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UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article January 30, 2010

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UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article

By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent and Rebecca Lefort
The Telegraph, 30 January 2010

The United Nations’ expert panel on climate change based claims about ice disappearing from the world’s mountain tops on a student’s dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine.

The revelation will cause fresh embarrassment for the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which had to issue a humiliating apology earlier this month over inaccurate statements about global warming.

The IPCC’s remit is to provide an authoritative assessment of scientific evidence on climate change.

In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.

However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.

The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.

The revelations, uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph, have raised fresh questions about the quality of the information contained in the report, which was published in 2007.

It comes after officials for the panel were forced earlier this month to retract inaccurate claims in the IPCC’s report about the melting of Himalayan glaciers.

Read the rest here


Climate sceptic warmly received during debate January 29, 2010

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Climate sceptic warmly received during debate

By Bruce McMahon
Courier Mail, January 30, 2010

LORD Christopher Monckton, imperious and articulate, won yesterday’s climate change debate in straight sets.

Forget facts and fictions, numbers and statistics, this British high priest of climate change sceptics is a polished performer, even against the most committed of scientists.

Aided by Adelaide’s Professor Ian Plimer, Lord Monckton cruised to victory before a partisan crowd of suits and ties, movers and shakers.

Read the rest and watch the debate here

Terence Corcoran: Heat wave closes in on the IPCC January 28, 2010

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Terence Corcoran: Heat wave closes in on the IPCC

Financial Post, January 26, 2010

A catastrophic heat wave appears to be closing in on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. How hot is it getting in the scientific kitchen where they’ve been cooking the books and spicing up the stew pots? So hot, apparently, that Andrew Weaver, probably Canada’s leading climate scientist, is calling for replacement of IPCC leadership and institutional reform.

If Andrew Weaver is heading for the exits, it’s a pretty sure sign that the United Nations agency is under monumental stress. Mr. Weaver, after all, has been a major IPCC science insider for years. He is Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis at the University of Victoria, mastermind of one of the most sophisticated climate modelling systems on the planet, and lead author on two recent landmark IPCC reports. For him to say, as he told Canwest News yesterday, that there has been some “dangereous crossing” of the line between climate advocacy and science at the IPCC is stunning in itself.

Not only is Mr. Weaver an IPCC insider. He has also, over the years, generated his own volume of climate advocacy that often seemed to have crossed that dangereous line between hype and science. It is Mr. Weaver, for example, who said the IPCC’s 2007 science report — the one now subject to some scrutiny —“isn’t a smoking gun; climate is a battalion of intergalactic smoking missiles.”

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At last, some cool heads on global warming January 27, 2010

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At last, some cool heads on global warming

The Australian, January 28, 2010

HAS the UN climate change panel run its course as a useful player in global negotiations? Is it time for a less political body to take the lead in assessing the scientific evidence on global warming? These are questions that must be asked as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change faces serious challenges to its credibility. The intervention yesterday by UK chief scientist John Beddington may have sealed the fate of the IPCC, the body set up more than 20 years ago by the UN and since positioned as the authoritative body on climate change data. Throw in Beijing’s doubts yesterday on whether climate change is man-made or natural and it’s clear that scientists are now under intense pressure to prove their claims.

The IPCC will doubtless continue, but public faith in its declarations is evaporating as evidence emerges of the dodgy reporting practices and unsubstantiated claims made in its 2007 report. The document that underpinned the recent Copenhagen climate change summit has been found wanting in its claims on glaciers and the connection between global warming and natural disasters. As Professor Beddington says, “certain unqualified statements have been unfortunate”.

There has long been criticism of the IPCC as a body that has posited certainty when it should have emphasised the caveats to its findings. The Australian has consistently warned against claiming too much authority for the panel, given its composition, its processes and its role as a synthesiser of disparate research findings from thousands of scientists. We have always believed the IPCC reports need to be read with a healthy dose of realism even as we have backed action against the risk of climate change. Three years ago, when the IPCC report was issued, we wrote: “Let there be no mistake: all the signs suggest the need for action . . . but cool heads are essential.” We noted the big story from the report was the “higher level of implied scientific certainty” about anthropogenic warming and predicted the debate would be pushed out of the laboratory and into the political arena.

It has proved to be so, with politicians unwilling to manage the uncertainties and gaps in science as they push their constituencies to action. Still, nothing prepared us for the sloppy reporting, including the extraordinary process by which claims on the melting of glaciers were based on a third-hand news report. Our planet deserves better than that.

Where to from here? There seems little doubt we will see more examples of IPCC exaggeration: finding holes in the report is beginning to feel like shooting fish in a barrel. These investigations are important. The premise behind global action – that the world is heating at a dangerous rate and that we can do something about it – needs to be rigorously tested. If we are to sign up to systems such as the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, let’s do it on the facts.

Much of what is in the IPCC report still stands, but its flaws can no longer be glossed over in the search for a workable consensus on global action. The good news from this debacle is that climate change science and the claims made on its behalf, will now receive proper scrutiny. After the hyperbole leading up to Copenhagen, a more rational analysis is emerging.

Welcome Down Under Lord Monckton January 26, 2010

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Welcome Down Under Lord Monckton

Channel Ten interview, click for video

We at An Honest Climate Debate would like to welcome the knowledgeable and articulate Lord Monckton to Australia.

Lord Christopher Monckton has arrived in Australia to discuss the man made global warming theory. Professor Ian Plimer, authour of the bestselling book Heaven and Earth, will be accompanying Lord Monckton on his whirlwind Australian tour. For details on Lord Monckton and Ian Plimer’s tour dates and venues please see Jo Nova’s website here

He has already been on Australian tv and radio interviews this week. I especially enjoyed the interview on Channel 10. Here are a couple of snippets from the interview

…the point is let’s have a discussion on this. I will not be saying believe me. I will simply say here are the facts, study them for yourselves. Any fact you want to call me out on and say where did you get that from, I will tell you and you can go look it up for yourself..

…so you can make up your own mind, do not believe either side until you’ve thought it out for yourselves..

How refreshing it is to hear the above from Lord Monckton. How different it is from the likes of Al Gore, who refuse to debate and who are so quick with their ad hom attacks. No wonder the public are losing faith in the man made global warming scare.

Monckton applies the heat January 25, 2010

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Monckton applies the heat

By Andrew Bolt
Herald Sun, January 25, 2010

Christopher Monckton’s debate this morning with Australian IPCC reviewer Ben McNeil on Sunrise, a minor temple of the warming faith, did not go well – for the alarmists. My goodness, but McNeil did seem awfully green (again) for an academic who demands such drastic changes to the way we live.

Even David Koch, long a fierce preacher of the warming faith, seemed no longer so sure of his old gospel.

I suspect Monckton will cause a lot more damage to the warmists before his tour is over – not least by simply getting the hearing that many local sceptics have been denied:

CLIMATE sceptic Christopher Monckton says he has evidence climate change is not a problem and that Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme is unnecessary.

Lord Monckton said today he had come to Australia to prove the Prime Minister wrong.

The former adviser to British prime minister Margaret Thatcher said Mr Rudd carried out ”a 45-minute sustained personal attack” on him last November claiming he had no evidence on the effects of climate change.

“I’m going to say to the people of Australia, when your prime minister said I don’t have any evidence, here I am, here is my evidence, here is where I got it from,” Lord Monckton said in Sydney today.

The climate change sceptic will carry out an extensive 13-day lecture tour of Australia at an estimated cost of $100,000. The cost is being covered by two semi-retired Queensland engineers, John Smeed and Case Smit.

Lord Monckton claims climate change isn’t a problem for the planet and carbon dioxide emissions don’t contribute significantly to global warming. He claims world temperatures will rise by just half a degree (Celsius) by the end of the decade, compared with UN scientists’ prediction of a 3.5 degree rise.

Monckton’s interview with Alan Jones here. But this debate will be a complete mismatch. Poor Graham! Poor Barry!

IPCC 1988 to 2010: RIP January 24, 2010

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IPCC 1988 to 2010: RIP

Oh dear, seems that the IPCC is melting faster than the Himalayan glaciers…

BREAKING NEWS: scientist admits IPCC used fake data to pressure policy makers

The IPCC is now damaged goods. Pachauri is toast, and nobody will be able to cite the IPCC AR4 again without this being brought up.

Read it here

NASA: “Hide this after Jim checks it” January 23, 2010

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NASA: “Hide this after Jim checks it”

By Steve McIntyre
Climate Audit, January 23, 2010

The word “hide” has obviously attracted a lot of attention lately – “hide the decline” even occasioning its own song.

Today I’d like to discuss the following remarkable instructions by a NASA employee in the recently disclosed NASA emails (available at Judicial Watch):

Robert, please move to the CU site and hide this after Jim checks it.
Darnell, please send it out to Jim’s email list. Jim said if I don’t want to, you should do…

What is that they are planning to “hide”? And why would they be “hiding” it in the first place? And why would Hansen think that one of his employees wouldn’t “want” to send something out to Jim’s email list?

In order to forestall claims that I’ve shown these words “out of context”, I’ve done a careful review of the events leading up to this email.

Read the rest here

Heeding the political lessons of Glaciergate January 22, 2010

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Heeding the political lessons of Glaciergate

The Australian, January 22, 2010

Governments must constantly question the science

THE UN’s admissions on Glaciergate are welcome, but the international body has sustained damage from its sloppiness in reporting climate change data. Its claim to speak as the authority on climate science is reduced now that its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been forced to back down over a claim that some Himalayan glaciers would probably disappear by 2035.

The IPCC’s statement yesterday that the “clear and well-established standards of evidence” had not been properly applied to the claim, is an attempt to put the best possible spin on a blunder that has reverberated around the world since it was revealed last weekend. In fact Glaciergate, in large part, is about an extraordinary reliance on a third-hand source – a news story published in New Scientist almost a decade before it was included in the IPCC’s fourth assessment report of 2007.

It doesn’t get much more humiliating than that for a body that has positioned itself as the global scientific authority on climate change.

Read the rest here

But when will the IPCC apologise for Pachauri? January 20, 2010

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But when will the IPCC apologise for Pachauri?

By Andrew Bolt
Herald Sun, January 21, 2010

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change belatedly admits to a grossly irresponsible bit of scaremongering, but when will it admit to the suspect role played in it by its deeply compromised chairman?

To recap, here’s the IPCC’s claim in 2007:

Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate.

That, of course, was nonsense, and last November the Indian Government issued a report showing the Himalayan glaciers were melting much, much slower than the IPCC claimed, and there was no sign that any melting was unusual or linked to global warming..

Yet at first the IPCC thought it could defend its absurd claim with some of its old pre-Climategate shut-ups:

Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC’s chairman, has hit back, denouncing the Indian government report as “voodoo science” lacking peer review.

And again:

Today (India’s Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam) Ramesh denied any such risk (of complete melting by 2035) existed: “There is no conclusive scientific evidence to link global warming with what is happening in the Himalayan glaciers.” The minister added although some glaciers are receding they were doing so at a rate that was not “historically alarming”.

However, Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC, told the Guardian: “We have a very clear idea of what is happening. I don’t know why the minister is supporting this unsubstantiated research. It is an extremely arrogant statement.”

But in fact, as The Times then reported, the IPCC claim was based on pie in sky:

In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report.

It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was “speculation” and was not supported by any formal research.

Note the IPCC’s instinctive reaction to criticism: to deny, deny, deny and then abuse. But the IPCC now admits its claim that the Himalayan glaciers will vanish by 2035 is indeed false:

It has, however, recently come to our attention that a paragraph in the 938-page Working Group II contribution to the underlying assessment2 refers to poorly substantiated estimates of rate of recession and date for the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers. In drafting the paragraph in question, the clear and well-established standards of evidence, required by the IPCC procedures, were not applied properly.

The fact that this mad claim got into the IPCC report in the first place, almost cut and pasted from a report by the WWF green group (no peer review demanded from the IPCC this time), already says plenty. Here’s that 2005 WW report:

glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the livelihood[sic] of them disappearing by the year 2035 is very high

But let’s now hear from the IPCC an explanation for Pachauri’s initial refusal to even contemplate that this inherently ridiculous claim was wrong. That, I think, is the most telling part of this farce.