Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Alabama State Climatologist Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, served as a UN IPCC lead author in 2001 for the 3rd assessment report and detailed how he personally witnessed UN scientists attempting to distort the science for political purposes.
“I was at the table with three Europeans, and we were having lunch. And they were talking about their role as lead authors. And they were talking about how they were trying to make the report so dramatic that the United States would just have to sign that Kyoto Protocol,” Christy told CNN on May 2, 2007. – (For more on UN scientists turning on the UN years ago, see Climate Depot’s full report here. )
Christy has since proposed major reforms and changes to the way the UN IPCC report is produced. Christy has rejected the UN approach that produces “a document designed for uniformity and consensus.” Christy presented his views at a UN meeting in 2009. The IPCC needs “an alternative view section written by well-credentialed climate scientists is needed,” Christy said. “If not, why not? What is there to fear? In a scientific area as uncertain as climate, the opinions of all are required,” he added.
‘The reception to my comments was especially cold’
[The following is excerpted from Andrew Revkin’s January 26, 2009 New York Times blog Dot Earth. For full article go here.]
Excerpt: Last March, more than 100 past [UN IPCC] lead authors of report chapters met in Hawaii to chart next steps for the panel’s inquiries. One presenter there was John R. Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, who has focused on using satellites to chart global temperatures. He was a lead author of a section of the third climate report, in 2001, but is best known these days as a critic of the more heated warnings that climate is already unraveling under the buildup of heat-trapping gases.
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At the Hawaii meeting, he gave a presentation proposing that future reports contain a section providing the views of credentialed scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature whose views on particular points differ from the consensus. He provided both his poster and summary of his three-minute talk. In an e-mail message to me, he described the reaction this way (L.A. is short for lead author; AR5 is shorthand for the next report, coming in 2013-14.):
Christy: “The reception to my comments was especially cold … not one supporter, though a couple of scientists did say I had a “lot of guts” to stand up and say what I said before 140 L.A.s. I was (and still am) calling for the AR5 to be a more open scientific assessment in which those of us who are well-credentialed and have evidence for low climate sensitivity (observational and theoretical) be given room to explain this. We should have the same standards of review authority too. When a subject is excruciatingly complicated, like climate, we see that opinion, overstatement, and appeal-to-authority tend to reign as those of a like-mind essentially take control in their self-constructed echo-chamber. The world needs to see all sides of the evidence. We in the climate business need to understand humility, not pride, when looking at a million degrees-of-freedom problem. It’s just fine to say, ‘We don’t know,’ when that is the truth of the matter.”
I (Revkin) also asked Christy, “Do you see a way forward for this enterprise (presuming you see these recent issues as serious problems but not a fatal indictment)?”
Christy said: “I think people would read AR5 if it were a true scientific assessment, complete with controversies [described] by the experts themselves. Policymakers will find it uncomfortable, because the simple fact remains that our ignorance of the climate system is enormous. Otherwise, it will be a repeat of what we are now seeing (and what many folks like me knew years ago), that the process has morphed into an agenda-approving exercise.”
To view Christy’s poster see here.
Christy’s full written paper to UN IPCC.
Can the IPCC Allow a Section of Alternative Views Authored by Equally Credentialed Climate Scientists? – March 2009 – Presented to UN IPCC Scientists
By Dr. John R. Christy – University of Alabama in Huntsville
I want you all to understand this: No one is holding a gun to my head and no one is paying me money either above or under the table to arrive at the conclusions I (and others) have come to.
I propose that the IPCC allow for well credentialed climate scientists to craft a chapter on an alternative view presenting evidence for low climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases than has been the IPCC’s recent message – all based on published information. In other words, I am proposing that the AR5 be a true Scientific Assessment, not a document designed for uniformity and consensus. In a scientific area as uncertain as climate, the opinions of all are required. Three quick examples are on the poster.
First, the iconic mean surface temperature is a poor proxy for detecting greenhouse gas influences for reasons shown. And, this metric is not well-observed in any case.
Secondly, many of the so-called metrics of human-induced climate change are not changing at rates policymakers have assumed and the media promotes with the indulgence of the IPCC Leadership. And, other variables showing change are still within the magnitudes of long-term natural variations.
Thirdly, confidence that the climate system is highly sensitive to greenhouse gases can been shown to be overstated due to assumptions about how the sensitivity is calculated. Latest measurements clearly suggest a strong negative feedback in the short wave – in other words, in warming episodes, clouds respond to cool the climate. Another problem with popular sensitivity estimates is the dependence on essentially one century of an oblique greenhouse-proxy (mean surface temperature) combined with the notion that all of the natural, multi-decadal variability can be defined so accurately that the left-over warming is assumed to be human-induced. The investigation rather should examine all levels of natural variability that have been observed and seek to defensibly eliminate those as possible causes.
An alternative view is necessary, one that is not censured for the so-called purpose of consensus. This will present to our policymakers an honest picture of scientific discourse and process. I submit this proposal because our level of ignorance of the climate system is still enormous and our policymakers need to know that. We have much work to do.
This article was posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 11:08 am