Friday, November 09, 2007

Bias, the IPCC and validation

A quick cut to the key conclusions of Holland's excellent paper:

  • That the “hockey stick” should have been so comprehensively invalidated by two highly qualified, independent, peer reviewed studies and public hearings, and yet is retained in any guise by the IPCC in its latest AR4 report, indicates how insular and unscientific a body the IPCC has become.
  • Despite substantial research over the last 20 years by paleoclimatologists at significant expense to taxpayers, there is no historic temperature reconstruction that can accurately replicate the instrumental temperature record from 1860 to 2000, let alone to 2007.
  • Unless all important studies are independently verified, it cannot be said that the late 20th century warming was particularly exceptional. And especially so given that no global warming at all has occurred since 1998, a period of eight years over which atmospheric CO2 increased by 15 ppm (4%). It is crystal clear that natural causes are a possible explanation for the entire instrumental temperature record to date.
  • So far as I am aware, there is no empirical evidence published in refereed journals that invalidates this null hypothesis.
  • Wegman et al. showed that the paleoclimate field is heavily influenced by “a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis.” Similar small groups almost certainly exist in other key areas of climate science, such as amongst those scientists who study the instrumental temperature series or who perform the computer model attribution studies.
  • The IPCC WGI is effectively run by small groups of inbred scientists from UCAR, CRU and the Hadley Centre, who have a strong and disproportionate influence on its processes and agenda. Rather than the consensus of thousands of scientists, the IPCC conclusions represent the passionate belief of a small number of scientists whose funding and research careers depend heavily upon continuing alarm. The belief is then shared by a much larger number of environmentally and politically motivated individuals, organisations and also businesses that have evolved to service the emission reductions that the IPCC calls for.
  • The vested interests of these groups are powerful sources of bias.
About as conclusive a summation of the case against AGW as can be made. The science does not sustain the dogma. Period.