News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

US temperatures cooled 1950-2011 per 2012 UN IPCC report on extreme climate and weather, 3 citations, pages 121, 134, and 135. UN IPCC is "world's premier scientific body on the climate," per Scientific American

In its 2012 study,  "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation," Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (582 pages) UN IPCC states US temperatures cooled between 1950 and 2011. Citations below reference "central North America" cooling on pages 121, 134, and 135. Scientific American says UN IPCC is "the world's premier scientific body on the climate."  
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UN IPCC definition of "climate extreme" and "weather extreme:"

Page 5, "For simplicity, both extreme weather events and extreme climate events are referred to collectively as ‘climate extremes:"

Page 5, "Box SPM.1, Definitions Central to SREX"

"
Climate Extreme (extreme weather or climate event): The occurrence of a value of a weather or climate variable above (or below) a threshold value near the upper (or lower) ends of the range of observed values of the variable. For simplicity, both extreme weather events and extreme climate events are referred to collectively as ‘climate extremes.’ The full definition is provided in Section 3.1.2."


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Start and end dates used in this report: 1950-2011.

Why the 1950 start date? Following is the only reference I found for its selection:

p. 8, SPM: "There is evidence from observations gathered since 1950 of change in some extremes." (Subhead, "Climate Extremes and Impacts") 

As to the May 2011 end date, following is citation for May 2011 cutoff date:

page ix, Preface: "This report provides a careful assessment of scientific, technical, and socioeconomic knowledge as of May 2011, the cutoff date for literature included." (parag. 3, last sentence)

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3 citations for US temperatures cooled 1950-2011, 2012 UN IPCC report:

First citation, p. 121: 

p. 121, Subhead: 3.1.6. "Changes in Extremes and Their Relationship to Changes in Regional and Global Mean Climate:"

(Right column, near end of page): "Parts of central North America [the US] and the eastern United States present cooling trends in mean temperature and some temperature extremes in the spring to summer season in recent decades (Section 3.3.1)."...

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Second citation, p. 134:

Subhead 3.3, "Observed and Projected Changes in Weaather and Climate Extremes," Subhead 3.3.1 "Temperatures," subhead "Observed Changes"
begins p. 133 
 
p. 134, left column, 2nd parag.: "Regions that were found to depart from this overall behavior toward more warm days and nights and fewer cold days and nights in Alexander et al. (2006) were mostly central North America [the US], the eastern United States, southern Greenland (increase in cold days and decreases in warm days), and the southern half of South America (decrease in warm days; no data available on the northern half of the continent). In central North America and the eastern United States this partial tendency for a negative trend in extremes is also consistent  with a reported mean negative trend in temperatures, mostly in the spring to summer season (also termed ‘warming hole’, e.g., Pan et al., 2004; Portmann et al., 2009)."

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Third citation, p. 135: 

Subhead 3.3, "Observed and Projected Changes in Weaather and Climate Extremes," Subhead 3.3.1 "Temperatures," subhead "Observed Changes"
begins p. 133 

p. 135, (Left column): "Only a few regions show changes in temperature extremes consistent with cooling, most notably for some extremes in central North America, the eastern United States, and also parts of South America....In summary, regional and global analyses of temperature extremes on land generally show recent changes consistent with a warming climate at the global scale, in agreement with the previous assessment in AR4." 

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Above 3 citations are from Chapter 3, p.111-230:

Title of Chapter 3: "Changes in Climate Extremes and their Impacts on the Natural Physical Environment," p. 109
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Citation for 1950-2011 time frame, page 119, chart, first of 3 headings: "Observed changes (since 1950)." Other headings are, "Attribution of observed changes," and "Projected changes (up to 2100) with respect to late 20th century."


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Added: More on definitions used in 2012 UN IPCC Report, "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation," Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Page 5: "Climate change" no longer means change caused by humans. "Climate change" can be either natural or externally forced. For fundamental changes in definitions in 2012 report UN IPCC cites among other things, "progress in science" (footnote 1):

From "Summary for Policy Makers"

p. 5, "Box SPM.1 | Definitions Central to SREX"

"Core concepts defined in the SREX glossary1 and used throughout the report include:


Climate Change: A change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.2...
 

Footnotes 1 and 2

1 Reflecting the diversity of the communities involved in this assessment and progress in science, several of the definitions used in this Special Report differ in breadth or focus from those used in the Fourth Assessment Report and other IPCC reports.

Footnote 2 This definition differs from that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where climate change is defined as: “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.” The UNFCCC thus makes a distinction between climate change attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition, and climate variability attributable to natural causes."...
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Of interest: US population increase:

From 1960 to 2008 (48 yrs.) US population increased by 70% per 2010 US Census:

Source: UN IPCC, 2012 report: p. 258: 

Chapter 4, "Changes in Impacts of Climate Extremes: Human Systems and Ecosystems:

Subhead (right column): "North America," "Introduction 4.4.6.1:" 

"Coastline regions of the Gulf of Mexico region in the United States increased by 150% from 1960 to 2008, while total U.S. population increased by 70% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010)." (last sentence in parag.)

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Despite US 70% population increase (1960-2008, p. 258), U.S. CO2 has plunged over 20 years, 1992-2012: 
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8/16/12,CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low,AP, Kevin Begos, via Business Week

In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.

Many of the world's leading climate scientists didn't see the drop coming in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide....


Power companies plan to retire 175 coal-fired plants over the next five years [by 2017]. That could bring coal's CO2 emissions down to 1980 levels."... 
 


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More on "game changing" US CO2 drop:

"It is exactly America’s historical role of biggest and dirtiest that  makes their sharp decline in CO2 pollution so noteworthy and potentially game changing at the global level.”...

6/4/12, "Climate change stunner: USA leads world in CO2 cuts since 2006," Vancouver Observer, Saxifrage



 



"Not only that, but as my top chart shows, US CO2 emissions are falling even faster than what President Obama pledged in the global Copenhagen Accord."...Here is the biggest shocker of all: the average American’s CO2 emissions are down to levels not seen since 1964 --over half a century ago. …Coal is the number two source of CO2 for Americans. Today the average American burns an amount similar to what they did in 1955, and even less than they did in the 1940s. …It is exactly America’s historical role of biggest and dirtiest that   makes their sharp decline in CO2 pollution so noteworthy and potentially game changing at the global level.”...

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News of US CO2 plunge has been described as:

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Reference, Scientific American quote re: UN IPCC "premier scientific body:"

6/9/15, "Climate Scientists Helped Create a Spurious Pause in Global Warming," Scientific American, by Gayathri Vaidyanathan and ClimateWire

"The world’s premier scientific body on the climate had found, in a 2013 report, that it is extremely likely (95 percent confidence) that human activities are responsible for most of the observed warming of global temperatures since 1951."...

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Comment 1: The 2012 UN IPCC report may contain more than 3 citations about "central North America" cooling 1950-2011. I happened to find the three mentioned above.
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Added, US climate "action:" The climate science spending boom kicked off in 1990 when a mandate for it was embedded in the White House and 13 federal agencies. Via 1990 USGCRP (US Global Change Research Program) the vast machine to finance global climate danger via US taxpayers was in place before most people had heard of climate scientists. "The past 15 years have seen a sustained program of funding, largely from government or quasi-government entities.[31]...By any standards, what we have documented here is a massive funding drive, highlighting the patterns of climate science RandD as funded and directed only by the Executive Branch and the various agencies that fall within its purview:" 
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11/16/1990, U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990 

3/6/15, "Causes and consequences of the climate science boom," William Butos and Thomas McQuade
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From the paper:


"1. The Government’s Role in Climate Science Funding...[is] embedded in scores of agencies and programs scattered throughout the Executive Branch of the US government. While such agency activities related to climate science have received funding for many years as components of their mission statements, the pursuit of an integrated national agenda to study climate change and implement policy initiatives took a critical step with passage of the Global Change Research Act of 1990.

This Act established institutional structures operating out of the White House to develop and oversee the implementation of a National Global Change Research Plan and created the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to coordinate the climate change research activities of Executive Departments and agencies.[33] As of 2014, the coordination of climate change-related activities resides largely in the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, which houses several separate offices, including the offices of Environment and Energy, Polar Sciences, Ocean Sciences, Clean Energy and Materials RandD, Climate Adaptation and Ecosystems, National Climate Assessment, and others. The Office of the President also maintains the National Science and Technology Council, which oversees the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability and its Subcommittee on Climate Change Research. The Subcommittee is charged with the responsibility of planning and coordinating with the interagency USGCRP. Also, the Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy is housed within the President’s Domestic Policy Council. While Congress authorizes Executive branch budgets, the priorities these departments and agencies follow are set by the White House. As expressed in various agency and Executive Branch strategic plans, these efforts have been recently organized around four components comprising (1) climate change research and education, (2) emissions reduction through “clean” energy technologies and investments, (3) adaptation to climate change, and (4) international climate change leadership.[36]....

By any of these measures, the scale of climate science RandD has increased substantially since 2001. Perhaps, though, the largest funding increases have occurred in developing new technologies and tax subsidies. As can be seen from Table 1, federal dollars to develop and implement “clean energy technologies” have increased from $1.7 billion in 2001 to $5.8 billion in 2013, while energy tax subsidies have increased from zero in 2001 and 2002 to $13 billion in 2013, with the largest increases happening since 2010. The impact on scientific research of government funding is not just a matter of the amounts but also of the concentration of research monies that arises from the focus a single source can bring to bear on particular kinds of scientific research. 

Government is that single source and has Big Player effects because it has access to a deep pool of taxpayer (and, indeed, borrowed and created) funds combined with regulatory and enforcement powers which necessarily place it on a different footing from other players and institutions. Notwithstanding the interplay of rival interests within the government and the separation of powers among the different branches, there is an important sense in which government’s inherent need to act produces a particular set of decisions that fall within a relatively narrow corridor of ends to which it can concentrate substantial resources.

2. By any standards, what we have documented here is a massive funding drive, highlighting the patterns of climate science RandD as funded and directed only by the Executive Branch and the various agencies that fall within its purview.[40] To put its magnitude into some context, the $9.3 billion funding requested for climate science RandD in 2013 is about one-third of the total amount appropriated for all 27 National Institutes of Health in the same year,[41] yet it is more than enough to sustain a science boom. Its directional characteristic, concentrated as it has been on RandD premised on the controversial issue of the actual sensitivity of climate to human-caused emissions, has gone hand in hand with the IPCC’s expressions of increasing confidence in the AGW hypothesis and increasingly shrill claims of impending disaster.

3. The recent pattern of federal climate science funding, moving toward emphasis on the development of technologies and their subsidization through the tax system, suggests that climate change funding has become more tightly connected to agencies like the Department of Energy, NASA, the Department of Commerce (NOAA), EPA, and cross-cutting projects and programs involving multiple agencies under integrating and coordinating agencies, like the USGCRP, lodged within the Executive branch. The allocations of budgets within these agencies are more directly determined and implemented by Administration priorities and policies. We note that the traditional role of NSF in supporting basic science based on a system of merit awards provided (despite some clear imperfections) certain advantages with regard to generating impartial science. In contrast, even a casual perusal of current agency documents, such as The National Science and Technology Council’s The National Global Change Research Plan 2012-2021, shows that those driving this movement make no pretense as to their premises and starting points.[39]

4. To be sure, the very opaqueness of these allocations and their actual use only provides for “ball park” estimates. However, we believe that the results presented in Table 3 come closer to a useful accounting than what previously has been provided. We have combined data from Leggett et al. (2013) and the AAAS Reports for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013 (the only years for which the AAAS provides detailed budgetary data for climate science RandD and climate-related funding). This constrains Table 3 to including data only from 2010 through 2013. We have adjusted budgetary data and categorized it in light of discussion points 1-5 above. Note that the estimated aggregate expenditures for climate science and climate-related funding (excluding tax subsidies) from 2010-2013 in Table 3 are about twice that of the Leggett findings.

5.5 Funds administered by the Treasury Department in Table 2 are credit lines and loans channeled through the World Bank earmarked for international organizations to finance clean technologies and sustainable practices; consequently such funds would also more accurately be considered as climate-related sustainability and adaptation....

8. This summary and the detail in Table 1, however, do not capture the full scale of federal funding for climate science RandD. Two complications must be considered to capture a more accurate estimate. First, the entries in the first row of Table 1 for climate science only refer to monies administered by the Executive branch via the office of the USGCRP and does not include all climate-related RandD in the federal budget. For example, the entry in Table 1 for the USGCRP in 2011 is just under $2.5 billion; yet the actual budget expenditures for climate science-related RandD as calculated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) total about $16.1 billion.[38] In addition, since USGCRP funding is comprised of monies contributed from the authorized budgets of the 13 participating departments and agencies, a more accurate estimate of climate-related RandD requires deducting USGCRP funding from the aggregated budgets of those 13, most of which are included in Table 2.

9. Leggett et al. (2013) of the Congressional Research Service provides a recent account of climate change funding based on data provided by the White House Office of Management and Budget (see Table 1, below). Total expenditures for federal funded climate change programs from 2001-2013 were $110.9 billion in current dollars and $120.2 billion in 2012 dollars. “Total budgetary impact” includes various tax provisions and subsidies related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (which are treated as “tax expenditures”) and shows total climate change expenditures from 2001-2013 to be $145.3 billion in current dollars and $155.4 billion in 2012 dollars.[37]

10. The USGCRP operates as a confederacy of the research components of thirteen participating government agencies, each of which independently designates funds in accordance with the objectives of the USGCRP; these monies comprise the program budget of the USGCRP to fund agency cross-cutting climate science RandD.[34] The departments and agencies whose activities comprise the bulk of such funding include independent agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, US Agency for International Development, the quasi-official Smithsonian Institute, and Executive Departments that include Agriculture, Commerce (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology), Energy, Interior (the US Geological Survey and conservation initiatives), State, and Treasury.[35]

11. The past 15 years have seen a sustained program of funding, largely from government or quasi-government entities.[31] The funding efforts are spread across a bewildering array of sources and buried in a labyrinth of programs, agency initiatives, interagency activities, and Presidential Offices, but what they seem to have in common is an adherence to the assumption that human activity is primarily responsible for the warming observed in the latter part of the 20th century. Funding appears to be driving the science rather than the other way around. And the extent of this funding appears not to have been heretofore fully documented.[32]"...
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11/16/1990, U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990 

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Of interest to the poor, "A fifth of official development aid is now diverted to climate policy." Money that might've been spent on the poor and needy:

12/10/2014, "Hot Stuff, Cold Logic," The American Interest, Richard Tol


"Politically correct climate change orthodoxy has completely destroyed our ability to think rationally about the environment."

"A fifth of official development aid is now diverted to climate policy."...(second to last paragraph)


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US politicians want US taxpayers to pay at least half UN IPCC expenses though there's no way of knowing how many millions are funneled to it from one year to the next since the cash comes from multiple gov. agencies which aren't required to report the information to Congress. A 2/29/2011 report from The Hill said US taxpayers give $12.5 million a year to the UN IPCC. A 2013 report said $13 million went to the UN IPCC from the State Dept. alone. CNS News reports a lower amount in 2012 but notes the actual number is unknowable:

1/3/2012, "U.S. Taxpayers Cover Nearly Half the Cost of U.N.’s Global Warming Panel," CNS News, Elizabeth Harrington

"A study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) determined that the United States funded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations’ authority on alleged man-made global warming, with $31.1 million since 2001, nearly half of the panel’s annual budget.

The GAO also found that this funding information “was not available in budget documents or on the websites of the relevant federal agencies, and the agencies are generally not required to report this information to Congress.

In a Nov. 17, 2011 report, “International Climate Change Assessments: Federal Agencies Should Improve Reporting and Oversight of U.S. Funding,” the GAO found that the State Department provided $19 million for administrative and other expenses, while the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) provided $12.1 million in technical support through the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), averaging an annual $3.1 million to the IPCC over 10 years -- $31.1 million so far."...

[Ed. note: A 2013 report said $13 million US taxpayer dollars went to the UN IPCC from the State Dept alone.]


(continuing): "The IPCC runs an annual budget of $7 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, making the United States a major benefactor for its global warming agenda....


"After facing “key challenges” in determining the amount of funding to the IPCC, the GAO now recommends that U.S. funding be reported annually to Congress with “accurate and consistent information.”

The report said documents on U.S. financing for the IPCC were “not available in budget documents or on the websites of the relevant federal agencies, and the agencies are generally not required to report this information to Congress.”

Conflicting State Department numbers also made it more difficult for the GAO to assemble the data.  

The GAO “reviewed documents and interviewed officials from federal agencies and IPCC” to reach its findings.

A 2005 GAO report entitled “Federal Reports on Climate Change Funding Should Be Clearer and More Complete” found that federal funding for climate change was not adequately accountable.  

“Congress and the public cannot consistently track federal climate change funding or spending over time,” the report concluded.

The report also found federal funding for global warming had increased by 116 percent between 1993 and 2004, to $5.1 billion.

The $3.1 million annual U.S. funding goes towards the IPCC’s “core activities”: meetings of the governing bodies, co-ordination meetings, support for the developing country co-chairs, the IPCC Web site and Secretariat. The IPCC assesses scientific information, but does not conduct any research of its own.
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According to the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, the United States “has made the world’s largest scientific investment in the areas of climate change and global change research with a total of nearly $20 billion over the past 13 years."
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"Scientists put numbers into the 2007 study, along with a big caveat—what Mr. Alley calls a "punt." The study took into account things like glacier melt in most of the world, but it noted that it excluded what's happening in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, which "we can't predict," Mr. Alley said.

Inevitably, Mr. Alley said, some people have cited the numbers without that caveat."...(4th parag. fr. end)


2/26/2010, "Push to Oversimplify at Climate Panel," Wall St. Journal, Jeffrey Ball and Keith Johnson

"The problem stems from the IPCC's thorny mission: Take sophisticated and sometimes inconclusive science, and boil it down to usable advice for lawmakers. To meet that goal, scientists working with the IPCC say they sometimes faced institutional bias toward oversimplification, a Wall Street Journal examination shows.

Richard Alley, a geoscientist who helped write the IPCC's latest report, issued in 2007, described a trip that summer to Greenland's ice sheet with senators who urged him to be as specific as possible about the potential for sea-level rise. The point many of them made, he said: Give more explicit advice—because, if the sea rises, "the levee has to be built some height."...

About 30 paid staffers help thousands of scientists who volunteer to assemble voluminous "assessment reports" every five or six years....

The IPCC's budget, about $7 million this year (2010), comes mainly from contributions from the U.S. and other industrialized nations....

Some researchers continued to feel pressure to boil down science as work began on the IPCC's fourth major report, published in 2007. Things that are "very difficult to quantify must be quantified to keep the policy makers happy," Mr. Alley, the geoscientist, who teaches at Penn State, said in an interview. "It's a very frustrating thing." 

Mr. Alley walked that tightrope in helping write the chapter covering his specialty: the degree to which massive Greenland and antarctic ice sheets might melt, raising sea levels. The problem, he said: "Ice-sheet models are not very good."

Many conversations with policy makers—including Mr. Gore, the senators in Greenland and Christian Gaudin, a French senator—left the clear impression that "we scientists had better get better numbers," said Mr. Alley, adding that he understands their desire for detail.

So the scientists put numbers into the 2007 study, along with a big caveat—what Mr. Alley calls a "punt." The study took into account things like glacier melt in most of the world, but it noted that it excluded what's happening in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, which "we can't predict," Mr. Alley said.

Inevitably, Mr. Alley said, some people have cited the numbers without that caveat.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Gore said he understands the uncertainties, and that he pointed out in statements "that there was essentially an asterisk" on the 2007 report's sea-level projections. "As he understands the situation from the ice-science community, the uncertainty in sea level applies in both directions," meaning sea-level rise could be greater or smaller than projected, her statement said."...

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Reference, $13 million to UN IPCC in 2013 from State Dept. alone:

4/12/13, "Despite sequester, State Department ups support for the UN," George Russell, Fox News

"State Department contributions to “International Organizations and Programs” include a 30 percent hike, to $13 million, for the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)."...


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From Nov. 2011 GAO report on US climate spending, US State Dept., places no conditions on UN IPCC use of millions of US taxpayer dollars:

3rd parag: "State (Dept.) has not placed conditions on IPCC's funding because IPCC's activities have not triggered such restrictions. According to State officials, IPCC does not engage in restricted activities that are tied to the State account providing the funding. State officials provide input and monitor IPCC Trust Fund funding by approving annual IPCC budgets and reviewing audits."...

Also in 3rd paragraph, IPCC declines to identify non-peer-reviewed literature

"According to IPCC officials, it will not identify each finding in the assessment report that was based on non-peer-reviewed literature, because there is no standardized way to differentiate
between peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed sources. GAO recommends that (1) State and NSF coordinate and inform Congress annually with accurate and consistent information on U.S. funding for IPCC and (2) NSF conduct timely project reviews as required by its cooperative agreement. State, NSF, and USGCRP generally concurred with these recommendations."...

Last parag: "GAO was asked to report on (1) U.S. financial support to IPCC from 2001 through 2010, (2) conditions the United States places on its financial support to IPCC and how they help ensure these funds are spent accordingly, and (3) the IPCC quality assurance processes and IPCC's steps to address related IAC recommendations. GAO reviewed documents and interviewed officials from federal agencies and IPCC."  

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Another reference to 1950 start date, this from 2013 UN IPCC report:

10/1/2013, "Negotiating the IPCC SPM," Climate Etc, Dr. Judith Curry

"A fascinating look at the how the deliberations in Stockholm influenced the final IPCC AR5 WG1 Summary for Policy Maker. The iisd is a reporting service for environment and development negotiations. They provide fascinating context and details regarding the negotiations last week in Sweden:  Summary of the 12th session of Working Group I (WGI) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the 36th session of the IPCC.

Below are excerpts related to topics under recent discussion:...

OBSERVED CHANGES IN THE CLIMATE SYSTEM: On the headline statement, which states that warming of the climate system is unequivocal and, since 1950, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia, Saudi Arabia said the statement was “alarmist,” urged qualifying the terms “unequivocal” and “unprecedented,” requested using the year 1850 instead of 1950, and called for a reference to slowed warming over the past 15 years.

Germany, Australia, Chile, Spain, Fiji, New Zealand, the US, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Mexico, Slovenia, the UK and others supported the statement as presented, with Germany pointing out that AR4 concluded almost the same. Canada pointed out that factors other than warming will be the emphasis in the future. The Russian Federation proposed “changing,” rather than warming of the climate system. After some discussion, Saudi Arabia agreed to accept the statement as presented."...











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