Monday, August 29, 2005


(By eminent statistician Ian Castles in Climate Audit, 22 August 2005)

During the past three years I and a co-author (David Henderson, former Head of the Department of Economics and Statistics at OECD) have criticised the IPCC’s treatment of economic issues.

Our main single criticism has been the Panel’s use of exchange rate converters to put the GDPs of different countries onto a common basis for purposes of estimating and projecting output, income, energy intensity, etc. This is not permissible under the internationally-agreed System of National Accounts which was unanimously approved by the UN Statistical Commission in 1993, and published later that year by the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF, the OECD and the Commission of the European Communities, under cover of a Foreword which was personally signed by the Heads of the five organisations.

The practice of exchange rate conversion has been explicitly rejected by at least three Nobel Laureates in economics (Sir Richard Stone, Paul Samuelson and Amartya Sen) and three Distinguished Fellows of the American Economic Association (Irving Kravis, Robert Summers and Alan Heston). In the course of the current controversy, Sir Partha Dasgupta of Cambridge University has told Stephen Schneider of Stanford University, a leading IPCC figure, that “Castles is of course completely right” (in rejecting the use of “outmoded accounting practices”); William Nordhaus of Yale University advised an IPCC Expert Meeting on Emissions Scenarios last January that estimates of output or income using exchange rates are “simply wrong”, “constructed on an economically unsound basis”, “fundamentally wrong”, “highly misleading” and “precisely wrong”; Richard Tol of Hamburg University informed the recent UK House of Lords Committee inquiry into “The Economics of Climate Change” that the IPCC scenarios “essentially assume convergence based on market exchange rates, which is ludicrous”; Ross McKitrick of Guelph University drew the Committee’s attention to a statement by John Reilly of MIT that the IPCC scenarios exercise was “in my view, a kind of insult to science”; and the world’s leading expert on historical international comparisons of output and income, Angus Maddison, gave the Committee “an illustration of the implausibility of using exchange rate converters in historical analysis or futurology (as in the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios …)” In its unanimous report, the 13-member Select Committee on Economic Affairs of the House of Lords said that “We found no support for the use of MER in [long-term emissions scenarios], other than from Dr Nakicenovic of the IPCC.”

None of this criticism has moved the IPCC. Its Chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri of India, told the House of Lords Committee that the criticism of the emissions scenarios “only validates the methodology that the IPCC used earlier” and “does not invalidate it”. A press statement published on the IPCC website which is devoted specifically and exclusively to brushing aside the Castles and Henderson critique says that the IPCC “mobilises the best experts from all over the world”, and describes us as “so called ‘two independent commentators’”. The IPCC has selected Professor Nakicenovic and Brian Fisher, Director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE), as the two Coordinating Lead Authors of the chapter in the Panel’s next assessment report (AR4) that is to assess criticism of the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES). In their first response to the Castles and Henderson critique, Professor Nakicenovic and 14 other lead authors of the SRES said that “Mr Castles and Mr Henderson have focused (at tedious length) on constructing a ‘problem’ that does not exist”, and in their “final” response Nakicenovic and 17 other lead authors persisted in affirming the “methodological soundness of the use of MER for developing long term emissions scenarios”. Brian Fisher, the other CLA of the chapter that is to assess the IPCC scenarios, is the co-author of an article published by ABARE (of which he is Director) which states that “The use of [market exchange rates] … in the SRES remains valid and the critique by Castles and Henderson cannot be sustained.”

Australia’s leading scientific research organisation, the CSIRO, appended an opinion piece by atmospheric scientist Kevin Hennessy to its submission to an Australian Senate Committee Inquiry into the Kyoto Protocol Ratification Bill 2003. According to Mr Hennessy,”Castles and Henderson have claimed that the IPCC warming projections are based on greenhouse emissions that are too high because market exchange rates (MER) were used rather than purchasing power parity (PPP) in calculating future economic growth. The claims have been reviewed and refuted by international experts (Nakicenovic and others).” The list of references to the opinion piece did not include any paper by “Nakicenovic and others”. Mr Hennessy subsequently declined an invitation to produce a paper on the CSIRO’s emissions scenarios for Energy & Environment (the journal in which Nakicenovic et al appeared), on the grounds that the CSIRO prefers to publish in peer-reviewed journals listed by the Institute for Scintific Information (ISI). Mr Hennessy has been selected as a Coordinating Lead Author of the “Australia and New Zealand” chapter of the next IPCC Report.

At the IPCC Expert Meetings on Emissions Scenarios last January, Professor John Weyant of Stanford University, Director of the Energy Modeling Forum, defended the use of exchange rate converters by the IPCC on the ground that “best practice can differ between making historical welfare comparisons and model projections of GDP, energy and carbon emissions.” According to the Report of the meeting “Weyant recommended using MERs or PPPs consistently.” It is of course a contradiction in terms to urge the use of MERs “consistently”.In a letter to Dr Pachauri three years ago I pointed out that an expert committee appointed by the UN Statistical Commission had found that there were “material errors” (that is, errors which left the reader with ‘a fundamentally distorted view of the phenomena being described’) in the UNDP’s Human Development Report 1999. I noted that the same statements had been repeated uncritically in IPCC reports. Two of these were in a chapter of the last assessment report of which Professor Weyant was Coordinating Lead Author. The IPCC has not acknowledged that any mistakes were made in the last assessment report and has selected Weyant as Review Editor of the Chapter in the next assessment report which is to review criticisms of the IPCC emissions scenarios.

Another Lead Author of the next IPCC Assessment Report whose country of residence appears on the IPCC lists as “Australia” is Bill Hare, who was one of the invited experts to the recent IPCC Workshop on Emissions Scenarios (as a representative of “Greenpeace, Environmental NGO”). Mr Hare argued for a strong role for the IPCC in the development of scenarios in the future, and asserted that the SRES had been a “big success”.

In my first letter to the Chairman of the IPCC three years ago, I said that it would “be desirable to seek the involvement of national statistical offices and of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) in the new emissions projections that I understand are to be prepared for the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report.” The IPCC subsequently decided that there would be no emissions projections. It has not invited any representatives of national statistical offices or of the ISI to any of its expert meetings, nor have any national accounts experts been included in the writing teams for the next assessment report.

The IPCC can ignore the world’s leading economists and statisticians with impunity, because it has the support of “the worldwide scientific community”. In its submission to the House of Lords Committee, the Royal Society (UK) explained that: “The work of the IPCC is backed by the worldwide scientific community. A joint statement of support was issued in May 2001 by the science academies of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK. It stated: ‘We recognise the IPCC as the world’s most reliable source of information on climate change and its causes, and we endorse its methods of achieving consensus.”

The joint statement of support appeared in “Science”, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In a news item published in the same issue of “Science”, the President of the Royal Society, Lord May, explained that the Royal Society had organised the petition because of resistance to the terms of the Kyoto Protocol by countries such as the US and Australia.


(From Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Article in Press)

Temperature responses to quasi-100-yr solar variability during the past 6000 years based on delta 18 O of peat cellulose in Hongyuan, eastern Qinghai-Tibet plateau, China

By: Hai Xu a), b), Yetang Hong b), Qinghua Lin b), Yongxuan Zhu b), Bing Hong b) and Hongbo Jiang b) a) State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 10 Fenghui South Road, High-tech Zone, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, PO Box 710075, China b) State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang, 550002, China


During the past 6000 years, the temperature variation trend inferred from ?18O of peat cellulose in a peat core from Hongyuan (eastern Qinghai-Tibet plateau, southwestern China) is similar to the atmospheric 14C concentration trend and the modeled solar output trend. The general trend of Hongyuan ?18O during the past millennium also coincides well with the atmospheric 14C concentration trend, the 10Be concentration trend in an ice core from the South Pole, the reconstructed total solar irradiance trend, as well as the modeled solar output trend. In addition, temperature events also correspond well to solar perturbations during the past 6000 years. Therefore, the driving force of Holocene temperature variations should be properly ascribed to solar activity. The spectrum analysis further illustrates that quasi-100-yr fluctuation of solar activity was probably responsible for temperature variations in northeast Qinghai-Tibet plateau during the past 6000 years.

1. Introduction

A Considerable number of investigations have been performed to study Holocene temperature variations and the related mechanisms in China recently (Hong et al., 2000, Xu et al., 2002 and Yang et al., 2002). Temperature changes inferred from delta18 O in peat cellulose at Hongyuan (Xu et al., 2002) and Jinchuan (Hong et al., 2000) (Fig. 1) are synchronous with those discovered in numerous studies in China and those revealed by other studies in the Northern Hemisphere (Xu et al., 2002). Recently, Yang et al. (2002) studied temperatures in China over the past 2000 years and discovered that temperature trends in different regions of China are consistent with one another. Close attention should be paid to the synchrony of temperature variations in different regions in China because the climate dynamics are quite variable. China is one of the most active and extensive monsoon regions. Different regions, influenced variably by a number of monsoon sources, have different climatic patterns. The complex topography can also lead to climatic variations (An, 2000). Thus, if the temperatures in different regions are synchronous, a common and dominant forcing process is strongly supported.

The nature of such a common forcing agent is still debated. Variation of the total energy reaching the Earth may be a major factor that influences the Earth's climates. During the latest two sunspot cycles, Earth-satellite measurements indicate that the total solar output, which has long been considered constant, has varied by 0.1% (Reid, 1997). These small solar perturbations, whose effect can be magnified by different feedback mechanisms (Van Geel et al., 1999, Bond et al., 2001 and Shindell et al., 2001), may ultimately lead to climatic oscillations on several time scales, such as annual to decadal and/or centennial scales, as well as millennial scales. Therefore, solar variability can possibly be considered as a primary factor when studying the mechanisms of Holocene temperature variations (Blackford and Chambers, 1995, Chambers et al., 1999, Van Geel et al., 1999, Reid, 1997, Lean and Rind, 1999 and Beer et al., 2000).

The atmospheric 14C concentration has long been recognized as a sensitive proxy of solar variability (Eddy, 1976). In addition, variations of the modeled solar output (Perry and Hsu, 2000), which are consistent with temperatures, may also be used as a surrogate of solar activity. In this paper, we compare temperature variations inferred from delta18 O in peat cellulose at Hongyuan with solar activity inferred from several kinds of solar proxy indices, and perform cross-spectral analysis to investigate the relationship between temperatures and solar variability. Our study reveals that quasi-100-yr fluctuations of solar activity are possibly the primary driving force of Chinese temperatures during the past 6000 years.


6. Conclusions

During the past 6000 years, temperature variations in China exhibit high synchrony among different regions, and importantly, are in-phase with those discovered in other regions in the northern hemisphere. Comparisons between temperature variations and solar activities indicate that both temperature trends on centennial/millennial timescales and climatic events are related to solar variability, suggesting that solar variability is possibly a primary driving force that influences temperatures. Cross-spectrum analyses indicate that there exists a series of periodicities between temperatures in Hongyuan, temperatures in Jinchuan, and solar activities. These common periodicities are mainly a response to variations in solar activity. Quasi-100-yr fluctuations of solar activity may be the primary driving force of temperature during the past 6000 years in China.

The Doi (permanent) address for the full article above is here

Another judge who thinks he knows better than both Congress and the administration: "Two environmental groups and four U.S. cities may sue U.S. federal agencies which finance overseas projects which they say contribute to global warming, a federal judge has ruled... It was brought by Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the cities of Boulder, Colorado, Santa Monica, California, Oakland, California and Arcata, California. Judge Jeffrey White ruled on Tuesday that U.S. law allows the groups and cities to proceed with their lawsuit because they may be affected by overseas agency-backed projects whose emissions are linked to global warming. "The landmark decision is the first time that a federal court has specifically granted legal standing for a lawsuit exclusively alleging injury from global warming and challenging the federal government's failure to evaluate the impacts of its actions on the Earth's climate and U.S. citizens," the Friends of the Earth said in a statement on its Web site".


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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