The IPCC AR5 SPM press release

I just looked at the IPCC SPM press release. True to its form, there are bombastic statements about inanities of no consequence and vague mumblings about the real questions. By ‘real questions’, I mean those on magnitude of any change and the quantum of blame that affixed on us, i.e., people.

Here’s a spectacular-sounding statement that is utterly meaningless and even wrong in places:

Warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been observed throughout the climate system that are unprecedented over decades to millennia.

If you pull up any global temperature graph, the ‘warming’ is minuscule since 1950, though ‘unequivocal’. ‘Unprecedented’, ‘millenia’ are just fancy words the IPCC likes to use, and seem completely out of place here.

There are even more vapid statements. An entire paragraph is taken up by Qin Dahe making points about the climate puffed up to sound as though something is going on (except nothing really is):

“Observations of changes in the climate system are based on multiple lines of independent evidence. Our assessment of the science finds that the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased”

Observations are ‘based on’ … evidence? Who would have thought so? It is not humanly possible to decipher this language.

There is only a single paragraph on putting the blame on humans and it goes like this:

It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. The evidence for this has grown, thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models.

All three claims made in this one little paragraph are …wrong. Since the mid-20th century, global temperature increased till about 1998. Then the rate of increase changed abruptly.

How are humans able to have this type of influence on the climate?

As the rate of ‘warming’ has slowed, how has the likelihood of humans having caused it increased? The cause for the warming is going up, but the warmth itself has not?

Where can more and better observations come from? The only observations are ‘more’ than what we had before, are of those that happened between now and then. It is not possible to gather more than 24 hours of observation in a day. These are the observations that show the slowdown.

Finally, whatever evidence has grown has only reduced confidence in the understanding of the climate system response the orthodoxy provided. It has reduced confidence in the models .As everyone knows, neither is an explanation for the temperature rate change on the cards, nor was it predicted by the models.

If the press release reflects the SPM, which I believe it does, and if the SPM reflects the main report, which I believe it will, the IPCC has put itself in a remarkably weak position. It will not provide any momentum for future international climate negotiations.

[minor edits]

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2 comments

  1. plazaeme

    the IPCC has put itself in a remarkably weak position

    You are certainly a diplomatic, my friend. I would call it a position a la Willard – and I guess you know what I mean.

  2. cosmic

    They were left making bricks without straw. Temperatures are obstinately refusing to rise and they’ve been caught over-egging the pudding in the past. It’s the best they can do.

    It’s probably the last round up.

    Anyway, the IPCC has done its job of providing the authority for all the legislation, taxes, scams and non-jobs we are paying for. It can be quietly forgotten.