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Posted by Alec Rawls, 12/13/12

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. I believe that the  leaking of this draft is entirely legal, that the taxpayer funded report is properly in the public domain under the Freedom of Information Act, and that  making it available to the public is in any case protected by established legal  and ethical standards, but web hosting companies are not in the business of  making such determinations so interested readers are encouraged to please  download copies of the report for further dissemination in case this content is  removed as a possible terms-of-service violation. My reasons for leaking the  report are explained below. Here are the chapters:

Summary for  Policymakers
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2:  Observations: Atmosphere and Surface
Chapter 3: Observations:  Ocean
Chapter 4: Observations:  Cryosphere
Chapter 5: Information from  Paleoclimate Archives
Chapter 6: Carbon and  Other Biogeochemical Cycles
Chapter 7: Clouds  and Aerosols
Chapter 8:  Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing
Chapter 8 Supplement
Chapter 9: Evaluation of  Climate Models
Chapter 10: Detection  and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional
Chapter 11: Near-term  Climate Change: Projections and Predictability
Chapter 12: Long-term  Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility
Chapter 13: Sea Level  Change
Chapter 14: Climate  Phenomena and their Relevance for Future Regional Climate Change
Chapter 14 Supplement
Technical Summary

Why leak the  draft report?

By Alec Rawls (email)

General principles

The ethics of leaking tax-payer funded documents  requires weighing the “public’s right to know” against any harm to the public  interest that may result. The press often leaks even in the face of extreme such  harm, as when the New York Times published details of how the Bush administration was tracking terrorist  financing with the help of the private sector Society for Worldwide Interbank  Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), causing this very successful anti-terror  program to immediately collapse.

That was a bad leak, doing great harm to expose  something that nobody needed to know about. With the UN’s IPCC reports the  calculus is reversed. UN “climate chief” Christina Figueres explains what is  at stake for the public:

… we are inspiring government, private sector, and  civil society to [make] the biggest transformation that they have ever  undertaken. The Industrial Revolution was also a transformation, but it wasn’t a  guided transformation from a centralized policy perspective. This is a  centralized transformation that is taking place because governments have decided  that they need to listen to science.

So may we please see this “science” on the basis of which  our existing energy infrastructure is to be ripped out in favor of non-existent  “green” energy? The only reason for secrecy in the first place is to enhance the  UN’s political control over a scientific story line that is aimed explicitly at  policy makers. Thus the drafts ought to fall within the reach of the Freedom of  Information Act.

The Obama administration implicitly acknowledged  this when it tried to evade FOIA by setting up private “backdoor  channels” for communications with the IPCC.  If NCAR’s Gerald Meehl (a lead author of AR5’s chapter on near-term climate  change), has working copies of the draft report (and he’s only one of dozens of U.S. government researchers who would), then by law the draft report (now finished)  should be available to the public.

The IPCC’s official reason for wanting secrecy (as  they explained it to Steve McIntyre in  January 2012) is so that criticisms of the drafts are not spread out across the internet  but get funneled through the UN’s comment process. If there is any merit to that  rationale it is now moot. The comment period ended November 30th so the comment  process can no longer be affected by publication.

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  bogus 2-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. 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.

Will some  press organization please host the leaked report?

Most of us have to worry about staying within cautiously  written and cautiously applied terms-of-service agreements. That’s why I created  this new website. If it gets taken down nothing else gets taken with it. Media  companies don’t have this problem. They have their own servers and publishing  things like the draft IPCC report is supposed to be their bailiwick.

If the press has First Amendment protection for the  publication of leaked materials even when substantial national security  interests are at stake (the Supreme Court precedent set in the Pentagon Papers  case), then it can certainly republish a leaked draft of a climate science  report where there is no public  interest in secrecy. The leaker could be  at risk (the case against Pentagon leaker Daniel Ellsberg was thrown out for  government misconduct, not because his activity was found to be protected) but  the press is safe, and their services would be appreciated.

United States taxpayers have funded climate science to the tune of well over 80 billion dollars,  all channeled through the funding bureaucracy established by Vice President  Albert “the end is nigh” Gore when he served as President Clinton’s “climate  czar.”  That  Gore-built bureaucracy is still to this day striving to insure that not a penny  of all those taxpayer billions ever goes to any researcher who is not committed  to the premature conclusion that human contributions to atmospheric CO2 are  causing dangerous global warming (despite the lack of any statistically significant warming for more than 15 years).

Acolytes of this bought “consensus” want to see what new  propaganda their tax dollars have wrought and so do the skeptics. It’s  unanimous, and an already twice-vetted draft is sitting now in thousands of  government offices around the world. Time to fork it over to the people.

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