The IPCC discards its models

Who will believe the CMIP5 models, after the IPCC plenary had to discount their temperature projections?

Guest essay by Barry Brill

image

Table SPM.2 Projected change in global mean surface temperature (°C) for the mid- and late 21st century relative to the reference period of 1986-2005. From the IPCC AR5 Summary for Policy Makers

Last August, I described the terrible bind which was about to face the IPCC Stockholm meeting http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/31/can-the-ipcc-do-revolutionary-science/. Everybody knew the draft SPM was an embarrassment – the climate sensitivity range was far too high, the models were plainly wrong and the temperature ‘hiatus’ was left unexplained.

The IPCC had only three options – (i) re-run the models and re-draft the whole report, (ii) issue a string of caveats, or (iii) simply bluster on.

Pat Michaels and Chip Knappenburger ran a similar piece[1] with three similar options. They predicted the IPCC would “do nothing and mislead policymakers and the rest of the world”.

After four days of intense debate and frantic wordsmithing amongst the Government representatives gathered at Stockholm, Thomas Stocker announced the final decisions at a media conference. There was no apparent backdown from the modeled temperature projections and no offer to re-run the models – just an assertion of increased certainty.

Months later, Lord Monckton has applied his aristocratic nose to the belatedly-published WG1 report, finding it to be both malodorous and “furtive”: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/01/ipcc-silently-slashes-its-global-warming-predictions-in-the-ar5-final-draft/. The Stockholm politicians were more wily than first met the eye – it turns out that the “95% certain” models were actually rejected by the meeting.

Method

The trick was to convey full oral confidence to the applauding media, whilst inserting into the written record a few key scraps of “deniability” regarding the rejected models. Scraps they certainly were:

(i) The plenary meeting failed to reach consensus on the sensitivity (ECS) estimate – the single most important figure in the report. No public comment was made regarding this unprecedented omission but a discreet footnote appeared on page 11:16 “No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies.”

(ii) The meeting agreed that the lower bound of both sensitivity ranges (ECS and TCR) should be reduced in future. But those decisions were not retrospective, so the altered ranges were not reflected in the modeled (CMIP5) temperature projections circulated in the second-order draft.

(iii) The meeting reached a consensus that the modeled projections were flawed. Stocker admitted that a short-term allowance had been made because some models were “running hot” (ie sensitivity was too high). The SPM refers to the WG1 report {Box 10.2, 11.3} saying “…in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols)”.

(iv) SPM.2 (Note (c)) discloses coyly that the “assessed range for near-term (2016-2035) temperature change is lower than the 5-95% model range”. However, the discounted near-term figures were omitted from Table SPM.2.

(v) The Stockholm meeting directed that confidence in the mid-term (2046-65) future projections be marked down to “medium” – meaning about a 50:50 chance of being correct, or ‘as likely as not’ to be wrong. This nervousness about natural influences was not mentioned by Stocker.

(vi) SPM.2 (Note (c)) discloses that there is “insufficient scientific understanding” whether “the factors that lead to the assessed range for near-term projections”, might also apply to the mid-term.

In short, the Stockholm participants acknowledged the modeled future projections were based on over-estimates of sensitivity – and were therefore unacceptable. They then “assessed” ad hoc amendments to make the projections appear more plausible.

Discount Factors

The graphs reproduced in Christopher Monckton’s WUWT essay show that the final WG1 report has dropped the 2016-35 range to 0.3-0.7°C, while the models projected this at 0.4-1.0°C. At mid-points, then, the discount applied at Stockholm was approximately 33%.

At Climate Audit, Nic Lewis[2] shows that the IPCC’s own revised aerosol numbers unavoidably produce a TCR of around 1.3°C, while the CMIP5 models use a mean TCR of slightly over 1.8°C. The modeled projections therefore need to be discounted by about 25-30%. And this really matters –

The key determinant of the range and mean level of projected increases in global temperature over the rest of this century is the transient climate response (TCR) exhibited by each CMIP5 model, and their mean TCR.”

Michaels & Knappenberger’s[3] commonsense sanity check show that TCR can’t be more than 1.4°C based on observations. They call for a discount of 20%.

The Stockholm meeting would have been most reluctant to discard the modeled projections that have always been the mainstay of IPCC reports. They applied the discount only because it was obvious to all that the models were badly astray. But, if that was the case, why didn’t the discount apply to ALL the projections?

The SPM’s reference in Note (c) to “different levels of confidence in models” seemingly refers to the different opinions about TCR levels. It appears (from the full WG1 report) that the “additional uncertainties” relates to the causes and longevity of ‘the hiatus’.

Both of these factors are obviously major concerns to both the IPCC and the world in general. Yet both continue to be ignored in the assessed projections for 2046-2065 and 2081-2100 “due to insufficient scientific understanding”.

The mid-term and long-term ranges shown in SPM.2 are taken directly from the draft circulated to IPCC member governments on 2 August 2013. They take no account of the fact that temperatures during the preceding 2016-2035 period have since been assessed downwards by 33%. They must therefore be wrong.

In addition, the mid-term projections are expected to be affected by natural influences that cannot be simulated.

Implications

The table of temperature projections is the heart and soul of each voluminous IPCC Assessment Report. Climate alarm stands or falls on the credibility of that table.

Despite its customary obscurantism and spin, the IPCC has now admitted that:

• a number of its CMIP5 models seriously exaggerate future warming;

• the climate sensitivity range used for the modeled projections is too high;

• internal variability[4] is expected to significantly offset warming (for some decades);

• scientists cannot quantify the influence of sensitivity or of internal variability beyond about 2035; and

• consequently, the modeled temperature projections are unreliable.

These admissions severely dent the authority of the IPCC. But their manner of reacting to this situation will do even greater damage to the Panel’s credibility. The Stockholm meeting decided against the obvious course of excluding the faulty models to obtain an ensemble of reliable simulations. Instead, it decided to:

• replace the table of modeled projections by an assessed table which met the “expert” opinion of participants (the majority of whom were non-climatologists);

• publish assessments/projections which have not been subject to any form of review or comment;

• apply arbitrary and swingeing (33%) adjustments to figures which pretend to tolerances of hundredths of a degree Celsius;

• tolerate non-robust (only 50:50 confidence[5]) projections covering the next 60 years, even when they know those projections to be wrong;

• disguise its own puzzlement and internal disputation beneath a threadbare cloak of increased certainty and consensus.

Perhaps the most grievous fault of the AR5 “assessed” table is that it presents a very broad gamut of potential future temperatures – ranging all the way from the benign to the alarming. Then it confesses that it has no opinion (or even a leaning) as to which part of this spectrum is actually likely to occur.

The WG1 report (11-7) defines the term ‘climate projection’ as “a climate simulation that extends into the future based on a scenario of future external forcing”. Clearly, the near-term figures provided by the AR5 are neither simulations nor projections. They are simply guesses.

###

References:


[1] www.cato.org/blog/ipcc-chooses-option-no-3

[2] http://climateaudit.org/2013/12/09/does-the-observational-evidence-in-ar5-support-itsthe-cmip5-models-tcr-ranges

[3] http://www.cato.org/blog/new-ipcc-report-will-be-internally-inconsistent-misleading

[4] Which is excluded from the models because they “are not expected to reproduce the timing of natural internal variability” [D1]

[5] Lower than any previous published projections. This huge uncertainty should decimate cost-beneft studies.

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Taphonomic

Ignore the man behind the curtain.

A C Osborn

“Clearly, the near-term figures provided by the AR5 are neither simulations nor projections. They are simply guesses.”
Love it.
What is the quote from Climategate, something like “What if we are wrong, they will kill us”?
It is getting more & more obvious that they were wrong, if your analysis was to get picked up by the MSM the general public would also see it for themselves.

stan stendera

More “Hide the decline”.

Mac the Knife

The unfortunate part of all of this is the credibility of a lot of hard won and valid climate science is being degraded by association with the junk political science put forth in the UN IPCC reports. Why? ‘The ends justify the means’, when everything is viewed through a political lens. The UN IPCC reports are political documents, first and foremost.

john robertson

Good enough for government.
Lets see local takes at least 5 years to admit to error, provincial at least 10, Federal about 25 , the UN? never.

Steve Oregon

“Clearly, the near-term figures provided by the AR5 are neither simulations nor projections. They are simply guesses.”
Finally the perfect description of the collective and lofty genius in climate science prognostication.
Climate scientists anticipate future climate the same way any bozo picks his lottery numbers with about the same likelihood of accuracy.

Gary Pearse

“..dominated by the effects of aerosols…” Something about this word… what is it…
… and now we got to go-oh-oh (see boater hat doffed, cane whirling like a propellor as they ‘exeunt’ stage left)

rogerknights

Is there any way UNIPOCC can be sued? (Once the warm turns, misled governments and fuel-poor consumers will want to do so.)
Or at least brought before a “Science Court”, cross-examined, and judged?

outdoorrink

What did these frauds use, a Ouija board?

Roberto

And who will call this result “peer-reviewed” in future discussions?

Peter Granger

” replace the table of modeled projections by an assessed table which met the “expert” opinion of participants (the majority of whom were non-climatologists) ”
If there was ever any doubt that this is no longer science, this dispositively removes it.

dp

While they could not agree to a figure for uncertainty it would have been helpful and entirely full disclosure honest to publish the range of numbers that they considered. That would provide us a level uncertainty we could apply the the IPCC geniuses.

Resourceguy

The lack of journalistic integrity and reporting is deafening.

Peter Plail

What an interesting outcome considering this is settled science

R. de Haan
Tim Clark

Prediction:
The IPCC will drop the high sensitivity models and retain the lower in the next summary. Problem solved, er, except for that little degrees of freedom, etc. business.

Barry Brill has done an excellent job of describing the state of internal panic to which the usual suspects have been reduced. On one point he has even underestimated the extent of the IPCC’s abandonment of the previously sacrosanct models. The IPCC, when substituting its “expert judgment” for the output of the Holy Machines, said that temperature outturn over the next 30 years was expected to be closer to the lower than to the upper bound of the range. Formerly, the mid-range estimate was equivalent to 0.233 K/decade, midway between the lower and upper bounds 0.133 and 0.333 K/decade respectively.
However the new, reduced range is 0.1-0.233 K/decade, corresponding to 0.3-0.7 K over 30 years. So the IPCC’s new best estimate is close to 0.4 K over 30 years, equivalent to 0.133 K/decade. Thus that estimate has dropped from 0.233 to 0.133 K/decade, a decline of 43%. And I don’t suppose a single one of the mainstream media has reported that.

dp

Monckton of Brenchley says:
January 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm
And I don’t suppose a single one of the mainstream media has reported that.

WUWT did, if you get my sly point.

Thanks Barry. Good article.
Not that we didn’t know it, but again yes, the GCMs are useless and costly and their acceptance by governments is ruinous.
We shall wait and see what breaks the temperature hiatus and learn.
Me? Just give me back my global waring. Perish the thought of global cooling, though it seems to me it has a 50% chance. What I see most probable is that ENSO will decide.

Mike Sugar

Barrie, Anthony,
Hear me out as this is not the sort of response you may have expected. I wish to broaden readers’ horizons, and if you allow this post, to invite responses. I have never been a conspiracy nut, but as a polymath…….
The entire universe, as we understand it, is governed by cycles. From star birth & death to organic birth & death at microscopic levels, and everything between, including climate.
I conclude that the IPCC is simply the embodiment of a re-cycled 1913 communist model (itself re-cycled), presented in disguise as phase 1 of the UN’s Agenda 21 marketing plan. The now openly declared aim that the EU becomes the United States of Europe (USE) fits perfectly within the Agenda 21 strategic plan. Never mind the fact that the Eurozone remains on its knees, the USE project must go on!
How?
Control energy and you control the masses.
How?
Tax energy.
How?
Get the masses to want to be taxed.
How?
Scare the shit out of them.
How? CO2=doom.
“Simples” as all UK insurance ad viewers will recognise.
Conclusions:
1. The UN IPCC will continue. Recent back-peddling is simply its natural survival instinct, and no government would ever admit that the UN IPCC was a bad idea.
2. Entire nation’s budgets are based upon future ‘carbon taxes’.
3. Vote for the most “anti-” party imaginable at the next opportunity in your droves, and throw the whole thing into turmoil. As John Lennon wrote “A Spaniard in the Gearbox”.

Jim Cripwell

I have said this before. Let me say it again. To a large extent what the IPCC says is not that important. What matters is what those scientists who have the ear of the influential politicians say the IPCC report claims; i.e. how these scientists interpret the IPCC report.
We have a clue to this in the submissions about the AR5 made to the UK Parliamentary Committee on DECC. Some of these reports claim that the IPCC AR5 conclusions are “robust”. Others claim the results are not “robust”. What could well be interesting is a discussion between scientists on both sides of this issue.
And it just might happen.

Jimbo

In public they put up a united front, behind the scenes I bet there is volcanic disagreement. It’s obvious the projections / simulations / scenarios / what ifs are crap. They really are and it is obvious to kindergarten kids.
How much longer can they spin and torture the facts? As long as surface warming does not resume by the next IPCC report they are doomed.

Thanks Christopher, Lord Monckton.
Yes, it’s worst than the IPCC thought, but the helpful corrupt press is covering-up.
By placing so much confidence in failed GCMs they dug their graves. The next step requires the people to take action; Are we up to the task?

Lance Wallace

Barry Brill says
“The graphs reproduced in Christopher Monckton’s WUWT essay show that the final WG1 report has dropped the 2016-35 range to 0.3-0.7°C, while the models projected this at 0.4-1.0°C. At mid-points, then, the discount applied at Stockholm was approximately 33%.”
But the midpoints moved from 0.7 to 0.5, a drop of 2/7 (28)%. This agrees perfectly with Nic Lewis’s estimate of between 25-30%.
Then Lord Monckton says
“However the new, reduced range is 0.1-0.233 K/decade, corresponding to 0.3-0.7 K over 30 years. So the IPCC’s new best estimate is close to 0.4 K over 30 years,….a decline of 43%.”
How did we go from 0.5 to 0.4? I still get 28%.

For an organization that takes carbon emissions very seriously, it’s astounding that these folks
apparently are assuming same-old-same-old energy system into the next century, with zero changes in those emissions. That’s impossible, and therefore their estimates, even by their own
lights, must be considered pointless exercises. They are making essentially meaningless estimates (actually non-estimates) of a future that will never exist. Other than that ….

Gary Hladik

So the IPCC tells its big lies in the main text and corrects them in footnotes? They remind me of Joe “Trust me” Isuzu:

M Courtney

Jim Cripwell says at January 9, 2014 at 12:34 pm

I have said this before. Let me say it again. To a large extent what the IPCC says is not that important. What matters is what those scientists who have the ear of the influential politicians say the IPCC report claims; i.e. how these scientists interpret the IPCC report.

Its not just the scientists but also the journalists. I have quoted the IPCC and the MET Office data (with links) on the Guardian website – with simple statement of facts.
But some facts are allowed to be spoken and others not. The journalists know they are lying by omission but choose to mislead.
I am politely referring to Dana Nuccitelli as a journalist

Jim Cripwell

OT, but seeing Christopher Monkton here, can I ask him if he has heard of Nicola Maxey?

Rob

They obviously don`t have a clue. Bad part is trying to hide that fact!!

JP

The SPM is where the action is. Policymakers use it to “guide” their regulatory decisions. The IPCC can make all of the subtle changes they want to the “science” portion of the ARs. But, it’s the SPM that counts. No surprise that the IPCC fail to budge.

Scute

Stocker et al were already making downward assessments to the modelled prediction even in their marathon all-nighter before the Stockholm conference.
Stocker, the co-chair of Working Group 1, said the SPM.10 graph was finalised “after many hours of deliberation and preparation by the scientists”. That was his euphemism for the complete disagreement and disarray you describe above.
The result of their lucubrations was this:
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/andrew-cooper-ipcc-using-differing-graph-versions/#more-14428
This article concerns itself with many disturbing aspects of the SPM.10 graph. The fact that the temperature response was assessed downwards was just one small part of it.
I find the video (linked in the article) of Stocker confidently holding forth even more galling than before, now that I’ve read this article.

Jim G

Steve Oregon says:
January 9, 2014 at 11:25 am
“Clearly, the near-term figures provided by the AR5 are neither simulations nor projections. They are simply guesses.”
“Finally the perfect description of the collective and lofty genius in climate science prognostication. ”
Guesses is much too kind as it leaves out the high probability that the intent is there to mislead the public for the purpose of using the results to achieve socialist goals. The falacious resuts are intentional.

KNR

No AGW , no IPCC , and that is all you really need to know about what its taken this route .

alanpurus

Luckily there’s a 97% probability that human agents cause global warming. Unluckily, the probability that there is actually any global warming is uncertain. Laugh? I nearly did.

richard

“it turns out that the “95% certain” models were actually rejected by the meeting”
ah the consensus was wrong.

Gary Pearse

Expect increased squabbling and eventual disintegration as a number of Inner circle decisionmakers on IPCC begin to seek to escape from being the last man standing. I predict with 100% certainty Pachauri, whose been weathering the real extreme storms personally will resign this year and be replaced by a former Stasi operative.

richard

sorry just re-read, thought that meant 95% of the models were rejected.

Steve Oregon

MoB,
A 43% decline in expected warming?
Yeah you’d think that would make the media’s head spin…like a vortex.

rogerknights

“The Great Lie.” MoB’s characterization will catch on and stick, given time. Those on the wrong side of history must never be allowed to live it down.

pat

lots to read in here:
10 Jan: Guardian: Richard Schiffman: Harassment of climate scientists needs to stop
Climate change denialists are suing scientists, seeking access to their private emails. They will stifle inquiry and scientific progress
When Michael Mann chose a career in science, he didn’t think that he would be denounced on billboards, grilled by hostile legislators on Capitol Hill and in the British House of Commons, have his emails hacked and stolen, receive letters laced with an anthrax-like white powder, and become the target of anonymous death threats.
Mann also did not imagine that he would be spending quite so much time with lawyers and in courtrooms…
Media outlets including the Washington Post, the Associated Press, NPR and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press have filed friends of the court briefs on behalf of ATI. Strange bedfellows indeed – the mainstream media teaming up with a right wing climate change denialist organization! The media groups aren’t siding with the denialists on their trashing of climate science, of course. But they argue in their briefs that the public’s right to know trumps the need of scientists to conduct their business outside of the glare of the public eye.
This is a shortsighted view. Surely we don’t need to pit freedom of the press against academic freedom. Reporters know how vital it is to communicate with their sources confidentially – the work of journalism would scarcely be possible without this guarantee. They should be willing to grant the same protective right to privacy to the scientists who they report on.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/09/denialist-harassment-of-climate-scientists-needs-to-stop

R. de Haan

Niagary Falls freezing over: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10560654/In-pictures-Niagara-Falls-freeze-over-on-US-side.html
Pauchari visits the Netherlands for High level meeting over Climate Report hosted by KNMI.
Declares climate doom with 95% certainty.

Jay

Wow what a severe blow to knowledge.. The lib-left will be listing to one side until they fill their heads up with more nonsense..

Laurie

Please, check your spelling. I’m so tired of looking up words that turn out to be typos. 🙁

Walter Allensworth

Climate Models Now 33% off!
For a limited time only!
Reminds me of a sale at Wallmart(TM).

R. de Haan

Pauchari lies in front of the camera:
1. Humans responsible for the weather, 1500 scientists agree on 95% certainty.
2. Climate warming since second half of past century human induced
3. More extreme weather events than ever before
4. We have until 2015 to reduce carbon emissions
5. After 2015 mitigation costs extremely expensive, especially for the Netherlands

Jay

Surely we don’t need to pit freedom of the press against academic freedom.
——-
Buffoon!
When your academic freedom is used to IMPOSE regulations on the public, freedom of the press is absolutely necessary to uphold the public trust..
Academic freedom is not a licence to commit fraud.. Forcing me to pay for your politics is illegal..

Gail Combs

Mike Sugar says: @ January 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm
Mike you might want to read Dr. Tim Ball’s essay here at WUWT:Overpopulation: The Fallacy Behind The Fallacy Of Global Warming

Mr. Wallace says the IPCC reduced its mid-range estimate from 0.7 to 0.5 K. But, as I had carefully explained, they had also said that temperature outturn over the next 30 years was expected to be closer to the lower than to the upper bound of the range. Approximately 0.4 K, therefore – a drop of 43%, as I had stated.
And I agree with “dp” that WattsUpWithThat now has every characteristic of a mainstream news medium except habitual dishonesty and bias. Long may it flourish and grow.

willhaas

If the results are wrong then the models must be wrong. If the models are wrong then all work based on these wrong models is most likely wrong as well. Without correct models the IPCC is just guessing. Before the IPCC can say anything of value they need to correct their models. Besides basic structural changes they need to crank up the gain on natural causes and lower the gain on CO2 bases warming. I have read reports of more accurate models that track global for the past 150 years and that accurately predict the current “slow down” in global warming. These models do not encode CO2 based warming.
For those who embrace greenhouse gas theory, the primary greenhouse gas in our atmosphere is H2O and it provides ample negative feedbacks to the addition of CO2 so as to mitigate any effect that man’s adding CO2 might have on climate. The models need to include all of what happens in the atmosphere and not just a selective subset. The IPCC models tend to beg the question. Apparently they include CO2 based warming, hard coded in, so that is what the results show. The results are no more valid then a random guess.
The models were suppose to provide evidence that AGW is real. Because their results have been wrong, if they provide any evidence at all, it is that AGW is not real.