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back to article IPCC Rainforest eco-tastrophe claim confirmed as bunk

More bad news today for the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as another of its extravangant ecopocalypse predictions, sourced from green campaigners, has been confirmed as bunk by scientists. The UN body came under attack earlier this year for suggesting that 40 per cent of the Amazonian rainforests - dubbed the " …

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What's the scoreline?

What's the scoreline here, in terms of mistakes made on each side of the debate?

Is the reason The Register doesn't run similar stories about debunked claims from climate-change deniers that it would be a fulltime job to document the lies/mistakes that come from that side of the debate?

Or is there confirmation bias and/or an agenda at work here?

Not saying everything the IPCC do is right, but if being 100% right is the requirement then you've got to reject every single organisation, I suspect.

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Troll

Here's your chance to prove deniers wrong

Obviously, you can post your complaints about the coverage from El Reg. How about your put yourself to work and provide competing research that falls on the IPCC support side of things. Maybe you'll really sway people with some convincing evidence (or you'll shut your pie hole and crawl back under that rock you live under). I don't really care either way, but don't blame the Reg for covering a side that doesn't really appear important to the rest of the media now that there's no disasterous doom impending.

For the record, I'm an IT pro and not a scientist (though I have two Ph.D biologists in my immediate family who are convinced all this global climate change is real, but completely normal and not human influenced). Personally, I think very little in the "debate" has a damn thing to do with science, as most of the discussion is really just political bullshit, positioning one group against another for hands outs of money from the governments of the world (and people stupid enough to donate to such causes).

Any day someone can provide some real science, I'll gladly listen. Unfortunately, I don't expect that to occur any time soon, as climatology is really more of a soft science, like sociology and psychology. Call me a sceptic, but I thought that was a requirement for critical thinking and science in general.

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Pirate

Good on the Reg

They report the debunked official claims of organisations that are actively influencing government policies. These people are supposed to be experts, they are supposed to be the scientific consensus and shouldn't be making elementary errors like this that may affect government policy.

A bit like they report on the few laptops that went missing from the MOD, not the hundreds of thousands that don't.

If the Reg had to comment on the thousands of crazy claims made by AGW sceptics there wouldn't be enough space for any IT news. Or enough journalists to do it. If there was an official body, or if OPEC came out with claims based on junk science then the Reg would, hopefully, fully report when that had been debunked too.

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MIc
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Emotions run high but this isn't a team sport

why keep score? WHy care about who made the most mistakes?

It looks as though there is an emotional attachment to one "team" vs the other like this is the super bowl. Almost as though you take the statements of this article personaly because you subscribe to human caused climate change. (As do I)

The only take away from any article that does a good job of pointing out bad science is to recognize just how dangerous bad science is and how foolish it is to stop throwing stones even if we do argee or hope that they are right.

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I don't have a side

Not sure why people think I have a side. I was asking for balanced reporting, not for reporting which favours either side.

Anyone who has been paying attention to The Register's coverage of climate change issues will know it's been far from balanced. Extremely selective is what I'd call it.

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Alien

I am neutral but

Speaking as one of the first climate change deniers I ever heard of this one got me:

"Samanta, Ganguly and their colleagues also consider that their results debunk another controversial paper published in 2007, which said that the 2005 drought was actually good for the rainforests, causing them to "green up" due to more sunlight from cloudless skies.

These results are "not reproducible", according to the new analysis, which indicates that in fact nothing much changed down on the Amazon during the 2005 dry spell."

If it's the report I think it is, I picked it up and ran with it. For which I blame Earth Observatory.

As far as I know this is a first from my perspective. Perhaps you can tell me what I have missed?

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Dr Mat

First of all, congratulations on being one of the few anti-AGW journalists who permit pro-AGW posts on your site.

As for some convincing evidence, have a quick look at:

http://www.csiro.au/resources/State-of-the-Climate.html

Note that this was personally authorized by the CEO of CSIRO, Dr Megan Clark, who spent most of her career in that well-know greenie leftist bunch called "Western Mining Corporation", followed by those tree-hugging commies in BHP Billiton, which owns most of the coal in Australia.

Or, if you want something that is a bit more meaty and globally orientated, try:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/

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Good old IPCC

Why is the only place I find this information, either the Register or Sunday Torygraph. The UK's mainstream media is an absolute disgrace. As far as the IPCC is concerned, it shold be shutdown.

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Grenade

You've half answered your own question

Because only the Sunday Torygraph (a mainstream publication if ever there was one) and, apparently, The Register, have a readership gullible enough to belive this oil-lobby-funded nonsense.

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Grenade

You've half-eaten your own brain

Only the cognitively challenged true believers fail to recognize that the spending by govts and quangos promoting and propagandizing their own climate change programs and command-and-control systems overwhelm any conceivable amount by energy company on their own efforts by at least three orders of magnitude.

You are a silly person and only worth paying attention to if you vote and therefore are dangerous to civilization.

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Stop

wait...

Are you suggesting that this story is untrue?

Citations, please.

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Happy

Just for Singer Scientist...

All together now...

Troll Troll trollity troll... etc and so on and so forth....

Muppet. Of all publicly available news sources I rather imagine the average IQ around this publication exceeds the national average by just a tinesy wee bit.

Go sit back under your bridge and wait for a Billy goat... silly man.

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FAIL

Actually...

Actually, the oil lobby funds the climate change believers. To the tune of millions. The skeptics pretty much have to pay for their own research.

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But Alan has swallowed his whole

http://www.justsharethis.com/top-10-biggest-companies-in-the-world-2009/

Alan is right! Exxon Mobil pump that oil out of the ground for the good of their health, and hardly make a penny out of it. The market capitalisation must reflect people's esteem for the charitable work they do. They would be much better off making wind turbines out of recycled baked bean cans for spare change. Perhaps it has never crossed their minds to richly fund a disinformation campaign. They simply can't afford it. We should pass a hat round, or better still, we could work as unpaid oil company shills in our spare time. Who's with Alan and me? We could start off by looking through the thousands of references in the IPCC report and seeing if they got any of the page numbers wrong. Tell us about global warming? They can't even count!

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Allegedly

Oil funds deniers, nuclear fund believers. There is no funding for cautious sceptics.

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The IPCC again?

How people can still believe a word these so-called 'experts' say it beyond me.

Here is how I see it: climate change is happening - just as it has since the earth began. I don't believe that it is human driven in the slightest.

Ignoring that, I still believe that green energy is the way to go. I'm fed up of all these ridiculous claims being purported by the media. We should want renewable energy for the sake of having renewable energy, not because some heavily subsidised scientists or hardline environmental groups say the world is going to end in a few years.

Why not take the money away from scientists who are paid to find the many ways humans are supposedly altering the earths weather patterns and put it into proper energy research. The world will change regardless of whether we change with it, we should think about the future of housing, food production and power generation instead of wasting pointless hours on trying to prove or disprove human involvement.

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Wonderful!

The AGW/MMCC house of cards continues to collapse, fantastic.

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not reproducible

"These results are "not reproducible", according to the new analysis, which indicates that in fact nothing much changed down on the Amazon during the 2005 dry spell."

I am not going to go read the paper, but I would have thought that all that means is that there is not way to reproduce or test the conditions and results that the hypothesis is based on, no?

It certainly does not indicate to me that nothing much changed, only that the conclusion that the dry spell was good for the Amazon cannot be subjected to the scientific method.

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Boffin

Which goes to show...

[quote]

"only that the conclusion that the dry spell was good for the Amazon cannot be subjected to the scientific method."

[/quote]

Thus the original conclusion that the dry spell was dangerous for the Amazon and the entire planet, was likewise incapable of scientific determination.

So the science is definitely NOT "in" as the mantra previously had it, and the IPCC is once more demonstrated to be not a scientific document but merely a political one.

Which means that down under our PM's claim that the IPCC is "a bunch of 4000 scientists running around in white coats" is pure humbug.

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Stop

Why are ALL the climate-change articles on El Reg "sceptical"?

It would be nice if you would publish a few articles pointing out the inaccuracies (and worse) published by the sceptic community.

Bear in mind, if the climate change people are wrong, but we go along with their suggestions, we'll still end up with a better planet. If the climate change sceptics are wrong, and we go along with them, the prospects are pretty grim.

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Save me!

"Bear in mind, if the climate change people are wrong, but we go along with their suggestions, we'll still end up with a better planet"

Evidence, please! This is widely touted, but all the solutions presented so far involve paying people off, not dealing with the problems. Those are the ok solutions, we won't mention the solution of population control .

"It would be nice if you would publish a few articles pointing out the inaccuracies (and worse) published by the sceptic community."

Why? Serious question. If you mean the reputable skeptic community, then fine. But the point is that the IPCC predicts disasters, and is pushing (or its results are responsible for pushing) a massive and expensive social engineering campaign. It has attracted the lunatic fringe of the green movement (i.e. the aforementioned WWF). The entire world is affected. If they've been taking predictions from WWF and Greenpeace promotional literature then they might as well have hired Dan Brown to write the damn thing.

There are good reasons to reduce CO2 emissions. Acidification of the oceans, for instance. This climate change scare isn't one of them

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Better planet? How?

Of course it depends which emission target we go with, but let's take the 30%-down-on-1990-levels figure that seems to be pretty much accepted as a good middle of the road position between the raving alarmists and the jaded skeptics.

To reduce our emissions to that level, we would need a Carbon Trading Scheme. Basically, a tax on all CO2 emissions. Any economist in the world will confidently tell you that will completely ruin the economy of any western nation. Unemployment edging up to 25% and that sort of thing. Do you call that a better planet?

We would also need some very heavy, very fast investment in non-carbon-emitting energy production. Nuke, for instance. To produce the amount of energy we need to power our society, we'd be producing nuke waste at an alarming rate. There is still no way of getting rid of the stuff, and no prospects of a breakthrough in the next 50 years. And the stuff can have a pretty horrific effect on life in the area, especially if a bit leaks out (which can happen). Do you call that a better planet?

And transport is a major contributor of atmospheric CO2. To get our emissions down we'd pretty much have to restrict the use of private cars (because deterrent taxes have been shown to be ineffective). Or we could have a return to wartime petrol rationing. Do you call that a better planet?

And the icing on the cake is, even if we go to all this effort and reduce our emissions by 30% on 1990 levels, the alarmists say it won't be enough to prevent several island nations from being inundated by rising sea levels. What's the point?

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Don't really know and can't be arsed

Typical of the "Don't really know and can't be arsed" mindset of so many people these days.

Why does everyone think they are a climate expert these days? Absolute nonsense. In any other walk of life we trust the experts, even if they don't get it right 100% of the time.

As an attempt at some kind of analogy, a huge proportion of doctors misdiagnose and most medicines have undesirable side-effects, or simply don't work at all. But we still plave enough faith in all of them overall to ultimately improve the quality of our lives, even if not our own immediately.

Our 1 planet is too important to f*** up by ignorant and vociferous barstewards who only have their own selfish interests at heart. How any intelligent Register reader cannot see through that particular con is beyond me and makes me despair for society.

Climate science is not perfect, far from it, but on something as important as protecting our only home we MUST employ the cautionary principle and take note of the vast majority of experts...even if some day ultimately the scientific evidence changes and they are wrong. Especially since the measures to reduce CO2 will not actually harm our existence, only the pockets of the oil companies and dirty industry.

Get a grip people! Otherwise shut up and go back to sleep!

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Pirate

Damn Title... OK, Duke

Ahasuerus at the immigration office: do you have another globe?

The following was likely said coupla days ago: the world's CO2 emission might be ceased to 0 % (zero) by anno 2050. Very funny.

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FAIL

Why skeptical? Indeed.

That, sir, is what *real* science is all about. Applying reason to your problems, being skeptical, and re-evaluating your results as new information comes in. Just because they aren't a cheerleader for your pet cause does not make them "pro" or "anti" -- it just makes them "professional".

I smelled a rat a long time ago with the whole AGW thing -- too much

1) hating of that bad old western civilization.

2) hating of specific "bad" industries.

3) hating of anybody that offers anything resembling doubts, or who doesn't immediately enthusiastically embrace it.

AGW offers up a convenient new set of straw men for people to hate each other and make gobs of cash.

Any REAL scientist welcomes challenges to their theories. However, Al Gore and his ilk have a problem with opposing theories, research, and opinions. "The science is all in". Bullshit. Science has never been and never will be in on anything, or it would not be science. It is "debate", and while "debate" is useful, it never can pass for good science.

So, for now, as a person who embraces the scientific method, I am going to retain my theory that AGW is started and maintained by a bunch of hippies hell-bent on bitching about the weather until we all get priuses, so we can all die of sudden acceleration death, freeing the world for happy unicorns, rainbows, and shit like that. (That, and a few political hacks who stand to make serious money from manipulating public hysteria).

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Carbon tax maybe, but NOT carbon trading

"To reduce our emissions to that level, we would need a Carbon Trading Scheme. Basically, a tax on all CO2 emissions"

Carbon trading and carbon tax are not the same thing. Carbon trading allows the wealthy* to pay to continue to pollute. Also current international agreements permit developing countries to continue to grow and pollute more at the expense of developed countries.

IMO everyone and every country needs to reduce their demand on the Earth's resources (not just CO2 reduction). Practical technological solutions and simple lifestyle changes are needed to help people change the way they live - not draconian political targets with no plan for how they can be achieved. As part of this, countries with rapidly growing populations must take radical action to curb their population growth, otherwise the problems will only multiply.

* by wealthy, I mean those with a large surplus of income, not ordinary Westerners who live hand to mouth but just happen to have a more valuable currency than the poor in the Third World. Most Westerners are in debt, but most Third Worlders aren't - i.e. they already live within their very limited means.

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Better planet? Yes, nuke

Actually nuclear is the way to go. We have a perfectly serviceable, safe and capacious nuclear waste dump right here in South Australia, where other states and countries can dispose of their nuclear waste. It's not widely publicised due to greenie opposition, but I for one am glad it's here, for two reasons:

1) We get to charge everyone else like wounded bulls for dumping their waste here; and

2) the dump is located a mile down in massive borosilicate concrete bunkers inside the solid granitic craton of our continent. It's the most geologically stable region on the planet; no seismic disturbances have taken place there since before the dinosaurs died out, and no earthquake, volcano, fracture or other geological cataclysm is even remotely likely to occur there for at least 150 million years, when Australia collides with China due to tectonic drift - and by then all that radioactive waste will have long since decayed to nothing more than so many blocks of lead. Better here where it's stable than in some earthquake-prone Pacific-ring-of-fire nation where the next rumbler would turn the site into another Chernobyl!

So yeah, go nuclear. And pay us to dispose of your nuke waste safely. We love the money! :)

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WTF?

maybe a small name change is needed

that's more like it.

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Silver badge

Does this mean...?

...that you can have scientific peer-reviewed literature that does not support eco-mentalists? And indeed that challenges the IPCC report? Presumably so. So all these scientific papers proving the bulk of climate science is wrong should come pouring out now, right, since it's been shown that the peer review process doesn't stop all papers that are off-message?

What, you mean there aren't any? Hmm...

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I found these...

http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

The number appears to have gone up from the 450 when I last looked.

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Grenade

@WWF:

(not that they're likely to read this, but it's Friday and my VM just crashed...)

"The organisation started out as a fairly mainstream outfit intended to protect wildlife, but has nowadays widened its remit into protecting the entire planet from unsuitable human activities."

Would those "unsuitable" activities include "breathing", "eating" and "existing"? That appears to be their new remit.

Weird. Last time I looked, humans weren't robots, or aliens. We're just as "natural" and integral to the ecosystem of this planet as tigers, pandas and rainforests.

I remember* when it were all hippies and free love.

* (barely).

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Paris Hilton

Free love?

I grew up in the 50s and 60s and have a clear memory that Free Love was happening somewhere else. Nowhere near me.

Perhaps climate change is like that. I know it was perishing cold when I took the dogs for a walk last night!

Paris. She ain't free though.

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interesting....

You pick out the soft science flaw in the impacts section rather than a flaw in the actual climate change science section: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/ippc-sealevel-gate/

I wonder why that is!

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Stop

This article is bullshit, please shut this guy up.

See the following link to see a complete rebuttal of this made-up story and other IPCC "scandals", and learn about how the IPCC actually operates.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/15/ipcc-errors-facts-spin

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FAIL

Umm... read your own article

On your "rebuttal" article as to why this one is bullshit... please point to the part where it proves that it is correct in relation 40% to the rainforest relative being at danger to drought. You made the claim, so surely you should be able to show it.

And you and I both know that some stupid squabble about attributing a report to the WWF vs attributing it to another person (which is the only thing I could find mentioned in your article on the Amazon) means absolutely nothing on your claim about proving that the NASA & IPCC people in this article are as you say "bullshit".

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FAIL

Linking to the Grauniad for climate change 'facts'???

That would be like going to Wikipedia to find facts on Jimbo Wales. Now seriously, just FOAD!

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FAIL

Call that a reference?

So the "right on" Grauniad is "right on" message about the "right on" topic du jour?

Try telling us something that couldn't have been guessed with 100% accuracy by any halfwit.

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Flame

Yeah, but...

...won't the amazon rainforest disappear anyway to make place for soja planted to feed the chicken that goes into the bellies of phat northerners? AFAIK, when global warming hits, it will won't matter to the amazon.

"We should actually be praying for a prolonged and massive recession with no recovery afterwards."

Only makes sense to people who don't realize that a "recession" is just an inevitable pruning of malinvestments made possibly by helicopters dumping freshly printed money onto the streets. If they do want durable damage, they should pray for more Greenspan, Brown, Ben, Tim and Obama.

Also, I laugh at the idea that forests destroyed by fires would yield to plants even more prone to fires.

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Pint

Paper to the mills

Coals to Newcastle and rainforest to ashes. All nothing to do with the article. It was about the reaction to dry weather/wet weather.

In the 1960's decimation on a huge scale began in the South American jungles to make paper. The project went tits up but left a niche for farming on a large scale.

This is a widespread and well known problem. You only have to compare Haiti with it's neighbours to see that.

I have just watched the tail end of a programme on the fall of the city of Detroit. It is much the same problem of market forces and the foresight of Investment Wankers.

Basically if you have to pay anyone you pay the top echelon. Anything lower down makes do with the fall out.

But that has nothing to do with the papers concerned or the article.

I remember posting to a newsgroup, that when I was a boy the CO2 levels were estimated at about 1/2 % of the atmosphere (IIRC) because the gas is water soluble. And the nastiness I got from that statement put me on alert.

People don't like to be disabused/unbrainwashed.

They just... don't like it up em.

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Pint

Friday

Yes I agree with the eco rabble, El Reg should totally transform itself into a peer reviewed establishment with proper in-depth climate control credentials. Now if one of you hippies could bring me some organic ale in a recycled glass I'd be most greatful.

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Coat

Shame on them

Shame on the World Wrestling Federation for changing from their original goal, of wanting grown men to hug each other.

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Silver badge
Stop

The IPCC is a political organisation.

The problem is, there is an incompatibility in the level of truth required between politics and science. In order for the scientific message to be put through to politicians, a certain amount of simplification and spin must be applied to avoid the conclusions being downplayed by those adept in the art of lies, err, I mean politics.

There was an excellent article in New Scientist magazine recently regarding the role the IPCC is forced to play, IIRC, so those criticising the mainstream media may want to stop considering the tabloids a primary news source?

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The IPCC asserts that it is a scientfic organisation.

Ed's opinion aside, the IPCC asserts that it is a scientific organisation (http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization.htm). It exists 'to provide the world with a clear scientific view' based on 'the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information'. Their role is to provide 'rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision makers'. On this basis, they should be held to scientific standards, not political ones.

Ed asserts that there is an incompatibility in the level of truth required between politics and science. While this may be true in practice I do not believe it is true in principle. Both politicians and scientists should be held to the highest standards of honesty and accuracy.

Accepting that an incompatibility in the level of truth required exists; There is also an incompatibility in the level of truth required between honest representations and fraudulent ones. I do not know whether the recent problems are result of incompetence or dishonesty and I would not like to say but given the IPCC's reprentation of itself as a scientific organisation and not a political one, suspicions of dishonesty do not appear to be unjustified. Incompetence on such a grand scale hardly seems possible unless at the very least the contributors and reviewers serving the IPCC have been dishonest about the scientific rigour of their work.

Speaking personally, the recent revelations of poor scientific process has done more to make me sceptical of climate change than anything the sceptics ever said or did before. Regardless of whether the problems are due to dishonesty or incompetence, I no longer have faith in the IPCC and I am unwilling to trust them any further.

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True Science is Not Political

Every day we apply the results of computer science, we benefit from medical science, and we can even argue over the advisability of harnessing nuclear science, but in every case there is a set of core facts that we can agree on.

Not so with Climate "Science". Maybe the reason why "a certain amount of simplification and spin must be applied..." is because the so-called climate scientists don't have any facts to back up their claims. So they make them up... oops, I mean spin and simplify.

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FAIL

WWW != IPCC

Your backyard != global

Weather != climate

etc

Still comments are allowed unlike Orlowski's dreck.

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Bronze badge

Kicking off dispute with skewed articles is getting boring

Some blogger mentioned that he was ignored until he started being a jerk then the indignation kicked in with a flood of attention following.

The reg is trying to do the same. Probably the Mail's model too. Well, as you like it. Anything with Orlowski at the top now gets skipped by default.

I love the reg for its entertainment, value it for some of its informational articles but I'm getting narked with skewed reporting for the heat not the light they try to bring. Now tend to skip anything that mentions the ipcc because it is often poorly done. Give me the facts, even if they're not what I want to hear, not spin!

Love Lewis' articles in particular but this climate wooden-spoon stuff suxxx.

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Bad bet = your problem

You mean you backed the wrong horse, and now the evidence makes you look like a gullible twit?

I can see why you'd want The Register etc to stop, LOL. It should cover all science, not science except Eco Loony claims that don't stand up.

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"Lies and mistakes from climate change deniers"

Leo D said "Is the reason The Register doesn't run similar stories about debunked claims from climate-change deniers that it would be a fulltime job to document the lies/mistakes that come from that side of the debate?"

I hope its because the junk like this that finds its way into IPCC reports affects us all in the form of money removed from our pockets by the government in the spurious name of green taxes which are spuriously claimed to prevent these non-events from happening.

And no doubt that will be the next claim "oh look you paid the tax and the Amazon didn't catch fire, so lets bung on another £100 on your air fare to stop it happening again".

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Stop

Positive feedback? Negative

I have to sneer at all these positive feedback mechanisms that the IPCC gravy trainers keep suggesting. If all these mechanisms existed, the climate would not have been stable for millions of years - at some point along the way the 'tipping point' would have been crossed and we would simply not exist.

Say no to positive feedback bunk.

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WTF?

WWF

WWF stands for

We

Want

Funding!!!

But, the icon does say it all.

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