THEGREENGROK

A Climate Retraction of a Different Sort


by Bill Chameides | June 28th, 2010
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

Permalink | 4 comments

2010 has been a year of climate gaffes. Now another one?

Yes, another retraction on climate and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has surfaced. Only this time the shoe is on the other foot.

On January 31, 2010, an article in the The Sunday Times of London (“UN Climate Panel Shamed by Bogus Rainforest Claim”) savaged the IPCC for statements concerning the vulnerability of the Amazon rain forest from climate change, accusing the international climate group of poor scholarship and inappropriate dependence on reports from “green campaigners.”

On February 7, 2010, the scientists indicted by the newspaper disputed the article in a letter to the editor of the Times, pointing out the many inaccuracies in the paper’s article from January.

Well, it took four months and a half months or so, but The Sunday Times has finally fessed up and issued a “correction,” acknowledging that they got it wrong, all wrong. And, they “apologise for this.”

You can get a temporary free pass to www.timesonline.co.uk to see its June 20th retraction and the February 7th letter to the editor. But you won’t be able to see the original January 31st article; the Times has removed it from the site.

So Long for Now … but Stay Tuned

As you read this, I will be snoozing and loafing — it’s my vacation! I’ll be back in a couple of weeks. In the meantime TheGreenGrok will be in the capable hands of our staff and you can look forward to a number of interesting guest blogs.

Peace.


Update 6/28/2010, 11:14 AM: Real Climate has posted a copy of the original article [pdf].

filed under: climate change, faculty, global warming, rain forest
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4 Comments

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  1. MattN
    Jul 14, 2010

    “The basis for the Amazon assertion is that even a slight change in temperature/rainfall could lead to that, which is well-supported by observations and the peer-reviewed literature. Climate change over this century will almost certainly be more severe than last century. It’s naive to assume all will be well.” Total rubbish. Over the last 100 years there has been ~100ppm increase in CO2 and there has been Z-E-R-O effect on the long term trend of Amazon rainfall. ZERO! How can you possibly come to the conclusion that “it will get worse”? Observationally, the data does not support that at all! As for the “peer reviewed science” the IPCC claims they used: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/10/amazongate-proven-ipcc-based-their-claim-of-rainforest-sensitivity-on-a-probably-sentence-in-a-now-defunct-activist-website/

    • Bill Chameides
      Jul 23, 2010

      MattN: 1. There has been a change in temperature. 2. There are threshold effects. 3. Yes, the IPCC missed the citation, but there are peer-reviewed publications supporting the claim.

  2. MarkB
    Jul 10, 2010

    They had a poor reference. If they were referencing the peer-reviewed literature, the conclusions might be far worse. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/jul/02/ipcc-amazongate-george-monbiot http://springerlink.metapress.com/content/5ya2xh872g25fglt/ The media and certain blogs have been lying about this. http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/leakegate_the_case_for_fraud.php MattN provides us with a red herring. “Therefore, there is absolutely no basis for the argument that up to 40% of the Amazon is going to turn into a savannah.” The basis for the Amazon assertion is that even a slight change in temperature/rainfall could lead to that, which is well-supported by observations and the peer-reviewed literature. Climate change over this century will almost certainly be more severe than last century. It’s naive to assume all will be well. http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-the-IPCC-and-peer-reviewed-science-say-about-Amazonian-forests.html

  3. MattN
    Jun 29, 2010

    The facts remain the same: 1. The IPCC made a claim that “Up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation”, and that the South American climate could change rapidly to a new steady state. 2. This was referenced to a WWF review paper which was not peer reviewed. 3. The WWF paper had no citation for that claim. 4. Dr. Lewis says the claims are correct. However, like the IPCC, he does not provide a citation for his claim that the 40% statement is correct. He points us to a 2009 paper, of which he is a co-author. It doesn’t contain any support for the 40% claim. He refers to a few climate models, but shows no evidence. 5. Dr. Lewis says that there is “much uncertainty” about the question. 6. Dr. Lewis does not provide any evidence to support the idea that the South American climate is likely to change rapidly to a new steady state. And finally, here’s the actual Amazon rainfall for the last 100 years: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/amazon_precipitation_1910e2809320091.jpg Despite 100 years of increasing CO2, there is absolutely ZERO trend in Amazon rainfall amounts. Therefore, there is absolutely no basis for the argument that up to 40% of the Amazon is going to turn into a savannah.

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