Monday, October 20, 2014

How WUWT missed the memo about the IPCC WG2 report

Sou | 2:10 AM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment

I suppose it's because deniers don't like the UK Guardian and don't follow the right people on Twitter. Whatever the reason, Anthony Watts at WUWT missed the memo.

Today he's got an article (archived here) about how the Final Report of the IPCC AR5 WG2 is now out. Someone noticed how some changes, which were inserted into the Final Draft without advising expert reviewers, have been dropped.

Bob Ward wrote about this at the Guardian the other day. By his account, it was Richard Tol's chapter where some words were added into the Final Draft after the last but final went to reviewers. So nobody saw them until the Final Draft was released. The changes that were made were reverted, once it was acknowledged by all that they were in error.

If you are still confused, go and read what Bob Ward has to say about it. It's been discussed publicly ever since the final draft came out. I'm surprised that WUWT didn't know about this.

The WUWT article acknowledges that:
It’s interesting because the section the changes I discuss are in was actually added after the last round of reviews (while the section immediately after it was rewritten).  That means the material never underwent external review before being released in the “Final Draft,” and then it was secretly changed again before the official version.

Note the words "secretly changed". Yep, they were secretly added and secretly reverted. It is so secret that the two versions were made publicly available! (I think the point is that so far, the IPCC doesn't appear to have issued the list of changes between the final draft and the final final version. I expect it will come. It usually does.)

From the WUWT comments

Richard S.J. Tol, the person who made the final draft changes that were subsequently reverted, pops in to explain:
October 19, 2014 at 6:21 am
It is obvious that changes have been made between the final draft and the final version. There is a record of these changes, and their reasons. This will be published in due time, if it hasn’t already. (I can’t find it at the moment, but then there is a lot of new material on the AR2 site.)
The changes are small. The quantitative conclusions hardly change, the qualitative conclusions not at all. 
Which probably isn't how some would have described it. The sentences:
Estimates agree on the size of the impact (small relative to economic growth) but disagree on the sign (Figure 10-1). Climate change may be beneficial for moderate climate change but turn negative for greater warming. Impacts worsen for larger warming, and estimates diverge. The new estimates have slightly widened the uncertainty about the economic impacts of climate."

...have been changed to:
Estimates agree on the size of the impact (small relative to economic growth), and 17 of the 20 impact estimates shown in Figure 10-1 are negative. Losses accelerate with greater warming, and estimates diverge.The new estimates have slightly widened the uncertainty about the economic impacts of climate.

Claudius is still living in 1929, or maybe the Bush era of 2007 and writes something completely unrelated to the topic being discussed:
October 19, 2014 at 6:13 am
This one really pretty easy to figure out. Get the US out of the UN, then get the UN out of the U.S. I think that it’s plenty enough apparent that the UN is corrupt beyond any credible attempt at recovery. The global economy is depressed past any historical example. Surely the money that the worlds economies, the U.S., the EU, industrialized Asia and the like can be better spent than providing imaginary employment for Ivy League political cronies.


  1. Haha, thanks for dissecting the economic impact changes. Tol's spinning is painful to follow. Where's the Tol 300?!?

  2. According to Bob Ward (The Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/17/ipcc-corrects-claim-suggesting-climate-change-would-be-good-for-the-economy) the IPCC-WGII statement: “Climate change may be beneficial for moderate climate change but turn negative for greater warming.”; was omitted because it was based on faulty data.
    I wonder whether that would have happen if anyone had read
    an article about “Cold winters at Kew Observatory, 1783-1942” saying:
    “The present century has been marked by such a widespread tendency towards mild winters that the ‘old-fashioned winters’, of which one had heard so much, seemed to have gone for ever. The sudden arrival at the end of 1939 of what was to be the beginning of a series of cold winters was therefore all the more surprising.” Drummond, A. J., 1943, JRoyMetSoc.

    1. The connection between the first paragraph and the second is not obvious.

    2. Drummond’s observation show that a “sudden series of cold winters is possible, which came at the end of 1939 as a big surprise”, and happen to correlate with the start of the Second World War and heavy warfare activities in Europe
      which may indicate that it is not necessarily “faulty data” that ‘moderate climate change’.

    3. The cooler trend in the 1940s started a couple of years after 1940. Aerosols from increased manufacturing and possibly even fires from bombing raids may have been the cause.

  3. Anthony has 2 ways to deal with difficult facts:
    1. Ignore
    2. Obscure.
    He's chosen the former action in response to today's release of NOAA's temp data for September.


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