United Nations panel defends climate change evidence

The UN climate panel has rejected as "baseless and misleading" a newspaper report that raised doubts about the evidence behind a claim that global warming is linked to worsening natural disasters.
By an AFP reporter in Geneva
Published: 1:40PM GMT 26 Jan 2010

Hundreds of snowmen are pictured on a ground near the Berlin Cathedral as part of a climate change awareness action in Berlin Photo: Reuters

This weekend, the Sunday Times reported that a passage in one of the panel's reports, which suggested natural disasters including hurricanes and floods had increased in number and intensity, had been challenged.

The IPCC insisted in a statement released late on Monday that the targeted study was quoted alongside others in balanced manner exposing the range of evidence. It said the panel had weighed its conclusions.
"This section of the IPCC report is a balanced treatment of a complicated and important issue."

"It clearly makes the point that one study detected an increase in economic losses, corrected for values at risk, but that other studies have not detected such a trend," the statement added.

"The tone is balanced, and the section contains many important qualifiers."

The panel also underlined that it came to several conclusions about the role of climate change in extreme weather events and disasters in different sections of its reports, based on a "careful" assessment of past changes and projections of future trends.

The panel concluded that the newspaper "ran a misleading and baseless story attacking the way the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC handled an important question concerning recent trends in economic losses from climate-related disasters."

The Sunday Times had reported that the IPCC included the reference to the then unpublished study despite doubts raised by at least two scientific reviewers at the time.

Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, a climatologist at the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and the vice-chairman of the IPCC, was quoted by the newspaper as saying that the panel was reassessing the evidence.

It was the second time in recent weeks that doubt was cast on the scientific validity some of the evidence used in the UN panel's reports.

The IPCC last week admitted errors in a forecast about melting Himalayan glaciers that was included in a landmark 2007 report.

The ongoing series of reports compiled since 1999 are meant to reflect a global scientific consensus to guide official action against climate change.


(明報)2010年1月25日 星期一 05:10

【明報專訊】自二氧化碳等溫室氣體導致全球暖化 的觀點在約20年前獲廣泛確認以來,不少懷疑論者及說客都極力駁斥,指暖化「無可能」是人為造成,他們一直等待機會,希望聯合國 氣候專家小組承認估計出錯。這次「冰川門」(Glaciergate)事件終讓他們如願以償。但氣候專家警告,人們絕不能因一個錯誤而抹殺全球暖化真相。
《觀察家報》的科學及科技版編輯麥凱(Robin McKie)撰文,以「冰川門是大錯失,但掩飾的是懷疑論者」為題,為「人為暖化論」護航。他指出,這論點在「冰川門」前成立,往後亦將一樣,「冰川門」事件將令懷疑論者花更多精力去「挑骨頭」,去找更多類似錯誤。但麥凱強調,「冰川門」不是由全球暖化的懷疑論者提出,而是由科學家自己本身指出,事件顯示出科學家能夠自我監測。
北極 融化旱災蔓延足證暖化」
葛量洪氣候變化與環境研究所的政策總監沃德(Bob Ward)說:「我們應同時記得有大量證據,顯示暖化是真的以及是人為的……北極的冰架正融化,旱災正蔓延,過去10年中有9年為有紀錄以來最熱。只有大氣中的二氧化碳水平上升可以解釋這(現象)。除非氣候變化的懷疑論者可以顯示出(暖化的)影響微不足道,否則很多理性的人都會認為我們要採取措施去避免災難在未來發生。」

ANOTHER climate change blunder: First it's melting glaciers, now natural disaster claim is debunked

By Daniel Martin
Last updated at 7:57 PM on 24th January 2010
The world's leading climate change scientists have been caught out making unfounded claims about global warming for the second time in just over a week.

Experts appointed by the United Nations said rising temperatures were to blame for an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.
But it has emerged that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based the statement, made in 2007, on an unpublished report that had not been properly reviewed by other scientists.


False warning? Ministers linked floods in Cumbria last year to global warming 虛假警告?去年部長們聯繫坎布里亞郡的洪水至全球變暖

The report's author has since withdrawn the claim, saying there is not enough evidence to link climate change to worsening natural disasters, and criticised the use of his data as 'completely misleading'.
It follows the IPCC's admission that it was wrong to state in its influential 2007 Fourth Assessment Report that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.
That assertion was based on ' speculation' featured in an eight-year-old article in New Scientist magazine.
那斷言是基於'投機取巧',特載於新科學家雜誌一篇 8年久的文章中。
Unprecedented rainfall: Locals are rescued from Cockermouth High Street

The latest revelation means more embarrassment for the climate change lobby because worsening natural disasters were a central plank of arguments at the recent UN climate summit in Copenhagen. Barack Obama used the claims when he said last autumn: 'More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent.'

Unfounded: Secretary of State for Climate change Ed Miliband claimed increased severity of flooding was attributable to global warming


Climate change minister Ed Miliband has claimed that floods such as those which devastated parts of Cumbria last year could be widespread if global warming goes unchecked.
He said last month: 'Events in Cumbria give a foretaste of the kind of weather runaway climate change could bring. Abroad, the melting of the Himalayan glaciers that feed the great rivers of south Asia could put millions of people at risk of drought.'

The IPCC's 2007 report said the world had 'suffered rapidly rising costs due to extreme weather-related events since the 1970s', suggesting global warming was to blame.
But the claim was taken from a then unpublished report by Robert Muir-Wood, head of research at London-based consultancy Risk Management Solutions.
When Dr Muir-Wood released the report he added the caveat: 'We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses [damage caused by natural disasters].'

The IPCC said it would investigate the false claim and could withdraw it.
Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice-chairman of the IPCC, said: 'We are re-assessing the evidence and will publish a report on natural disasters and extreme weather with the latest findings.'
Dr Muir-Wood attacked the way his evidence was used. He said: 'The idea that catastrophes are rising in cost partly because of climate change is completely misleading. We could not tell if it was just an association or cause and effect. 'Also, our study included 2004 and 2005 which was when there were some major hurricanes. If you took those years away then the significance of climate change vanished.


帕喬裡: 冰川門醜聞背後的真實故事
Pachauri: the real story behind the Glaciergate scandal

Dr Pachauri has rapidly distanced himself from the IPCC's baseless claim about vanishing glaciers. But the scientist who made the claim now works for Pachauri, writes Christopher Booker
By Christopher Booker
Published: 5:44PM GMT 23 Jan 2010

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Photo: STEFAN WERMUTH/REUTERS

氣候變化引發嚴重天災 被揭全無根據
聯國爆「天災門」 全球暖化論失據

科學家誇大全球暖化的醜聞,接二連三傳出,在「氣候門」和「冰川門」之後,又有「天災門」。繼被揭操控數據催谷全球暖化說法及信口開河指喜瑪拉雅山冰川 25年內消失後,聯合國氣候專家小組報告指氣候轉變引發更多更嚴重天災,再被揭沒證據支持,令質疑全球暖化論是個大騙局的人,更加振振有詞,讓地球失救。
聯合國政府間氣候變化專門委員會( IPCC)在 2007年報告中,除了指喜瑪拉雅山冰川 25年內消失外,還聲稱「全球極端天氣造成的損失在 1970年代起急升」。報告的結論深入民心,連美國總統奧巴馬( Barack Obama)月前也曾說:「更強力的風暴和水災,正威脅各大洲。」上月哥本哈根氣候會議中,窮國要求排碳富國巨款補償,也是基於全球變暖令它們受更多天災打擊的說法。
但英國《星期日泰晤士報》發現,報告得出氣候轉變引發更嚴重天災的結論,原來引用了未發表、未經同行評審的研究,而這份研究到 2008年正式發表時,作者已經修改結論,表明「我們未發現充足證據,證明全球氣溫上升與災難損失的統計關係」。
研究是由英國天災影響專家繆爾─伍德( Robert Muir-Wood)做的,目的是分析全球颶風、山火和水災等天災造成的損失每年平均增加 8%,是否跟全球暖化有關,抑或可用人口集中、基建發展等因素解釋。
結果研究發現, 1950至 2005年的損失數據,可完全用社會變遷解釋,但若縮窄看 1970至 2005年數據,有 2%損失年增長,似乎與全球氣溫上升有關。但他同時指出,後 35年天災損失特別多,差不多可用 2004和 2005年颶風反常地來得多和來得兇來解釋,而且美國受災拉高美元滙率,又自不然拉高損失額。
《星期日泰晤士報》指, IPCC的報告斷章取義只引用研究 1970至 2005年數據,當至少有兩名科學家審閱報告草稿時曾要求審慎處理氣候變化與天災損失關係時,又置若罔聞。而且,即使繆爾─伍德已修正結論, IPCC到上月哥本哈根會議前一直沒有澄清。這些都反映 IPCC報告胡亂來。

東窗事發, IPCC副主席范伊佩爾塞勒才表示重審有關證據,可能撤回 2007年的說法,但他堅稱,雖然出了事端, IPCC的論證審核程序「仍很嚴謹和科學」。也有科學家為 IPCC報告辯護,指報告有 3,000頁長,綜合全球氣候科學研究結果,難免有一些錯誤。
去年 11月,英國東英吉利大學氣候研究中心被黑客入侵電腦,網上公開科學家之間電郵通訊,被指顯示科學家在數據做手腳,以支持全球暖化(圖)是人為造成的說法。科學家指懷疑暖化派斷章取義,故意抹黑他們。

聯合國政府間氣候變化專門委員會( IPCC) 2007年第四份評估報告,指如地球暖化速度持續,喜瑪拉雅山冰川(圖)將在 2035年或之前消失,上周被揭原來是輾轉引用印度科學家哈斯南( Syed Hasnain)在雜誌電話訪問中說法,哈斯南承認那句話「純屬猜測」,冰川全融其實要 300年。 IPCC事後收回這說法。
IPCC在 2007年評估報告,指全球暖化令天災更多和更嚴重,天災(圖)造成損失加速增長,昨被揭原來是引用一個當時未發表研究,而且只引用有利的結果,作者 2008年發表已改口說沒有足夠證據, IPCC卻一直沒有澄清,被質疑後表示正重新審閱有關證據。