Sunday, February 07, 2010

Mercy Me, Another One

There is trouble brewing in Africa. Climate Trouble. It seems to be another case of a not wholly disinterested party hyping fears based on less than adequate sources. It seems to be a theme over at the IPCC.

Following an investigation by this blog (and with the story also told in The Sunday Times), another major "mistake" in the IPCC's benchmark Fourth Assessment Report has emerged.

Similar in effect to the erroneous "2035" claim – the year the IPCC claimed that Himalayan glaciers were going to melt – in this instance we find that the IPCC has wrongly claimed that in some African countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2020.

At best, this is a wild exaggeration, unsupported by any scientific research, referenced only to a report produced by a Canadian advocacy group, written by an obscure Moroccan academic who specialises in carbon trading, citing references which do not support his claims.

Unlike the glacier claim, which was confined to a section of the technical Working Group II report, this "50 percent by 2020" claim forms part of the key Synthesis Report, the production of which was the personal responsibility of the chair of the IPCC, Dr R K Pachauri. It has been repeated by him in many public fora. He, therefore, bears a personal responsibility for the error.
What is it now? The third or fifteenth report of major anomalies in the IPCC record? Well what ever the number they are starting to add up.
"Will the overall fall in agricultural production be very large or relatively small?" Conway asked, noting that: "Part of our ignorance comes from a growing but, nevertheless, poor understanding of the drivers of the African climate and their complex interactions."

"Part is due to a severe lack of local weather data, particularly for central Africa," he continued. "This lack of knowledge makes it difficult to validate climate models and hence predict with any degree of accuracy what will happen as a result of climate change at a country, or even sub-regional level in Africa."
What? The models are unvalidated? I have to tell you I am shocked. But wait. Climate is a chaotic system. And in such a system errors can multiply out of control. And because of a lack of data the climate "scientists" can't be sure they have it right. For a continent. And that uncertainty could propagate. It could also mean the other better known areas have their parameters set wrong because of the unknowns. Which could make the models good for predicting the known past and useless for predicting the future. Nice work if you can get it.

H/T Watts Up With That

1 comment:

Chuck said...

"a severe lack of local weather data, particularly for central Africa"

It being weather, looking out the window will usually find it?

Or perhaps we should point them at
www.wunderground.com
they don't seem to have too much difficulty with central African weather.
Or could it be the whole Weather/Climate meme, and he is just confused?

More likely, I think we should just logically extend the final quote -

"This lack of knowledge makes it difficult to validate climate models and hence predict with any degree of accuracy what will happen as a result of climate change at a country, or even sub-regional level in Africa."

to the whole planet.