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Nir Shaviv: the IPCC AR5, first impressions

The author is an Israeli astrophysicist and cosmoclimatologist, blogging at

The IPCC summary for policy makers is out, and as I started writing these lines so was the last draft of the main report. Of course, it will take a while to digest the 2200 pages of the full report (it has a lot of starch!). Until I do, here are my first impressions from having read the summary and having skimmed the full scientific report.

My main conclusion is that this report is to a large extent a rehash of the AR4 report. However, given the lack of any new evidence pointing to humans and the increasing discrepancy between the alarmist models and predictions, the IPCC authors are bluntly making more ridiculous claims as they attempt to fill in the gap between their models and reality.

One of the statements which wonderfully exemplifies the absurdity of the new report is this paragraph discussing the climate sensitivity in the summary for policy makers. They write:

“The equilibrium climate sensitivity quantifies the response of the climate system to constant radiative forcing on multi-century time scales. It is defined as the change in global mean surface temperature at equilibrium that is caused by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence) 16. The lower temperature limit of the assessed likely range is thus less than the 2°C in the AR4, but the upper limit is the same. This assessment reflects improved understanding, the extended temperature record in the atmosphere and ocean, and new estimates of radiative forcing.”
Now, have you noticed something strange? According to the AR4 report, the "likely equilibrium range of sensitivity" was 2.0 to 4.5°C per CO2 doubling. According to the newer AR5 report, it is 1.5 to 4.5°C, i.e., the likely equilibrium sensitivity is now known less accurately. But they write: “This assessment reflects improved understanding”. How ridiculous can you be?

More seriously, let me put this in perspective with the most boring graph I have ever plotted in my life. Below is the likely range of climate sensitivity as a function of time. As you can see, with the exception of AR4 with its slightly smaller range mentioned above, the likely range of climate sensitivity did not change since the Charney report in 1979. In other words, after perhaps billions of dollars invested in climate research over more than three decades, our ability to answer the most important question in climate has not improved a single bit!

One reason for the lack of improved understanding could be incompetence of the people in the field. That is, all the billions of dollars invested in climate research were not or could not be used to answer the most important question in climate, one which will allow predicting the 21st century climate change. I doubt however that this is the real reason. Among the thousands working in climate research, surely there are at least a few who are competent, if not more.

I think the real reason why there is no improvement in the understanding of climate sensitivity is the following. If you have a theory which is correct, then as progressively more data comes in, the agreement becomes better. Sure, occasionally some tweaks have to be made, but overall there is an improved agreement. However, if the basic premises of a theory are wrong, then there is no improved agreement as more data is collected. In fact, it is usually the opposite that takes place, the disagreement increases. In other words, the above behavior reflects the fact that the IPCC and alike are captives of a wrong conception.

This divergence between theory and data exactly describes the the situation over the past several years with the lack of temperature increase (e.g., as I described here some time ago). It is also the reason why the IPCC had to lower the lower bound. The discrepancy is large enough now that a climate sensitivity of 2°C is inconsistent with the observations. However, under legitimate scientific behavior, the upper bound would have been decreased in parallel, but not in this case. This is because it would require abandoning the basic premise of a large sensitivity. Since the data requires a low climate sensitivity and since alarmism requires a large climate sensitivity, the "likely range" of climate sensitivity will remain large until the global warming scare will abate.

Incidentally, if one is not a captive of the high sensitivity idea, then things do converge, but they converge towards a climate sensitivity of about 1 to 1.5°C per CO2 doubling.

A second important aspect of the present report is that the IPCC is still doing its best to avoid the evidence that the sun has a large effect on climate. They of course will never admit this quantifiable effect because it would completely tear down the line of argumentation for a mostly manmade global warming of a very sensitive climate. More about it in a few days.

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snail feedback (16) :

reader Kimmo Rouvari said...

Nice and informative post, thank you! What options do we have? Waiting for the actual climate change outcome costs too much money in forms of various projects aimed to prevent the "global warming". Scared sheeps do what they are told to do. Reasonable talks won't make any impact.

reader Mephisto said...

I have a completely amateurish question. Global warming or not warming is not among the topics that have interested me much in the last decade so appology if the question is stupid.
I read an article in the media and there they explained the lack of observed warming in the last decade by the melting ice. From high school physics we all know that if you melt ice, some latent heat Q is needed to melt it and during the melting, the temperature stays the same (0°C). They explained that the excess heat trapped on Earth by the greenhouse gases was being used to melt the ice in the arctic regions and on glaciers and that is why we have not been observing any temperature increase. The ice melting is something which is more easily observable, i.e. we have images of glaciers 50 years in the past and now.

Is this hypothesis quantitatively possible or is it nonsense? Can we compute the latent heat needed to melt the glaciers and arctic regions and could it be responsible for the observed non-heating?

reader Eclectikus said...

A good summary, thanks. Actually they only thing they have to do (they must do indeed), is to run the Scientific Method. How many of the models have been refuted by the empiric data? Even accepting the official graph, instead of that who was filtered out, "Second Order Draft", it should be send them away a lot of these models (and surely many of the people in charge on them), and with the remaining is easy to realize that they point us at lower sensitivities, and consequently that their predictions were mostly useless. I'm sure many of us, lubos included, would accept their apology, and even we would welcome that some of them, roughly 10%, continue to struggle to learn more about the different climate mechanisms. Yeah, I know, I was dreaming...

reader Russell Johnson said...

It's always refreshing to read the thoughts of a true scientist. The AR5 report is truly rope-a-dope for warmist faithful; science and truth have
been trampled.

I'm convinced no amount of ridicule is too much to pile on this false religion. We need to stop arguing melting processes, latent heat et al and just
show these venal liars the door.

If the entire N. Hemisphere was 5 meters deep in snow tomorrow these fascists would claim the heat is hiding at the bottom..........

reader sabretruthtiger said...

Right, because the Earth has melted many times before from such Earthquakes...oh it hasn't.

reader Gene Day said...

Nir Shaviv,
Thanks for the informative post. I certainly do look forward to hearing more from you.

reader sabretruthtiger said...

Firstly the Arctic ice has not melted in step with the CO2 concentration, the Arctic has in fact recovered a bit since the 2007 minimum extent. Secondly the Arctic is subject to warm water intrusions from circulatory anomalies and oceanic oscillations rather than merely overall regional temperature and is not the best barometer for global temperature. The Antarctic however is not so subject to such phenomena and is more static and influenced by overall global temperatures. The Antarctic ice extent has increased over the years but we never hear about the Antarctic in the mainstream media, I wonder why.
Thirdly, the Arctic has I mentioned before has not melted in step with the 15 year pause, it reached a minimum in 2007 but has recovered quite a bit while the global temperature is still plateaued.
Global temperature and regional effects are governed by solar activity and solar electro magnetic and lunar modulation of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere creating changes in cloud cover which is a driving factor, but solar and lunar activity also changes the jetstream which is a primary weather driver. Multidecadal and decadal Oceanic oscillations are also a driving factor. There's a complex interaction of solar/lunar cycles, oceanic cycles and more to create the climate and the resulting stochastic noise from these variables vastly overshadows any contribution from the trace GHG CO2

reader Peter F. said...

Thanks for finding and quoting/pointing out that wonderfully revealing quoted paragraph! :-)
I dearly hope that all you heavy recalcitrant hitters will use it vigorously and to good effect against the carbon calamity crap!

reader papertiger0 said...

The new cat is fired up. Breaking out the claw.

reader sabretruthtiger said...

Good question by the way, a logical science-based question as opposed to the Alarmists that engage in character smears and avoidance of science.

reader sabretruthtiger said...

Lol! It's a fair question from Mephisto, I'm not a scientist and know next to nothing about it but always keen to go where the science leads. His question is a refreshing change from the ad hominem attacks characteristic of alarmists.

reader cleanwater2 said...

While I agree with Dr. Nir Shaviv about
the UN-IPCC fairy-tale(my word). I am wondering why even "Skeptics" have not asked a very basic question>Where is a credible experiment that proves that the Hypotheses of the Greenhouse gas effect exists.
People that follow the old web-site
"" replaced by are aware that many scientists have established that the greenhouse gas effect just does not exist. To call gases that absorb IR or other electromagnetic energy "greenhouse gases" is totally unscientific. If we want to refer to these gases as a group it is more correct to say IR absorbing gases =IRag.

To waste time reviewing papers by a
group that base there whole primes on a Hypotheses that does not exist is insanity. The UN-IPCC should be abolished and not another
penny spent on the stupidity of man-kind trying to "control climate". As has been stated by many the the "CONTROLLING FACTOR OF CLIMATE IS THE SUN AND EARTHS ORBITING OF IT".
Man-kind should be prepared to deal with the effects of changing weather including the possibility of a new mini-ice age.
Dr. Nir-Shaviv (and others) stated it
correctly at least a year or two ago that there is no correlation of CO2 concentration and earths atmospheric temperature. Even John
Tyndall (1850-60) stated in his writings that water /liquid,solid,gas has a measurable effect on weather but that the other trace gases
including CO2 can not have a measurable effect just based on the small quantity in the atmosphere.

If we look at thermodynamics and the
heat transfer rate of CO2 vs O2+ N2 -the higher the concentration of CO2 ,the higher the rate of Heat transfer;thus heat would be transferred to space faster thus cooling the earths atmospheric
temperature . There are several experiments that confirm this statement. Review the work of Dr. Nahle.

Getting back to the IPCC report (fairy-tale)- there should be criminal investigations of those who
have and are continuing the Hoax.

reader Eugene S said...

Illogical, illucid, and illiterate.

reader cleanwater2 said...

My writing may be illogical, illucid and illiterate but it is scientifically correct.
There is no credible experiment that proves that the Hypothesis of the greenhouse gas effect exists. Until someone comes up with a credible experiment the GHGE is a fairly-tale.

reader B Louis said...

GCMs only appear to show exponential temperature rise with CO2 in the long term. The longer they run, the more ridiculous the results will look. How does a random number generator in a GCM make the answer more correct?

Murry Salby's presentation has a much more sane analysis of CO2 and temperature.

Meanwhile, the lack of *any* experiment demonstrating heat retention by *any* IR aborbing/emitting gas exposed to IR is deafening.

The impossiblity of *any* absorbing/emitting gas to both enhance heat flow from warmer sun to cooler earth in the day and retard heat flow from the warmer earth to cooler space at night could be readily verified in a physics lab.

Failure to account for heat energy emanating from the earth's core 24/7 and heat energy from human activity on the surface 24/7 is plain bad physics.

If we put a column of CO2 at 100% 3.7m thick (which is about an atmosphere’s worth of CO2) in an IR reflective prism/cylinder closed at both ends with IR tranparent windows in front of a black absorber the same shape as the base of the prism/cylinder pointing to the sun, how much warmer will the black absorber get?

a. 0 degrees K
b. 33 degrees K
c. 2 deg K
d. all of the above
e. none of the above

(Hint only one answer is right and nobody knows what it is until somebody could be bothered to do the experiment.)

reader Toon Pepermans said...

any news on the follow-up on this article?
"More about it in a few days" he said, I'm still waiting

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