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« Working Group II leaked | Main | Hysteria »

The Fifth's first fiddle

The full text of the Fifth Assessment Report has been out for less than 24 hours and the tales of malfeasance are flowing already. Steve McIntyre has already blogged about some misleading behaviour by senior scientists involved in the review, but his post this morning is amazing, revealing how the discrepancy between climate models and observations was systematically hidden between the final review of the draft and the report issued to the public.

For the envelopes from the first three assessments, although they cite the same sources as the predecessor Second Draft Figure 1.4, the earlier projections have been shifted downwards relative to observations, so that the observations are now within the earlier projection envelopes. You can see this relatively clearly with the Second Assessment Report envelope: compare the two versions. At present, I have no idea how they purport to justify this.

None of this portion of the IPCC assessment is drawn from peer-reviewed material. Nor is it consistent with the documents sent to external reviewers.

Read the whole thing.

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Reader Comments (99)

I'm sure our resident modeler, Dr. Richard Betts, has a convicing and robust explanation for these changes.

Oct 1, 2013 at 9:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Mr Keiller, more likely he'll tell us that there's a misplaced comma in Mr McIntyre's post.

Oct 1, 2013 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

It may be old news now, but did anyone ever figure out what the grey envelope in the Second Draft is? The one that isn't any of the obvious projection envelopes?

Oct 1, 2013 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered Commenteranonym

It would be interesting to find out the name of the person who produced the new non-peer-reviewed graph.

Corruption in action before your very eyes.

Oct 1, 2013 at 10:33 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

You're a very good headline writer Andrew. Often makes me chuckle.

Once this Climate hysteria has died down I'm sure the Sun would have a job for you if you wanted it.

You didn't come up with "Freddy Starr ate my hamster" in a previous life did you?

Oct 1, 2013 at 10:39 AM | Registered CommenterSimonW

A suggestion if I may be so bold?

Making these claims as a blogger does a great job reaching far and wide, but inevitably it is always airily dismissed by the other side as being the 'denialist blogosphere', thus attacking the man and discrediting the message. After that 'they' need do nothing further.

If this level of deceit is provable (and why is it not?) then perhaps it's time for someone to take this allegation mainstream. By that I mean making incredibly serious allegations on the likes of Question Time, Radio 4 etc, on a high-profile public domain where the allegation becomes actionable.

Only by making these allegations in an arena that reaches a far wider audience than blogging (and thus has a genuine headline-grabbing, cannot-be-overlooked impact) and then being prepared to stand up in court to defend the allegations, will the IPCC be dragged, kicking and screaming, to account.

Oct 1, 2013 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered


You're so right; not to belittle the actual text but the headlines are superb.

Oct 1, 2013 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Jones

I thought the line to take had settled on, "The so-called pause is just a fabrication by denialist reactionaries. And it's not significant. And anyway the heat's hiding in the oceans."

And now they resort to deception bordering on fraud to try to hide it?

They seriously need to get in touch with Entropic Man. He has all the answers.

Oct 1, 2013 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterJake Haye

The Guardian's very own malfeasance specialist is crowing about the very same fraud right here:

Oct 1, 2013 at 11:09 AM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

It's worth noting that going from draft 1 to the final version, not only X axis scales change, but also Y axis scales; mysterious and unjustified confidence limits have been hinted at; and poorly chosen colours used to index absurdly dense overplots. Those are exactly the sort of tricks weak students get up to when they hope to deceive. Sorry to sound cynical, but it's simply impossible to avoid the impression of a deliberate attempt to disguise and/or distort an inconvenient fact. Unless somebody now changes the observed data (always a possibility I suppose), they will remain outside the predicted envelope. This figure shows signs of becoming the "Himalayan glacier" of AR5.

Oct 1, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered Commenteralan kennedy

A lot of people looking at the IPCC report will look at the pictures, rather than read the text. Quite a few of the graphs I've looked at so far are not designed to inform the reader.

I’ve been looking at the Atlas of Global and Regional Climate Projections, specifically Europe. Nice bit of obfuscation in the graphs. Scale along the bottom is a full 200 years and they feature huge temperature ranges on the y axis so that it makes any kind of comparison with short term divergence (anything before 2025) impossible even if temperatures were to fall to Little Ice Age levels.

Oct 1, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

anonym (Oct 1, 2013 at 10:17 AM)

did anyone ever figure out what the grey envelope in the Second Draft is?

- It’s a grey area
- It’s the known unknowns
- It’s the deep brown stuff that climate scientists find themselves in

Oct 1, 2013 at 11:28 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

The first thing I looked for was fig 1.4 from the SOD. When I couldn't find it I resolved to go back and find out what had happened (smelling a rat). Now Steve McIntyre has done the job for us - in 24 hours!

Well done Steve McIntyre!!

Oct 1, 2013 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

I'd like to hear from Peter Gleick on this.

Oct 1, 2013 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterpleading the fifth

To my eyeball, first graph shows current observed temps at the 0.4 anomaly. Second graph at the 0.5 anomaly. ~0.1 degrees of warming has been created out of nothing?

Oct 1, 2013 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat


Absolutely. A court is the only place this will finally be exposed. The usual avenues of correction are broken. Science is closed due to peer pressure, the current overpowering paradigm, tenure, oceans of juicy funding, sympathetically-aligned ideology and the religious fervour of 'saving the planet'. Public inquiries won't work, as they are fixable. The media is broken.

A good start would be the libel court, where an expensive lawyer could explain the frauds quite simply to the average citizen. The logic isn't, after all, very complex. Just follow the money.

Only problem is that none of the Greenshirts care about being called 'liars' and 'frauds' enough to sue.

Oct 1, 2013 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

I've always said that the most important consideration has to be the success or failure of the predictions. Which means they must be watched closely: such as how they are defined, measured and reported.

This particular industry is too accustomed to defining it's own performance criteria, changing the predictions as and when it is convenient (i.e. nobody is looking), controlling the reporting, and then awarding itself the gold medal. It's worse than we thought.

Oct 1, 2013 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

You're a very good headline writer Andrew. Often makes me chuckle.

Aye, Andrew - he's spot on though, is he not?

Oct 1, 2013 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

We sceptics must speak out. We just cannot take the Fifth.

But we know of some climate scientists who may one day be advised to take it - and I don't mean the Assessment Report.

Oct 1, 2013 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBob Layson

IPCC - Incestious Political Climate Cartel?

Oct 1, 2013 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

@ Stuck Record....

It needs sceptics naming names, pinning responsibility directly onto individuals rather than faceless organisations that can easily dismiss the allegations without feeling compromised.

If someone very specifically accused prof XXX of aiding and abetting scientific fraud and deliberate data manipulation via XXX, then you'd find a lawyers letter on your desk soon enough, in which case, into court you go.

No lawyers letter? No problem, as the silence would indicate case proven. (Example, Steve Goddard has been relentlessly and very publicly accusing Hansen's GISS of data manipulation. They haven't sued because the facts - Goddards rock-solid proof of before & after data, proves the data HAS been manipulated. Perhaps it wasn't mere 'coincidence' Hansen 'retired' not so long ago...)

Oct 1, 2013 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

I suspect that they have used a post by the glorious Tamino as the basis for this graphic - a post demolished on Lucia's Blackboard:

Oct 1, 2013 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

And Richard Betts will not engage on this blog until the level of cynicism reduces. You are going to have a long wait Richard!

Oct 1, 2013 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Hewitt

Cheshire red

Nobody, apart from Michael Mann, is going to fall for being provoked. Mann is the exception. He seems to be a bit of an unhinged individual who even manages to pick fights with his friends. However, he has access to enormous friendly funds, and huge influence which has been brought to bear on his present case; friendly judge etc. So he's the exception.

Having the problem I indicated earlier, an absent media, explains why the green shirts are not prepared to take offence, legally. They just don't need to. The BBC, and other mainstream media will just simply defend them unthinkingly. Journalism classes in years to come will look back and theses will be written on the ‘somebody else's problem field’ that was generated by climate ‘science’.

The green shirt brigade has spent a long time avoiding any kind of stand-up public debate – because they usually lose when the facts are presented to reasonably intelligent citizens. Everything they do is about preventing people from making their own minds up.

Even the latest meme about ‘communication of science’ simply translates as “why is nobody listening to us when we tell them how stupid they are".

The only other possibility is a whistleblower, or one of the main protaginists 'going sceptic' with a Damascene conversion. But most of them have seem what happens if they put a toe on the sceptic side. "Pour encourager les autres"

Oct 1, 2013 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

We would be less cynical if they didn't do stuff like this.

Let's see, they published a graph which made it clear that their projections were shooting off into Extreme Warming while the actual observations weren't doing much of anything, now they produce a version which has the observations near the middle of the projections, on the basis of the same data.
Now either the first one is wrong in which case they are incompetent, or the second is a dishonest fiddle to show that Its Worse Than We Thought. Either case is an unacceptable basis for policy making.

Oct 1, 2013 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

Computerized Twerking.

Oct 1, 2013 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDisko Troop

[Snip - OTT]

Oct 1, 2013 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterEye Spy Massive Fraud

I have to agree with Cheshired on the possibility of getting somebody into court. At the Guardian debate on Climategate and in answer to the question I asked him, Prof Bob Watson stated that if you "add CO2 to the atmosphere, it must warm, it is simple physics". I wrote to him and called him a liar, inviting him to sue me but he did not respond. I wrote to his then boss Chris Huhne and pointed out that his scientific adviser was a liar, that I had written to him with that accusation but got no response, I got no response from Huhne's office either. I later got another mail from Watson repeating the claim about CO2.

Oct 1, 2013 at 2:41 PM | Registered CommenterDung

The organisation that should take a strong line on this is the Royal Society

Oct 1, 2013 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterRC Saumarez

Strange that the URL should have become munged in my previous message ...

But here is the correct URL for the Fraud Advisory Panel
(Note that https is mandatory for your protection)

So this time we linked using a short URL link

I thank you again for your diligence people !

Oct 1, 2013 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterEye Spy Massive Fraud

@ Don Keiller = IPCC - Incestious Political Climate Cartel? .................. Bullseye!

@ RC Saumarez - The organisation that should take a strong line on this is the Royal Society. Quite right, the RS should be leading the clamour for this discredited, wholly political Quango to be abolished and the billions of pounds it squanders annually put to better use.

Sadly it ain't going to happen.

Oct 1, 2013 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterYertizz

Just take the http:// off the front of the URL


If someone very specifically accused prof XXX of aiding and abetting scientific fraud and deliberate data manipulation via XXX, then you'd find a lawyers letter on your desk soon enough.
We’ve been calling Professor Lewandowsky and Associate Professor John Cook liars for a while now, to no avail. You see, it’s been scientifically proven that criticising climate scientists is the equivalent of accusing Prince Philip of killing Lady Di. Who’d want to bring a libel case against someone crazy enough to believe in a conspiracy by all the lead authors of AR5?

Oct 1, 2013 at 3:27 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

@eye spy massive fraud

Krebs is principal of Jesus College, Oxford. Houghton is a Fellow Emeritus. And Gavin Schmidt is an alumnus.


Oct 1, 2013 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

The organisation that should take a strong line on this is the Royal Society
Oct 1, 2013 at 2:51 PM | RC Saumarez


Oct 1, 2013 at 4:06 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Unless tax-payer funded climate scientists come out of their ivory towers and condemn the IPCC report, they will forever be condemning themselves as advocates, not as scientists. IMHO

Oct 1, 2013 at 4:50 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

If this is verified, I wonder if a petition might work in getting a formal investigation. I suspect that a lot of scientists in this country are sickened by the antics of our climate "scientists", myself included. As Lord Lawson has remarked, the IPCC has brought the good name of science into disrepute.

This is scientific fraud on a massive scale that has enormous implications. It dwarfs anything in the Pharmaceutical industry or anything that I can think of in Medicine.

If I had done this, I would have been sacked - quite rightly so, as would anyone else. Anyone in UK academia who has had a hand in this should undergo impartial investigation and, if found guilty of scientific fraud, sacked and disgraced,

A petition that could attract a proportion of UK academics might add pressure to calls for an investigation.

What I cannot understand is whether the IPCC is so stupid and arrogant that it thinks that nobody will notice or whether they imagine that they they are so powerful they can get away with anything.

Oct 1, 2013 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterRC Saumarez

Cheshire red;
Sorry, but we are governed by a political class which has lost its moral compass.
It is as likely that the BBC would fairly debate CAGW as that a Pravda hack would have criticised Stalin in 1950.

As far as the law is concerned: a lawyer is someone who is paid to argue that white is white, or that black is white.
So not much hope there. Just think Maxwell and Pergammon Press.

Oct 1, 2013 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterGordon Walker

>where an expensive lawyer could explain the frauds quite simply to the average citizen.<

Surely, Lord Lawson would have the dosh for that?

Oct 1, 2013 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterHusq

Didn't Myles Allen say the models were accurate and robust?

Come on Myles now is your chance to defend the AR5 which you helped write!

Oct 1, 2013 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

Monckton made a lot of noise about suing the IPCC for fraud and has threatened legal suit against other miscreants but as far as I know it has all come to naught.

There will be a Public Enquiry in due course.

I see another book for our host on the machinations surrounding AR5.

Oct 1, 2013 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

Calm down everyone please.

Oct 1, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Oct 1, 2013 at 11:45 AM | Stuck-Record

" The media is broken."

I totally agree, but why exactly is the media so broken. Surely there is some fame and minor financial gain to be made out of this somewhere. The same must surely be true for scientists actually doing some proper science ‘ie Steve Mcintyre‘ for example.

Oct 1, 2013 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

I think Ross McK has the most insightful take on it - (it seems that Steve Mc thinks that Lucia characterised the bodge pretty well):

Posted Oct 1, 2013 at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

Playing with the starting value only determines whether the models and observations will appear to agree best in the early, middle or late portion of the graph. It doesn’t affect the discrepancy of trends, which is the main issue here. The trend discrepancy was quite visible in the 2nd draft Figure 1.4. All they have succeeded in doing with the revised figure is obscuring it.

Oct 1, 2013 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

C'mon folks. Calling people liars and shouting fraud is counterproductive. It makes sceptics sound like a 180 wing of the Guardian.
Think of all those ex-warmists who initially became sceptical precisely because of the bad behaviour shown by those who supported the consensus.
The anger may be understandable but it turns off the uncommitted and weakens the influence of this blog.

Oct 1, 2013 at 6:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

'At present, I have no idea how they purport to justify this.'

easy in the name of 'the cause ' all things are justifiable, after all they are 'saving the planet '

Oct 1, 2013 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterKNR

RE: Nuccitelli's piece on this in the Guardian.

There are quite a few sceptical comments over there getting a fair number of votes. This has distressed at least eight readers enough that they have supported this comment, referencing the comment censorship over at PopSci:

01 October 2013 6:56am
"The external evidence suggests that having comments open on this article is profoundly unhelpful.
Actually reading the comments strengthens my confidence in that evidence."

Oct 1, 2013 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterDanny

Off topic so please delete if you want but this was broadcast tonight

Oct 1, 2013 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

...The organisation that should take a strong line on this is the Royal Society
Oct 1, 2013 at 2:51 PM | RC Saumarez

Actually, the organisation who should be up in the limelight on this is the Royal Statistical Society

It claims to be the " one of the world's most distinguished and renowned statistical societies. It is both a learned society for statistics and a professional body for statisticians." And under its functions it says that its mission is to:

- Establish, uphold and advance high standards of statistical competence;
- Serve the public interest by acting in an advisory, consultative or representative capacity in matters relating to the science of statistics and its application;
- Promote the public understanding of statistics and the competent use and interpretation of statistics.

I think that it has been keeping it's head down incredibly well so far, but at some point it might be forced to stand up...

Oct 1, 2013 at 8:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

RC Saumarez at 5:02 PM
What I cannot understand is whether the IPCC is so stupid and arrogant that it thinks that nobody will notice or whether they imagine that they they are so powerful they can get away with anything.

There is a third possibility: A deliberate Kamakazee move.
The IPCC is now expendable. No one wants to read, much less write, an AR6.
Everyone will notice.
Most people will take AR5 at face value.
Some people recognize the lies in AR5.
Eventually, the IPCC won't get away with the lies, but authors of the lies will escape harm because they will advance the political cause and the culpability is too dilute.
"It wasn't me, it was the consensus."

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." - Mark Twain,

Oct 1, 2013 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Rasey

I've done an animated .gif. How do they expect to get away with this?

Oct 1, 2013 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Blake

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