12 Apr 2010, 7:34pm
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IPCC Errors, Distortions and Exaggerations

Global Warming Questions Google Site [here]

IPCC Criticism

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) officially released its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) in 2007. This document is often regarded as the definitive word on the science behind global warming. However, AR4 gives a distorted, misleading, biased and often erroneous picture. Examples of these distortions are listed here, with attention focused on the Working Group 1 Report “The Physical Science Basis” (WG1), and in particular its Summary for Policymakers (SPM). Curiously, the SPM was released in February 2007, several months before the main report. Confusingly, a “Synthesis Report” was issued in November 2007, with its own SPM. More background to the structure of the IPCC report is given [here].

Errors, distortions and exaggerations in the WGI Report

1. How the IPCC invented a new calculus. The IPCC authors invented a new way of measuring the slope of a graph, in order to create the false impression that global warming is accelerating.

2. The table that didn’t add up. The WG1 SPM was approved by the IPCC even though it contained a table with arithmetic errors. The table was quietly corrected with no admission of the error.

3. False statement about Antarctic sea ice. The IPCC claims that there is no significant trends in Antarctic sea ice. In fact several papers (ignored by the IPCC) show a significant positive trend.

4. Misleading claims about sea level rise. AR4 gives the misleading impression that the rate of sea level rise is increasing, using the trick of switching from one measurement system (tide gauges) to another (satellites).

5. Incorrect calculation of an average. An arithmetic error was made in the calculation of an average of a contribution to radiative forcing. Hence four diagrams in AR4 are wrong and misleading.

6. False claims about Antarctic ice sheet. The IPCC claims that the Antarctic ice sheet is melting and that this is contributing to sea level rise, but recent research papers show that in fact the ice sheet is thickening.

7. Dubious claims about Greenland ice sheet. The IPCC claims that the Greenland ice sheet is melting and causing sea level to rise - ignoring or misrepresenting research that shows the opposite.

8. Erroneous claims about snow cover. The IPCC makes the false claim that snow cover is decreasing in both hemispheres.

9. Exaggerated claims about water vapour. The IPCC summary claims that water vapour has increased. In fact studies show no significant trend or in some cases a decrease.

10. Erroneous claims on increased tropical cyclone activity. The IPCC states that tropical cyclones have increased, but research papers find no evidence of this.

11. The IPCC contradicts itself over the medieval warm period. The IPCC’s own data shows clear evidence that the medieval warm period was as warm as the late 20th century, but the text states the opposite.

12. False statement about paleoclimate studies. The IPCC claims that there is increased confidence in proxy temperature reconstructions, but in fact the opposite is the case.

13. Proxies that aren’t proxies. The IPCC makes use of ‘proxy’ data such as tree rings to justify their claim that current temperatures are unusual - but this data doesn’t match measured temperature.

14. Downplaying the urban heat island effect. The IPCC significantly underestimates the influence of the fact that many temperature measurement sites are located in cities.

15. The UN misquotes its own report. A UN press release coinciding with the release of AR4 blatantly misquoted the report, incorrectly claiming that man-made global warming was unequivocal…

Note: See all 54 (actually there are many more than) errors distortions and exaggerations in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) [here]



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