Friday, December 14, 2012

Has The Death Knell Just Sounded For The Warmies? The Leak Of The Draft IPCC Report

The draft of AR5, the next IPCC Report on Climate Change, has been leaked to the press by Alec Rawls, a participant in the Report who wants to make sure that the findings don't get scrubbed before the final release next year. And those findings are a bombshell.

Here is the background:

For decades, the warmie crowd have insisted that our climate is being controlled by human's release of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. To put this in context, 97% of the carbon dioxide released into our atmosphere annually comes from naturally occurring sources. Humans burning fossil fuels account for only 3% of the carbon dioxide released into our atmosphere.

Yet according to the warmies, that nominal 3% accounted for all "global warming." And according to their theory, as concentrations of CO2 increase in our atmosphere, so must the earth continue to warm. That is at the heart of every one of their computer models and projections - and Western nations have wasted hundreds of billions of dollars responding to that theory.  Our coal industry is in the process of being destroyed because of that theory.

Also for decades, the warmie crowd have dismissed out of hand any suggestion that the sun may be the primary driver of our climate, let alone play any sort of major role in climate change. That is also built into all of their computer models, which count CO2 as a forty times more potent driver of our climate than anything to do with the sun.

Several things have occurred over the past few years to threaten both positions. One, we've been pumping more CO2 into our atmosphere over the past 16 years, but the earth has not warmed at all. Two, our sun has gone quiet, with few solar flares, And three, the Svensmark hypothesis, that solar radiation was linked to cloud formation and that was the primary driver of our climate, actually got a first preliminary - and successful - test at CERN.

That is the set up for the leak of AR5. Now this from the man who leaked the report, Alec Rawls:

Full AR5 draft leaked here, contains game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing.

(Alec Rawls) I participated in “expert review” of the Second Order Draft of AR5 (the next IPCC report), Working Group 1 (“The Scientific Basis”), and am now making the full draft available to the public. . . .

As for my personal confidentiality agreement with the IPCC, I regard that as vitiated by the systematic dishonesty of the report (“omitted variable fraud” as I called it in my FOD comments). This is a general principle of journalistic confidentiality: bad faith on one side breaks the agreement on the other. They can’t ask reviewers to become complicit in their dishonesty by remaining silent about it.

Then there is the specific content of the Second Order Draft where the addition of one single sentence demands the release of the whole. That sentence is an astounding bit of honesty, a killing admission that completely undercuts the main premise and the main conclusion of the full report, revealing the fundamental dishonesty of the whole.

Lead story from the Second Order Draft: strong evidence for solar forcing beyond TSI now acknowledged by IPCC.

Compared to the First Order Draft, the SOD now adds the following sentence, indicated in bold (page 7-43, lines 1-5, emphasis added):

Many empirical relationships have been reported between GCR or cosmogenic isotope archives and some aspects of the climate system (e.g., Bond et al., 2001; Dengel et al., 2009; Ram and Stolz, 1999). The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link. We focus here on observed relationships between GCR and aerosol and cloud properties.

The Chapter 7 authors are admitting strong evidence (“many empirical relationships”) for enhanced solar forcing (forcing beyond total solar irradiance, or TSI), even if they don’t know what the mechanism is. This directly undercuts the main premise of the report, as stated in Chapter 8 (page 8-4, lines 54-57):

There is very high confidence that natural forcing is a small fraction of the anthropogenic forcing. In particular, over the past three decades (since 1980), robust evidence from satellite observations of the TSI and volcanic aerosols demonstrate a near-zero (–0.04 W m–2) change in the natural forcing compared to the anthropogenic AF increase of ~1.0 ± 0.3 W m–2.

The Chapter 8 authors (a different group than the Chapter 7 authors) are explicit here that their claim about natural forcing being small compared to anthropogenic forcing is based on an analysis in which the only solar forcing that is taken into account is TSI. This can be verified from the radiative forcing table on page 8-39 where the only solar variable included in the IPCC’s computer models is seen to be “solar irradiance.”

This analysis, where post-1980 warming gets attributed to the human release of CO2 on the grounds that it cannot be attributed to solar irradiance, cannot stand in the face of the Chapter 7 admission of substantial evidence for solar forcing beyond solar irradiance. Once the evidence for enhanced solar forcing is taken into account we can have no confidence that natural forcing is small compared to anthropogenic forcing.

The Chapter 8 premise that natural forcing is relatively small leads directly to the main conclusion of the entire report, stated in the first sentence of the Executive Summary (the very first sentence of the entire report): that advances since AR4 “further strengthen the basis for human activities being the primary driver in climate change” (p.1-2, lines 3-5). This headline conclusion is a direct descendant of the assumption that the only solar forcing is TSI, a claim that their own report no longer accepts.

The report still barely hints at the mountain of evidence for enhanced solar forcing, or the magnitude of the evidenced effect. Dozens of studies (section two here) have found between a .4 and .7 degree of correlation between solar activity and various climate indices, suggesting that solar activity “explains” in the statistical sense something like half of all past temperature change, very little of which could be explained by the very slight variation in TSI. At least the Chapter 7 team is now being explicit about what this evidence means: that some mechanism of enhanced solar forcing must be at work.

My full submitted comments (which I will post later) elaborate several important points. For instance, note that the Chapter 8 premise (page 8-4, lines 54-57) assumes that it is the change in the level of forcing since 1980, not the level of forcing, that would be causing warming. Solar activity was at historically high levels at least through the end of solar cycle 22 (1996), yet the IPCC is assuming that because this high level of solar forcing was roughly constant from 1950 until it fell off during solar cycle 23 it could not have caused post-1980 warming. In effect they are claiming that you can’t heat a pot of water by turning the burner to maximum and leaving it there, that you have to keep turning the flame up to get continued warming, an un-scientific absurdity that I have been writing about for several years (most recently in my post about Isaac Held’s bogus2-box model of ocean equilibration).

The admission of strong evidence for enhanced solar forcing changes everything. The climate alarmists can’t continue to claim that warming was almost entirely due to human activity over a period when solar warming effects, now acknowledged to be important, were at a maximum. The final draft of AR5 WG1 is not scheduled to be released for another year but the public needs to know now how the main premises and conclusions of the IPCC story line have been undercut by the IPCC itself.

President Obama is already pushing a carbon tax premised on the fear that CO2 is causing dangerous global warming. Last week his people were at the UN’s climate meeting in Doha pretending that Hurricane Sandy was caused by human increments to CO2 as UN insiders assured the public that the next IPCC report will “scare the wits out of everyone” with its ramped-up predictions of human-caused global warming to come, but this is not where the evidence points, not if climate change is in any substantial measure driven by the sun, which has now gone quiet and is exerting what influence it has in the cooling direction.

The acknowledgement of strong evidence for enhanced solar forcing should upend the IPCC’s entire agenda. [emphasis added]  The easiest way for the UN to handle this disruptive admission would be to remove it from their final draft, which is another reason to make the draft report public now. The devastating admission needs to be known so that the IPCC can’t quietly take it back.

The implications of this are huge.  Climategate, with its evidence that the warmies were cooking the books to show AGW, was a mere embarrassment to them, one that, with the help of a compliant MSM, they were able to simply shrug off.  This, however, directly undercuts the validity of their anthropogenic (man-made) global warming theory.

True, the IPCC finding does not come close to definitively answering questions about what drives climate, but what it does do is provide a very sound basis for the proposition that it is not human emissions of carbon dioxide causing the climate change - or in the case of the past 16 years, the lack thereof.  It should allow all bankrupting efforts by governments to shut down carbon admissions to be challenged - and given that our nation just re-elected Obama, the importance of that cannot be over-estimated.

Update: Prof. Roger Pielke, Jr. has reviewed AR5's assessment of the role of "climate change" in producing more, or at least more violent and harsh, incidents of catastrophic weather events, including floods, droughts, hurricanes, etc. AR4 credited climate change with a significant role. AR5 has reversed that assessment completely, finding with "high confidence" that "natural variability dominates any AGW influence in observed/historical TC records."

Update 2: The release of the draft has spurred another AR5 reviewer, Forest Mimms III, to come forward on a critical issue. He is concerned with water vapor - the principal green house gas in our atmosphere. As he notes, climate models show that, as carbon increases, so will water vapor. That said, a new study has found that water vapor has not risen at all, let alone risen in proportion to increasing amounts of CO2. Dr. Mimms is very concerned that this new study undercutting AGW theory make its way prominently into the final IPCC report.

Update 3: Linked at Larwyn's Linx: Vultures

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