AR5: dead in the water?
Jun 1, 2012
Bishop Hill in Climate: IPCC, FOI, Greens

Steve McIntyre's latest post seems to me to be of huge importance. The refusal by Joelle Gergis and colleagues to release data behind their paper follows on behind similar refusals from authors in the same clique - principally Raphael Neukom. This stonewalling of reasonable requests represents yet another blow at the credibility of paleoclimate. To make things worse, the credibility of the Gergis paper is shattered by the revelation that it is based on circular reasoning - a fallacy that has been repeatedly noted in paleoclimate papers, yet one which is constantly given the seal of approval by peer reviewers in the field.

Despite the refusal of authors in the Gergis-Neukom clique to release data, as thing stand the IPCC will allow their work to be cited in the Fifth Assessment Report. This seems to me to be a ringing endorsement of pseudoscience.

If this were not a bad enough indictment of the IPCC, take a look at this report at Haunting the Library, which reveals Neil Adger, the man in charge of the AR5 chapter on "Human Security", as a member of an eccentric group called the Resilience Alliance:

Whilst the organisation might sound like a convention gathering from Star Trek, their aims are far, far, more serious and wide-ranging than that. Indeed, their ultimate goal, as stated on their website, is nothing less than what they term “Panarchy” in accordance with “nature’s rules” of “unpredictable change”. An important part of the philosophy of panarchy is that national governments are increasingly sidelined in favour of multi-jurisdictional institutions.

Is is possible to argue in these circumstances that the IPCC remains a credible organisation? I would say not. I wonder if the Fifth Assessment Report is dead in the water already.

Update on Jun 1, 2012 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Frank in the comments points out that the sorting was to the detrended temperatures. If so then this would mitigate against the circular reasoning criticism. I note Steve M's comments:

Gergis et al 2012 say that their screening is done on de-trended series. This measure might mitigate the screening fallacy – but this is something that would need to be checked carefully. I haven’t yet checked on the other papers in this series.

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