Prejudiced Authors, Prejudiced Findings

By | July 15, 2008


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Summary Points for Policy Makers

The IPCC is a single-interest organisation, whose charter presumes a widespread human influence on climate, rather than consideration of whether such influence may be negligible or missing altogether. Though the IPCC’s principles also state that a wide range of views is to be sought when selecting lead authors and contributing authors, this rule has been honored more in the breach than in the observance.

More than two-thirds of all authors of chapter 9 of the IPCC’s 2007 climate-science assessment are part of a clique whose members have co-authored papers with each other and, we can surmise, very possibly at times acted as peer-reviewers for each other’s work. Of the 44 contributing authors, more than half have co-authored papers with the lead authors or coordinating lead authors of chapter 9.

It is no surprise, therefore, that the majority of scientists who are skeptical of a human influence on climate significant enough to be damaging to the planet were unrepresented in the authorship of chapter 9. Many of the IPCC authors were climate modelers – or associated with laboratories committed to modeling – unwilling to admit that their models are neither accurate nor complete. Still less do they recognize or admit that modeling a chaotic object whose initial state and evolutionary processes are not known to a sufficient precision has a validation skill not significantly different from zero. In short, it cannot be done and has long been proven impossible. The modelers say that the “consensus” among their models is significant: but it is an artifact of ex-post-facto tuning to replicate historical temperatures, of repeated intercomparison studies, and of the authors’ shared belief in the unrealistically high estimate of climate sensitivity upon which all of the models assume.

The hypothesis of damaging, man-made warming is a long way from being proven – and, given the recent trend in the peer-reviewed literature, is well on the way to being disproven. Recent cooling of the planet further suggests that man-made warming is at best too weak to be detected in the “noise” of natural internal variability.

Governments have naively and unwisely accepted the claims of a human influence on global temperatures made by a close-knit clique of a few dozen scientists, many of them climate modellers, as if such claims were representative of the opinion of the wider scientific community. On the evidence presented here, the IPCC’s selection of its chapter authors appears so prejudiced towards a predetermined outcome that it renders its scientific assessment of the climate suspect and its conclusions inappropriate for policy making.