Monday, January 25, 2010
We've had the Climategate emails resulting in leading IPCC scientists Prof Phil "Hide the Decline" Jones being investigated and stood down as head of the Climatic Research Unit as well as Prof Michael "Hockey Stick" Mann also being investigated by his Penn State University employer. We have the Chairman of the IPCC, Raj Pachauri, being called to resign after use of incorrect and non-reviewed data on Himalayan glaciers was included in the IPCC's 2007 AR4 report as reported yesterday in this blog, and now we have another major error in that same report as published in the Times Online.
UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters
THE United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.
It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report's own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.
The claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is already affecting the severity and frequency of global disasters, has since become embedded in political and public debate. It was central to discussions at last month's Copenhagen climate summit, including a demand by developing countries for compensation of $100 billion (£62 billion) from the rich nations blamed for creating the most emissions.
Last month Gordon Brown, the prime minister, told the Commons that the financial agreement at Copenhagen "must address the great injustice that . . . those hit first and hardest by climate change are those that have done least harm".
The Sunday Times has since found that the scientific paper on which the IPCC based its claim had not been peer reviewed, nor published, at the time the climate body issued its report.
When the paper was eventually published, in 2008, it had a new caveat. It said: "We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses."
Despite this change the IPCC did not issue a clarification ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit last month. It has also emerged that at least two scientific reviewers who checked drafts of the IPCC report urged greater caution in proposing a link between climate change and disaster impacts — but were ignored.
That is not the end of it. There is more coming out as you read this. Stay tuned.