Words on Weather & Climate — January 28, 2010

Meteorologist Craig James, new Squire columnist

Meteorologist Craig James, new Squire columnist

IPCC gets it wrong


According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) website, “The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change is the leading body for the assessment of climate change, established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic consequences.”

Also, the IPCC “does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis. Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information. Differing viewpoints existing within the scientific community are reflected in the IPCC reports.”

However, new allegations have come to light that cast serious doubt on the integrity of the organization. The IPCC now faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. If you read my articles from a couple of weeks ago, you will remember I wrote that there is no evidence to support the view that global warming is causing an increase in the severity or frequency of storms.

Many politicians have used the IPCC link to make statements such as President Obama’s “More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent.”

It turns out that the information the IPCC used to make its report was never peer-reviewed or published, and when it was published, its conclusion was: ““We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses.” However, the IPCC never retracted its claim and when several science reviewers protested to the IPCC that its claim was unsupported, they were ignored.

One reviewer, Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., on his blog stated, “I do have to admit that if [the IPCC] is this sloppy and irresponsible in an area of climate change where I have expertise, why should I have confidence in the areas where I am not an expert?”

Another contributor to the IPCC in this area resigned over the issue. Dr. Chris Landsea, a researcher from the National Hurricane Center in Florida, wrote in his resignation letter, “I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.”

The IPCC has also stated that global warming will facilitate the spread of malaria, but according to Professor Paul Reiter of the Institut Pasteur, the world’s foremost expert on vector-borne infectious diseases, “The mosquito that carries the parasite that causes malaria is almost entirely insensitive to ambient temperature. It needs a temperature of at least 59 degrees F [15 degrees C] during the breeding season, but is otherwise capable of surviving in the open at temperatures as low as –25 degrees C.”

He also resigned from the IPCC, stating, “In my opinion, the IPCC has done a disservice to society by relying on ‘experts’ who have little or no knowledge of the subject, and allowing them to make authoritative pronouncements that are not based on sound science. In truth, the principal determinants of transmission of malaria and many other mosquito-borne diseases are politics, economics and human activities.”

In addition, the IPCC has just recently been forced to recant its claim that Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035. The scientist behind this bogus claim has recently admitted, “It was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.” The IPCC has now withdrawn this widely publicized conclusion because it has no scientific support.

It also turns out that, based on this false conclusion by the IPCC, a company run by the chairman of the IPCC received a $14 million grant to study this fictional claim. But wait, it gets better. An employee of this very same company was apparently the source of the bogus glacier melt claim that made it into the IPCC report, while at the same time, the IPCC chairman was calling challenges to its report “voodoo science.” You can read more about this incredible conflict of interest online at wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/23/highnoon-for-pachauri/#more-15552.

WeatherClimateThe chairman of the IPCC, Dr. Rajenda Pachauri, is from India There are now increasingly loud calls for him to step down from this position, even from his own country. The Times of India has recently run the political cartoon pictured here.

As more and more people dig into the conduct of the IPCC, I think it will become apparent to nearly everyone that this is an organization motivated not by sound science but, as Dr. Landsea has said, by “preconceived agendas.”

Craig James has been retired since July 1, 2008, after 40 years of broadcasting television weather. He was chief meteorologist at WZZM-TV for 12 years and chief meteorologist at WOOD-TV for 24 years. He is a graduate of Penn State University, where he received a Centennial Fellowship Award. He was also honored as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

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