Who you gonna believe on climate change report?

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The U.N.'s International Panel on Climate Change in effect issued that challenge with its 5th Assessment Report Monday.

A Summary for Policymakers was formally issued on Friday. But release of the report itself was delayed because revisions needed to be made to make the report comport with the Summary for Policymakers, the IPCC said.

Since the report is written by scientists, while the summary is written by political representatives of U.N. member nations, this would seem to be bass ackwards. In a rational world, the summary should be adjusted to reflect the current thinking of scientists. What scientists think to be scientific truth shouldn't be massaged to fit the needs, desires, or convenience of politicians.

News stories about the IPCC report were based on the Summary for Policymakers. The main reason for the delay in issuance of the report, I suspect, is so no journalist would notice the more extravagant claims by the politicos are heavily caveated by the scientists in the report proper.

A draft summary of the report leaked to journalists a few weeks ago more accurately reflected the thinking of the scientists on the panel but gave the politicos heartburn, said James Taylor, managing editor of Environment & Climate News.

That's because the draft summary acknowledged there has been a "pause" of 15 to 17 years in warming, which the computer models upon which the IPCC relies didn't predict.

Politicians in Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States have spent hundreds of billions of their taxpayers' dollars, and inflicted considerable hardships on their peoples on the basis of the dire predictions in earlier IPCC reports. If word got out this was all for naught, there could be repercussions at the polls.

So the IPCC issued its "who you gonna believe, us, or your lying eyes" challenge.

"I don't think there is a slowdown (in the rate of temperature increase)," IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri told the BBC Sept. 23.

That statement will not enhance Mr. Pachauri's already battered credibility. In an interview in February with Graham Lloyd of The Australian newspaper,he had acknowledged a 17-year "pause." IPCC lead author Hans von Storch of the Meteorologic Institute at the University of Hamburg acknowledged the pause -- and the inaccuracy of the IPCC computer models -- in an interview in June with the magazine Der Spiegel.

In August, temperatures in the lower troposphere (where warming is most likely to occur) were .29 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they had been in 1979, according to satellite measurements. Since 2011, global temperatures have declined by 0.61 degrees F.

The Summary for Policymakers "reveals a dogged attempt to salvage the IPCC's credibility amidst mounting evidence that it has gone overboard in its attempts to scare the global public over the last quarter century," said Roy Spencer, who with John Christy monitors satellite temperature measurements for the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

When it became clear the sky was not in fact falling, Chicken Little lost her credibility, and became an object of ridicule. The same fate is befalling those who -- despite what is now massive evidence to the contrary -- continue to claim the sky is warming.

This was written for The Pittsburgh Press and The Blade of Toldeo.

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Jack Kelly: jkelly@post-gazette.com


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