – 210 ppm during ice ages, increasing to 280 – 300 ppm during warmer interglacials…
… On longer timescales, various proxy measurements have been used to attempt to determine atmospheric carbon dioxide levels millions of years in the past. These include boron and carbon isotope ratios in certain types of marine sediments, and the number of stomata observed on fossil plant leaves. While these measurements give much less precise estimates of carbon dioxide concentration than ice cores, there is evidence for very high CO2 volume concentrations between 200 and 150 myr BP of over 3,000 ppm and between 600 and 400 myr BP of over 6,000 ppm.”
Questions and meanderings:
According to para.1 above:
During Ice ages, does almost all plant life die out as a result of some combination of lower temperatures and CO2 levels that fell below 200ppm (para. 2 above)? If not, why not?
Does this (possible) loss of plant life have anything to do with rebounding of atmospheric CO2 levels as the world exits the Ice Age (in combination with other factors such as ocean exsolution)? Could this contribute to the observed asymmetry?
When all life on Earth comes to an end, will it be because CO2 permanently falls below 200ppm as it is permanently sequestered in carbonate rocks, hydrocarbons, coals, etc.?
Since life on Earth is likely to end due to a lack of CO2, should we be paying energy companies to burn fossil fuels to increase atmospheric CO2, instead of fining them due to the false belief that CO2 causes dangerous global warming?
Could T.S. Eliot have been thinking about CO2 starvation when he wrote:
“This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”
Regards, Allan 🙂
P.S.
A possible explanation is that ice core CO2 is directionally correct but low in absolute terms due to CO2 diffusion.
Leaf stomata data shows much higher CO2 values – up to 60ppm higher for peaks and 30-40 ppm on average.
See Fig. 2 at http://www.pnas.org/content/99/19/12011.full.pdf

TRM

Clive, last ice age CO2 got down to 170 ppm and if had dropped another 12% we wouldn’t be having this discussion. At 150 ppm plant life above the oceans stops. Followed shortly thereafter by animals. Before we enter the next ice age I for one would like a nice buffer margin of CO2 that is much larger than 20 ppm.
“RoHa says: October 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm – Kids think Doom is a game”. Ha, made me laugh. Good one. Growing up we had “thermonuclear warfare” and trigger happy generals (I’m a talking to you Curtis Lemay).

TRM,
My worry was General Buck Turgidson.

AndyG55

Gail, we should greatly thanks China, India, Brazil, Germany for their continued efforts in replenishing atmospheric CO2.
But much more work is needed. We play our part down here by supplying China and others with our coal (we can’t use it all ourselves), but you guys in the USA must get rid of the stupid people trying to stop the use of coal fired energy.
They are doing the whole world a great dis-service.
And the UK, well, good luck if it starts to get colder !!

En Passant

The IPCC/Agenda-21 juggernaut rolls on untroubled by facts or reality. In today’s weekend newspaper in Melbourne, Australia (on Page 37 – now that is a good sign!) was the headline “Oceans in Dire Straits” (I read the story because I thought it was about a pop band). I swear it began “Once upon a time ….”, no sorry, wrong article. It actually began “Scientists say that ‘it’s worse than we thought, the oceans are in dire straits because of mankind pumping in pollutants, nutrients and heat, which combined with acidification and overfishing mean the oceans are at risk of dying …'” Amazing what you can learn from Page 37: the oceans are a living thing that can die. I moved to the Comics Section for a dose of reality and factual information …

TRM

“M Simon says: October 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm
TRM, My worry was General Buck Turgidson. ”
Who do you think that character was modelled after? I’m sure the Soviets had some fellows exactly like Curtis. During the Cuban missile crisis Lemay wanted to go nuclear and get it over with. I’m real glad calmer heads prevailed. Some real quotes from Lemay
– There are no innocent civilians.
– I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.
Yea our generation has some real doom to worry about but we made it and now the best they can do is “CO2 alarms” over weather? They need better marketing.

RoHa

@TRM
Yes, total thermonuclear war was what I was thinking of.
There probably were some “Why wait? Nuke the USA now!” types in the Soviet Union, though we never saw them. (I recall Joseph Luns asked the US to keep its Mid-West Senators at home for the sake of NATO. He said they terrified the Europeans far more than the Soviets did.)
Fortunately, the Soviets also had Stanislav Petrov.
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/09/the-man-who-saved-the-world-by-doing-absolutely-nothing/280050/

IPCC Calls Off Planetary Emergency?
Guest essayist by Marlo Lewis wtote,
“Okay, they don’t do so in as many words. But in addition to being more confident than ever (despite a 16-year pause in warming and the growing mismatch between model projections and observations) that man-made climate change is real, they are also more confident nothing really bad is going to happen during the 21st Century.”

– – – – – – – –
Well, what Mario Lewis wrote will be seen by the following folks as confirming their conspiracy claims: Naomi Oreskes, Michael Mann, John Cook, Jim Hansen.
They claimed the fossil fuel industry was conspiring to disrupt the public from seeing to truth of a ‘consensus’ science finding of CAGW.
Now, with Nick’s points in mind they will say the IPCC was finally bought off by the fossil fuel industry.
Can we expect them to condemn the the IPCC and its AR5 in outrage?
Stay tuned.
John

Janice Moore

Dear Ro Ha (re: 9:53pm),
That the Europeans were afraid is not to be ignored, but, (ahem), those U.S. Senators were focused on terrifying the highly motivated, fiercely determined, “we will bury you,” Soviets. Being “diplomatic” with that bunch would NOT have worked. M. A. D. worked. Thankfully, there were some sane people in the U.S.S.R..
Of course, now, when (uh, oh, the Thought Police are peeking over my shoulder…. meh, what DO I CARE) the I-zzl–m ick gee-hawd — guys are in the game, the self-restraint of the sane hasn’t a chance. All those little creeps understand is BRUTE FORCE. So, that’s what we must display — strength = peace.
Why did Cold War Europeans transfer their fears and anger at the U.S.S.R. to the U.S.? For the same reason a child who had a run in with the school bully comes home and snarls at his mom. She is safe.
I tell you, Ro Ha, please forgive my venting here, but, I’m really tired of Europeans complaining about the U.S. after all we have done for them. In 1944 and 1945, the Dutch transferred their genuine anger at the Nazis to the Americans — “Where are the Americans?! What’s their problem? They should have gotten here a long time ago.”
Now, we have a token president who for twenty years sat in the pews of a church where a pastor yelled, “God — da–mn America!”
Well, to end on a pleasant note, I hope you are enjoying a lovely “spring” day, down there. Thanks for all your many fine posts on WUWT using your linguistic education and your great natural facility with words.
An ally for truth in science (really!),
Janice
U.S.A.

Janice Moore

Oh, fiddle! Sorry, mods. I forgot to write it “Nah–z-e–e-z”. Sorry for your having to read all that. Thanks. (red faced)

u.k.(us)

RoHa says:
October 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm
“There probably were some “Why wait? Nuke the USA now!” types in the Soviet Union, though we never saw them.”
===========
Submarines took that card right out of the pack.
Not saying we will “win”, but aint gonna lose.