15 Mar 2010

Knappenberger Catches the IPCC With Its Pants Down

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Over at MasterResource, Chip Knappenberger (who is a published climate scientist, though he is ABD I believe) has a great post documenting the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report’s treatment of Antarctic sea ice. Here is the intro:

Some climate scientists have distanced themselves from the IPCC Working Group II’s (WGII’s) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, prefering instead the stronger hard science in the Working Group I (WGI) Report—The Physical Science Basis. Some folks have even gone as far as saying that no errors have been found in the WGI Report and the process in creating it was exemplary.

Such folks are in denial.

As I document below, WGI did a poor job in regard to Antarctic sea ice trends. Somehow, the IPCC specialists assessed away a plethora of evidence showing that the sea ice around Antarctica has been significantly increasing—a behavior that runs counter to climate model projections of sea ice declines—and instead documented only a slight, statistically insignificant rise.

How did this happen? The evidence suggests that IPCC authors were either being territorial in defending and promoting their own work in lieu of other equally legitimate (and ultimately more correct) findings, were being guided by IPCC brass to produce a specific IPCC point-of-view, or both.

I warn you that Chip’s post is a bit long, and for full effect you need to read it carefully. But if you are at all interested in this issue–and you don’t want to reflexively say “hoax! hoax!” just because you are a libertarian–I think Chip’s post is well worth the effort.

Let me give one more hint: The post keeps getting better, the deeper you get into it, but you can’t just skip to the punchline. You need to read the whole thing as it builds to the climax, and the noose tightens around the IPCC authors who were in charge of this particular section.

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